As many companies are starting to see some shoots of optimism we believe now is a great time to be reviewing and adjusting Global Mobility programmes, policies and mindset to complement some of the changes and opportunities that have arisen in the past 12 months.
Global Mobility teams are currently facing many challenges: from ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and navigating the impact of Brexit to log jams around the world for shipping containers and significant delays for Visa’s (we wont go on!). The good news is we are also seeing benefits arising for global mobility from some of the changes of the least year - for example governments making changes to their systems to encourage relocation to their country for work in a bid to kick start the economy , such as the recently announced unsponsored Visa's to attract highly skilled workers to the UK.
With new opportunities and the ability to re-start plans that may have been placed on hold the important question is how do you support those relocations that will be going ahead in 2021 and beyond so Global Mobility can emerge better and brighter than ever before?.
Global mobility RECOVERY checklist
Here are some of the important activities to complete in reviewing and adjusting your Global Mobility programme:
1.) Determine your 'new normal'
Understanding what has changed in your internal and external environment will help you review the impact on your global mobility programmes, resolve any potential issues and take advantage of any new opportunities..
Think about what has fundamentally changed:
- within your company's global mobility function?
- across your organisation as a whole?
- for the employees that will be relocating?
- for your clients or in your industry?
Are there any lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis or other changes that have created new priorities for you? For example a need for better tracking, data and software systems? Can certain administrative tasks now be automated or be shifted online? Can your vendor help you with any of these?
2.) Review which types of assignment need to go ahead in the next 12 months
Are you expecting the same types of assignment as before? Are you likely to see only Business Critical assignments initially? When are you expecting other assignments to return (if at all?)
This is important to roadmap because there are significant changes impacting global mobility in the ‘new normal’ which must be taken into account to make sure expectations from the business and assignee perspective are managed, for example:
- Delays and backlogs in Visa applications which in some cases are taking over 12 months to be processed
- Delays and log jams at container ports as well as changes in household goods delivery schedules for multiple reasons such as Covid-19 testing, positioning issues and capacity constraints.
- Digital services - many in person services have innovated in the past 12 months and can now be complimented by online platforms in line with local social distancing restrictions
- Service cost alterations - for many services costs agreed prior to the pandemic, political changes, and economic volatility may need to be reviewed with vendors to ensure realistic understanding of current cost
- Our customers have reported real excitement within their employee populations to relocate – consider how you are supporting your talent to minimise risk of attrition.
3.) Evaluate if your Relocation policies are still fit for purpose
Now is the time to review, ring fence and roll out.
- Are there any services that are no longer valued? Have you been tracking any exceptions that should be bought into policy?
- Are there any longer term adjustments that need to be made in term of supporting assignee wellness/mental health and higher level touch points to ensure ongoing assignment success?
- What impact will restrictions such as social distancing have on the ability for families and spouses to settle into their new country ensuring familiarity with local healthcare systems and support network? Do your current policies have sufficient settling in and spousal support services? Recent research by NetExpat & EY has highlighted that the pandemic has magnified the importance of maintaining a dual income. The talent market in the Post Covid-19 world is tough, providing professional managed support services for the spouse and family is an important consideration for assignment success.
4.) Collaborate with your relocation vendors for short and long term planning
There's nothing like a crisis to highlight the importance of being able to rely on our vendors. Now is a good time to be working closely with them for short and long term planning.
- What short term workarounds can they support with to help get people where they need to be to fulfil business need. (for example virtual or online services, or quarantine accommodation). Lean on your vendors as they will have the most up to date on the ground knowledge in their respective industry.
- What long term workarounds can they help you to develop? Audit your programmes with your vendors and consider consolidation of international and domestic relocations to one specialist vendor.
- Consider what you might need to share with them to set expectations and ensure that they too are ready to support you when you need them?
These planning activities are likely to require continuous review and update as the global situation remains fluid, so open conversation is more important than ever.
If you would like some assistance in planning for your recovery, or simply would like some external input from our relocation perspective please get in touch or book a complimentary review consultation . We'll be happy to help you review your 'new normal' , share our insights and help evaluate and plan for the impact on your relocation programme.