I’m continuing with my GMPD journey on the theme of “the remit of the Global Mobility function” and what skills it takes to be a Global Mobility “A-player”. Given the current COVID-19 crisis there has never been a better time to focus on how we can work more effectively. Luckily, I spent some time planning my GMPD learning pathway a few weeks ago and I had saved in my favourites a really interesting article by Mercer: Practical steps to consider for the new realities of Global Mobility.
The key competencies that sprung out to me when reading this article were: Agility and Advocacy…two essential skills every Global Mobility manger needs now and in the future world of Global Mobility I’m sure…
No situation has tested my agility at work like the current COVID-19 crisis. I’m pleased to report that my experience and ability to cope with a business world that is changing every day seems to be serving me well. Years spent managing a portfolio of clients and then on the coalface managing assignee moves has taught me that you can have a broad plan of where you want to be but you may be setting yourself up to fail if you try to document every step of the plan in detail for the next few months. The Mercer article describes this in a very helpful way:
“Agile frameworks rely on adaptive methods with limited upfront planning and a focus on having a having a series of working deliverables brought to customers regularly to constantly improve and add new functionalities (incremental approach).”
“An Agile team perform a series of ‘sprints’ – short periods of time during which the team focuses on developing deliverables that can be showed to stakeholders to gather feedback and constantly improve the solution delivered.”
In its simplest terms this means that to be fit for the future, Global Mobility teams may benefit from working on their agility skills;
- Take time to think and picture what you want to achieve
- Don’t procrastinate just have a go at a rough first draft of your high level plan. Do not add detail
- Socialise your thoughts with your wider team. Invite feedback, be excited by challenges and constructive criticism (this is the trickiest bit…take it on the chin)
- Refine your approach and critique it yourself (be as harsh as you can)
- Start to work on the new version of your plan and add a little more detail
- Repeat steps 3, 4, 5 so you constantly improve the solution you are delivering
- Congratulate yourself on producing he best version of your plan
You may well drive your team mad but by developing this strategic approach you will be role-modelling that it is ok to change your mind and challenge what has always be done in the past. You’ll unleash creativity which is satisfying, but most of all you will be working as part of a team which feels really good and comes up with the best results.
The Mercer article recommends that we adopt marketing best practices and
develop an assignee Employee Value Proposition. What great advice!
“Tell a story to explain what the program is about for the different assignees groups: young professionals (millennials), older employees, single parents, large families, etc.”
They recommend that you;
- Assess assignee advocacy rates (what proportion of assignees are promoting your mobility program)
- Manage key influencers (which assignees or stakeholders have the most impact on the perception of your program?)
- Check your mobility brand consistency (discrepancies between the brand and the reality of mobility management), and
- Use storytelling to promote your programme
I think I would add another;
- Be ready to advocate the value of your GM programme. Practice presenting to a wider audience what you do, what value you add and why your work is so vital to your organisation. In times of furloughing employees there is no better time to fine tune your own story
The article wraps up with a prediction that “Many of the future expatriates you will manage may not even be employed by your company”.
One of the key trends of the future of work is that organizations will not just have to build (train) or buy (hire) talent, they will need to learn how to effectively borrow talent. Now there is an interesting thought. How will this work in practice and how can you be ready to make it happen?
Emma Holder, Co-Founder – Expat Academy and MyGMPD