18 January 2019

The Top 10 Global Mobility Insights of 2018

Global Mobility
Global Mobility Insights


Gabriela Weglowska

The world of Global Mobility is constantly evolving. 2018 was a challenging year for Global Mobility professionals with topics such as assignee diversity, minimizing the risk of assignment failure and digital transformation high on the radar. So which insights sparked the greatest interest over the last year? Read on to discover what were the Top 10 Global Mobility Insights of 2018 published by Learnlight and stay tuned for more Global Mobility Insights in 2019.

1.  Global Mobility Trends – What to Look Out For in 2018

Global Mobility Trends

This Learnlight Insight from the start of last year looked at the key Global Mobility trends of 2018. Beyond the legislative and technical changes, there were three main areas that Global Mobility professionals were keeping an eye on: Privacy and risk, Diversity and Talent Development.

In this article, you can see the 2019 Global Mobility trends that we anticipate for this coming year.

Why Global Mobility Needs to Help Shape an Organization's Talent
Why Global Mobility Needs to Help Shape an Organization's Talent

2.  Why 40% of Overseas Assignments Fail and What You Can Do to Prevent It

overseas assignments

Four in ten international assignments are judged to be a failure. And yet the number of overseas assignments continues to rise. Global companies are under considerable pressure to determine what makes a successful overseas assignment and to understand why they so often fail.

To minimize the risk of such failure and to ensure the well-being of their employees, organizations must examine the key challenges facing expats deployed overseas, and determine the best way to prepare, support, and manage them during their time abroad.

3.  Why Send Employees Abroad on International Assignments?

why send employees abroad on international assignments

In times of financial difficulty, organizations immediately review costs.  In international organizations, the size of the travel and global mobility budgets are often the first target for the cost-cutting scissors.  Initially, the packages are cut – fewer benefits, less cover – and then companies start asking the big question – why send employees abroad at all?

The decision to send employees abroad on long-term assignments is a bold move that is looking to long-term gains. Global Mobility professionals with a strategic view must make the business case clear to leadership that the best strategy in tough times is to take a long-term perspective.

4.  Why Female Talent Are the Future of Global Mobility

Female Talent

When it comes to choosing someone for an international assignment, it seems that we are stuck in a 50-year-old time warp. Female talent continues to be overlooked when it comes to sending the best person on an international assignment: women represent only 25% of all international assignees.

The first of our Global Mobility insights on female talent looks at the hidden attitudinal or cultural barriers that filter women out of consideration for international assignments. How can we challenge the gender imbalance in global mobility?

Further reading

5. 5 Essential Skills for Global Mobility Professionals

essential skills for global mobility

Global Mobility professionals play a vital role in the success of any organization. They are, after all the people responsible for developing the future leaders of the company. With this level of importance, it is somewhat frustrating to see that it is not recognized as a strategic role and worthy of Boardroom discussions. There are few roles as diverse spanning tax, immigration, HR, logistics, housing, healthcare, security, etc.

There are, of course a range of technical skills, without which it is impossible to do the job: tax, immigration, compliance and database skills. But the challenge is making sure your Global Mobility team are equipped with the best soft skills too.

6.  How Digital Transformation is Transforming Global Mobility

digital transformation

Digital technology is supposed to make life easier, but to achieve this there has to be change. One of the biggest changes on the horizon for global mobility involves bringing digital innovation closer to the heart of their function.

Global mobility functions are already undergoing rapid and permanent change. Is your organization equipped for the Digital Transformation of Global Mobility?

7.  How Strategic is your Global Mobility Function?

Global Mobility Function

Many assignments are doomed to inefficiency and failure by ignorance of the wider issues, and a vision of the Global Mobility function that is too short-term to fit into any kind of strategy.

It is vital that business leaders and HR teams invite Global Mobility to input to any strategic discussions relating to international growth and personnel movements or hiring. By bringing Global Mobility into the conversation earlier, their vast (and unique) knowledge will contribute significantly to strategic conversation and outcomes.

Why Global Mobility Needs to Help Shape an Organization's Talent
Why Global Mobility Needs to Help Shape an Organization's Talent

8.  Why Top Talent Are Refusing an International Assignment

International assignment

What is it that makes top talent turn down the apparently golden opportunity of an international assignment?

Understanding and trust; key ingredients in any professional relationship between an employer and employee, and essential when it comes to International Assignments. Employers worry about not being able to properly fill assignments, while employees are equally worried about damaging their career by saying no.

9.  5 Must-Have Skills of Any Future Assignee

The Future Assignee

Assignees are a company’s ambassadors as well as having a very important job to do. The decision to send someone to a different country has extensive financial, social, professional and personal implications, so the organization must be able to rely on the assignee’s technical skills.

We must however not overlook the importance of soft skills complemented by intercultural understanding. If you want to make your international assignments a success then investing in intercultural communication training is a must.

Further reading

10.  Assignment Failure: What Is Behind It and How to Fix It

Assignment failure

The second of our Global Mobility Insights on assignment failure looks at some of the most common myths about global assignments.

Organizations looking to expand globally often maintain the view that there is a universal approach to how employees work, regardless of their location, personality, or level of cultural awareness.  More often than not international assignment failure is due to the organization not realizing the complexities that an international assignment entails. To increase the success rate, relevant training, support and coaching must be provided to assignees.

Looking back on the top Learnlight Global Mobility Insights of 2018, topics such as female talent, how to decrease the number of assignment failures and the impact of digital transformation on mobility were the topics keeping Global Mobility professionals awake at night. It will be interesting to see which topics dominate the Global Mobility arena in the coming week and months. Stay tuned for more Global Mobility Insights in 2019.

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