March 13, 2023

3 Considerations for Evaluating Your Global Mobility Program in the Current Economy

Is your global mobility program ready for what’s next? That is not an easy question to answer, given the unprecedented challenges and uncertainty that we are all facing this year. And, with massive layoffs in the tech and other sectors, many businesses are trying to predict what the immediate future might hold for their organizations. 

Agility is key, as it’s critically important for companies to fully examine their business goals and to quickly pivot their focus as necessary in the face of an ever-changing business environment. Now is the time to take a deeper dive into what this means, and how the economic climate will impact not just  a business model, but a company’s talent management, mobility strategies and workforce culture overall.

Three Considerations for Evaluating Your Global Mobility Program in the Current Economy

Business leaders must think beyond the recent changes, challenges, and disruptions and look towards the development and implementation of new and improved strategies that will help them take advantage of opportunities and position their businesses for continued success in the months and years ahead.

Being Proactive

In spite of the challenging economy, the global labor market remains tight, and competition for highly skilled talent is fierce.  At the same time, rising costs are prompting more employees to be open to new opportunities. To that end, working more closely with a relocation management company (RMC) to get valuable consultative guidance on how a company’s mobility strategy can contribute to attraction, retention and development has never been more important. That means continuing to design and implement global mobility programs that reflect changes in the marketplace, while ensuring policy decisions remain closely aligned to and support the overall strategic talent goals of the business.

A tight partnership with an RMC is a great way to successfully balance employee satisfaction and budget constraints as things grow more and more complex. Their expertise can help companies that may have temporarily slowed down or paused global mobility efforts to proactively plan how to resume a global mobility program in the future.  For those who are still expanding aggressively, staying competitive in the current landscape remains important, and a proactive RMC partner can help companies benchmark their programs, finding opportunities to offer positive experiences while managing costs. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating your policies in the months ahead.

1 Juggling Competing Priorities

One of the biggest challenges for HR professionals today continues to be the competing priorities that they must juggle on a daily basis, while preventing other important items from falling through the cracks. 

HR leaders contribute to business and employee growth in a number of ways, but here are five of their top priorities:

  • Building Critical Skills and Competencies: This priority is an essential element for employee growth through the fostering of educational experiences that develop new skills and professional knowledge. It also includes the important necessity of filling critical skill gaps and teaching new capabilities within organizations as the way we work continues to evolve.
  • Organizational Design and Change Management: This priority stems from the desire to move organizations forward and the push to align talent and business strategies to achieve improved organizational efficiency. The rapid pace of change and technology advancements require companies to proactively re-skill or upskill their talent. 
  • Cultivating Current and Future Leadership: This is a critical priority for HR professionals, because it focuses on providing a workplace environment that is conducive to the cultivation of effective leadership within an organization – skills that look very different today than they did even five years ago.
  • Planning for the Future of Work: With constant changes and some companies requiring remote workers to return to the office, remaining focused on the future of work and what that entails will remain a key priority for HR professionals.
  • Employee Experience: This will continue to be a top priority for HR professionals. It will touch everything from recruitment and retention to virtual onboarding, to remote working, to talent development and fostering employee engagement and well-being.

So, with all of these competing priorities, where does global mobility fit in? The short answer is that it fits in everywhere. All of these priorities should be deeply rooted in an organization’s global mobility program. Not only will this aid in the success of the program, but more importantly, it will allow the organization to stay competitive within the marketplace.

2 Staying Competitive

To effectively compete in the war for talent, companies have to leverage every tool in their toolbox.  Having a robust global mobility program is a vital element that can give an organization a competitive edge.

Right now, businesses are reviewing and improving their global mobility programs with several goals in mind:  attracting highly-skilled top talent to their organizations and developing approaches to talent movement that are flexible enough to meet changing demographics and demands, but maintain enough consistency to allow for program equity and greater ease of administration.  For example, as interest and rental rates continue to rise, companies are exploring what policies to deploy to make moves more palatable, particularly to high-cost regions. 

As competition heats up, organizations understand the importance of enhancing the employee experience, and so their global mobility program must be expressly designed with that in mind. Frequent policy reviews with your RMC will help you stay aware of trends, changes, and best practices to keep your mobility program competitive.

3 Containing Mobility Costs

As a means of creating a better employee relocation experience, many companies have moved away from lump-sum programs, where the employee is given a specific amount of money to cover relocation expenses. With this type of program, the employee chooses his own service providers and makes the arrangements for facilitating the move. While that autonomy and relative ease of administration works for many moves, it may not offer the desired employee relocation experience and can run the risk of resulting in ultimately higher costs and delays if employees don’t make sound choices.

For many organizations, a managed-cap program is a popular option. . These programs are similar to the lump-sum approach, except there are greater levels of support and policy consulting, delivered through vetted suppliers, and paid for by the company up to a  predetermined amount. 

A managed cap program allows companies to utilize their relocation budget more effectively through structured cost containment and gives employees more guidance to successfully get them from origin to destination. 

Understand more about the different types of flexible policy approaches and their pros and cons.

Looking to the Future

As we collectively look ahead, it may seem like there are more questions than answers. That is why it is more important now than ever before for companies to work with trusted, innovative partners who will listen and provide the right guidance every step of the way.

Particularly in this environment, employee and employer needs often change exponentially, and with little or no warning. Whether a company needs to ramp their global mobility program back up, dial it down, or completely create or recreate one from scratch, having the right level of professional experience and expertise is vital.

As companies evaluate their global mobility programs and service providers, some may decide their current RMC is no longer the best fit for their organization and some may be in need of more flexible solutions or want a more responsive partner. Others may be managing their program in-house and considering the support of an outsourced partner to manage increases in program volume or complexity. 

Whatever the situation, Sterling Lexicon has the skills and experience needed to build a forward-thinking, sustainable global mobility program. Contact us today for more information.


Marsha Wiggins

Marsha Wiggins

Marsha Wiggins is Sterling Lexicon’s Content Marketing Manager. She has created thought leadership content in a variety of industries for many years. She is a trusted contributor who provides insights on industry topics and trends.

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