When it comes to your employee’s safety and well-being, there’s no such thing as too much care. That’s why, if you have a global mobility program or are thinking of starting one, the duty of care should be top of mind. But what is the duty of care? And how can you ensure you’re meeting your obligations? In this blog post, from IPM’s Managing Director Alan Bentley, we’ll explore all things duty of care in global mobility. You’ll learn about best practices for keeping your assignees safe and happy while they’re on assignment abroad. So let’s get started!
Duty of care is the responsibility you have as an organisation to protect your employees’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being while they are on assignment. This includes things like providing safety training, setting up processes for security checks, monitoring health insurance coverage and more. By taking steps to ensure your assignees’ safety and welfare you’re helping to create a positive experience for them, which will lead to improved morale and productivity.
One of the most important parts of your global mobility program is your pre-departure preparation. This means ensuring that all of your assignees have been given the information they need to stay safe and healthy during their assignment. This includes things like providing detailed information about the destination country and its culture, completing risk assessments, developing emergency protocols and more. By taking this proactive approach to duty of care, you will help to ensure that your assignees are well-equipped for a successful assignment abroad.
It is vital that you do everything to ensure a successful assignment. Failure is not only very expensive in terms of costs but also the potential loss of global talent and negative reaction to your global mobility programme.
It is, therefore, imperative that you understand and address the following key global assignment success factors:
Pre-assignment briefing with the assignee and family:
- Familiarise them to include safety and security, and cultural differences in the host destination
- Educate assignees about the locations in which they will be working including but not limited to any safety and security issues, as well as any legal and cultural differences
- To ensure their overall well-being include Culture and Language training and ongoing benefit and support programmes.
HR & Line Management responsibilities
- Adequately incentivise assignees to avoid losing key employees’ e.g. provide attractive relocation and repatriation packages
- Ensure a suitable role is available when the assignee returns home or transfers to a new assignment
- Ensure cost control and compliance
- Consider the flexibility offered by different types of assignment, from business trips to permanent relocation, ensuring that personal and business needs are aligned
In addition to pre-departure preparation, it’s important to stay in regular contact with your assignees throughout the assignment period. This can include things like checking in to see how they’re doing, confirming that they have all the resources and support they need, confirming their families are settling in and providing any necessary updates. This can be done via online tools such as video conferencing or messaging apps, or even in person when possible.
Finally, it’s important to show your assignees that you care about them during their assignment, providing support and resources if needed, and helping them adjust to their new environment. It’s also important to have a plan for when something goes wrong – whether it’s medical issues, security threats or natural disasters. That way, you can be prepared to provide the necessary help and support in these situations.
By taking a proactive approach to duty of care in global mobility, you will ensure your assignees stay safe, happy and productive while they’re on assignment overseas. Showing them ‘the love’ is key for maintaining morale and building loyalty between you and your assignees.
At IPM, we understand the importance of duty of care in global mobility, and we’re here to help. From providing detailed destination information to helping manage any potential risks, our team is always available to answer questions and provide support so that your assignees can focus on their mission abroad. Contact us today to learn more.