Keeping the Human Touch in Global Mobility

As the world of work becomes increasingly globalized, organizations are looking for ways to streamline operations and cut costs. However, while organizations may gain financial savings by reducing or eliminating international assignments, it could also negatively impact employees. Eliminating the human touch in global mobility can harm employee morale, engagement, and organizational culture.

Today’s blog, from IPM’s Operations Director Scott Niven, explores how keeping the human touch in global mobility ensures employees are valued and appreciated, which can help boost morale and engagement. In addition, maintaining a relationship with employees can help to build trust and rapport, improving communication and understanding between all parties involved. It also looks at the processes and tools an organization may need to improve to maintain a strong connection with its global assignees.

global assignees maintaining strong connection

Technology – it has its place, but keep a face..

The global mobility industry is increasingly relying on technology to automate processes and keep costs down.

The global mobility industry is embracing technology to automate processes and find new cost-cutting ways. Automation technology has opened up a wide range of possibilities for streamlining the workflows that underlie the day-to-day operations of the global mobility industry, helping it to move faster and become more flexible. Combining technology with comprehensive data sources and creative approaches gives companies new opportunities to reduce costs and manage resources efficiently in this space. Ultimately, technology is changing how businesses move around their people in an ever-evolving environment, providing organisations with long-term changes in cost structure and creating more agility within their entire infrastructure. The global mobility industry is embracing technology to automate processes and find new cost-cutting ways.

So let’s keep it human…

There are several key areas where the human touch is still essential.

In an age of automation, where artificial intelligence and robots are taking over many traditionally human roles, it is essential to recognize the invaluable role humans still play. Although digital solutions can certainly simplify processes, often, it is people who possess an intimate understanding and insight into complex scenarios. The expertise human beings bring to the table – from flexible problem-solving skills to social connection—cannot (and should not) be easily reproduced by machines or automated processes. The bottom line; is that organizations should aim to find someone who will provide a holistic approach with precisely what’s needed – a personal touch. When relocating internationally, an individual and any accompanying family may feel very vulnerable and have many questions to ask. They need human interaction to ensure that these concerns are fully addressed. Whilst, ultimately there will be a checklist that needs to be worked through, what is of the greatest concern for one individual may not be the same for the next.

Now you have the what, let’s talk about how?…

Here are four ways to keep that all-important human touch in your global mobility program:

  1. A carefully crafted tone of voice can make anyone feel welcome and build trust, no matter where they are in the world. With a professional but friendly approach, relocation managers will indicate inclusivity and create a sense of belonging among employees. The goal is to be knowledgeable whilst considering cultural differences, allowing specific phrases or words that may be customary in one place to be adapted to appeal to the audience at hand.
  2. Embracing international communication with an open attitude makes any assignment smoother and yields results sooner. In addition, companies must understand how different languages, voices, and actions affect employees globally; an effective global mobility plan will lead to more positive outcomes overall.
  3. Establishing strong personal relationships is an essential part of any successful relocation and having the right people in your corner is critical. From local relocation agents in the destination country who understand the local market to existing assignees or employees who can offer helpful advice and connections who make all the difference in streamlining the moving process and ensuring that you feel settled in your new home as quickly as possible.
  4. Cross-cultural training and support undertaken pre-assignment are powerful and practical tools for fostering a culture of inclusion and respect and understanding of the environment in which you are going to work.. They can also help those managing multinational teams working across several countries.
  5. Language is one of the common barriers between people. It can become a significant obstacle. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. People willing to interact and foster understanding can help bridge even the widest gaps in language, culture, or any other difference. The key is connecting, breaking down misconceptions or misunderstandings and finding out what we have in common. Language barriers remain firmly in place without a willingness to engage with each other on this level and try to learn about someone else’s experiences. Human interaction and understanding are crucial in overcoming these obstacles and creating a connection despite any differences that may be present.

At IPM, we fully recognize the need for technology in the modern-day workplace. However, we implore you not to hide entirely behind it. Where possible, ensure your assignees touch base with others within the organization with visits to their location, invitations to visit their team, or, at the very least regular online calls with themselves and the rest of their team. For assistance in ensuring you have a human touch within your global mobility program, contact the team today for a friendly, personable, human-to-human conversation!