Can’t We All Just Get Along? 5 Tips for Aligning HR/Talent Management and Global Mobility Teams

August 27, 2015 11:45:39 AM EDT | By: Michelle Dopps

As companies grow and expand internationally, global mobility’s role in ensuring success also increases. The more people you’re hiring and moving around the world, the more important it is to make sure alignment with HR/talent management is a priority.

Aligning HR and Global Mobility TeamsBut sometimes it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page. Sure, your ultimate goals are the same, but you may be getting there in ways that conflict. So how do you overcome such challenges? Here are five tips to help get you on the right track.

1. Communicate!

This may seem obvious, but meeting regularly to share your ideas and plans is the base for a successful partnership between the two teams. Take the time to learn about what each team does specifically and how that aligns with your role.

As time goes on, build the relationship by asking questions about how to plan ahead together, how you can help each other and what you can do to support each other. Below are a few reasons HR/Talent Management and Global Mobility should communicate more:

  • To establish eligibility and competitive compensation/benefit programs that facilitate equal  treatment for employees
  • To promote effective global career and manpower planning on a medium and long-term basis for the optimum development both of the company’s business and the employee’s growth
  • To facilitate transfers to and from business units of the company
  • To minimize financial gains or hardships by reason of overseas assignment other than the gains intended by assignment premiums
  • To be cost effective, easily understood and ensure your policy and processes are simple to administer

2. Focus on The Data.

If global mobility can provide data on their relocating employees easily and quickly to the talent management team, visibility and confidence between the teams will increase. This could mean providing specific reports that both teams agree upon or sharing your relocation management company’s reporting tools. Meet and agree upon metrics and reporting data that each team wants to see from each other, and then develop a way to make it happen.

At Lexicon, we build customized dashboards and reports for each of our clients, so it would be easy to create a view into any and all information on assignees that both teams want to see. Some areas you may both be interested in tracking and reporting on include:

  • The employee’s time, compensation and relocation-related costs incurred in both the home and host countries
  • Exceptions and relocation-related approvals/authorizations
  • Home sale figures
  • Immigration/tax compliance
  • Attrition/Return on Investment (ROI)

Also, all relocation-related data/documents could be housed in one place for ease of record keeping, making things that much easier for everyone.Aligning HR/Talent Management and Global Mobility

3. Agree on Meanings and Definitions Ahead of Time.

Have you ever experienced the confusion that comes from two parties having different definitions of success? You may think that by finding and getting an ideal candidate on assignment, you’ve succeeded. However, HR may think that success was actually a failure due to the complications left behind – maybe another department was left in the lurch because you relocated an employee that was essential to them? Or did the process take longer than HR thought it would? Was the budget not adhered to carefully enough?

If both teams had agreed on what was meant by success, these confusions would have been avoided.

This goes further than the definition of success, though. Get down to the details and make sure you both know exactly what the other means when referencing department-specific terms and phrases. For example, here are some important terms that you should define together:

  • Base salary
  • Short-term assignment vs. long-term assignment vs. extended business trips
  • Business traveler
  • Trailing liabilities
  • Hypothetical tax

4. Create Shared Goals.

Ultimately, everyone in the company has the same goals that align with their organization’s strategic plan. But it is important to go beyond shared strategic plans to have specific departmental objectives that are in sync. Those objectives could be related to budget, timeline or even employee happiness. Building frameworks or processes that keep both teams on the same track could prove extremely beneficial.

Here are some more ideas: 

  • Collaborate on how to be more flexible in meeting your company’s strategic business goals.
  • Work with each other to provide detailed guidelines and processes for your company’s global leaders who are struggling with globalization.
  • Create shared goals to start tracking your company’s attrition rate and return on investment(ROI) to assist your company in further retaining key talent vs. losing them to a competitor.
  • Make it a team effort retain the perfect candidate for relocation though candidate assessment tools, global assignment pre-requisites, organizational reviews, etc.  

If both teams can stick to the plan, they succeed together. You’ll end up with a well-organized talent management program that global mobility enhances and supports.

5. Spend Happy Hour Together!

While you don’t necessarily have to spend time at the bar together, it helps to get to know each other outside of business roles. Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye with each other at the office, and it helps to have friendly relationships to help everyone work together and get on the same page. Maybe your teams should have desks near each other or schedule group lunches every once in a while to learn about shared interests outside of work. Or you could just meet up after work for cocktails!

Developing and maintaining a good working relationship between HR/Talent Management and global mobility teams is essential to the success of both – and the ultimate success of the organization. As HR/Talent Management and Global Mobility become more and more connected, good partnership should remain a top priority.

Topics: global mobility, employee relocation, human resources, HR, talent management

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