In 2020 a lot of people are asking, “What is the future of mobility?” Prior to COVID-19, the industry hotly debated this question. Enter COVID-19 and the pandemic introduced further uncertainty about the role mobility should and will play.
While there are many steps to be taken to adapt to the emerging new normal created by COVID-19, there are two specific to global mobility policy that are important to address.
Last week AIRINC held several virtual roundtables regarding COVID-19. These sessions gave our clients a forum to discuss the issues they are facing and how they are handling COVID-19 concerns. From these discussions we are in a bit of a wait and see period. The initial rush of company evacuations and self-initiated leaves has started to settle. With travel restrictions – both by governments and by corporate companies – relocation, repatriation, and new assignments are currently greatly hampered.
The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting us all with a period of great uncertainty. One thing we have learned from past crises is that we will likely experience economic volatility, including wide exchange rate swings and abnormal patterns of inflation. While these are early days, we have already measured higher rates of inflation in China, as well as significant fluctuations in major currencies. In addition, living conditions have worsened for many across the globe. It is likely economic volatility and restricted lifestyles will be with us for some time.
Consistently, when I ask people what they like about working in global mobility, they say, “No day is ever the same.” It is that daily diversity that keeps professionals engaged. And no wonder global mobility is so dynamic; it involves so many disciplines, and it is a deeply human field.
Today's global mobility function needs a new playbook. A new way of focusing the function to meet the demands of 2020 and beyond. At every organization, the requirements of the mobility function are unique. Your function should focus on your company’s definition of mobility success and aim towards that goal. While each company’s mobility mission will be different, there are common steps that can be followed to establish an optimal function.
In the past year, AIRINC has seen a surge in requests for benchmarking information. This is not surprising given that our industry is undergoing tremendous change. During uncertain times, keeping a pulse on evolving practices becomes even more important. While many things in global mobility are different today, there are three main reasons benchmarking has recently increased in importance.
Towards the end of last year, I was fortunate to spend some time with Global Mobility leaders discussing their goals and aspirations for 2019. While not everyone shared the same feedback, there were some common themes. I am sharing the top three trends to watch in 2019. It looks like a busy but exciting year for mobility!
The expatriate world is small. It becomes clear very quickly to expatriate employees if one is getting a worse deal than their peer. An employee sent on permanent transfer does not get children’s education, support with housing, and other visible benefits of international assignees.
One of the biggest requests we get at AIRINC is for help improving the experience with mobility. In a world of strong talent competition, a good mobility function can be a true differentiator in acquiring and retaining good people. Mobility is seen as a critical aspect of company success, enabling global business.