On March 23, AIRINC and BGRS brought together a virtual panel hosted by Rochelle Xu of BGRS. The panel Jea Bocaling, Senior Director, Global People Mobility Services, Procter & Gamble, Ella Onn, Mobility Senior Manager, BASF and Jason Tang, Deputy Regional Leader, APAC, AIRINC discussed the following ideas around introducing greater flexibility into mobility programs.
What are the Drivers for Flexibility?
- Change in Employee Demographics
- Cost Saving Objectives
- Focus on Employee Experience
- Mitigating Exceptions
- Aligning Organizations’ DE&I Initiatives
What are the Flexible Approach Options?
When applying core/flex, duty of care and compliance are considered core elements; some of the typical long-term assignment compensation elements may also be considered core, with the business having the option to dial them up or down. One option is to use a budget-based approach where the assignees and business can work together to figure out what they would like to choose. Should the assignee have unused budget/unused flexible benefits, one option is to split the remaining balance between the company and assignee so that the assignee receives the cash out. This option could motivate assignees to make more efficient choices and may generate cost savings for the company.
For companies that value flexibility but are not yet ready to completely redesign their mobility policies, a lump sum could be used to offer flexibility to assignees.
Ensure Socialize and get buy-in for a new flexible approach
One panelist shared how difficult it was to initially administer their core/flex and stressed the importance of involving the key stakeholders throughout the whole process and gaining support from the senior executives down to the stakeholders in all countries, avoiding any future surprises and ensuring a successful execution. Leverage external benchmarking information to make sure the program is competitive enough. This also builds a storyline for communication with stakeholders.
How can technology support administration of flexibility?
The mobility function is increasingly expected to play an advisory role as opposed to being purely operational. As companies go through this journey, the implementation of technology is really important, as well as keeping in mind how to work with external partners.
Technology gives assignees clear access to their choices and corresponding budget. Enabling assignees to self-service may lead to more mindful choices as they take more responsibility for their assignments. It is important to find the right combination of technology and human touch to support the employee experience.
Four key takeaways:
- Be flexible! Adjust as necessary!
- Be prepared to get feedback during any transition. Don't take the feedback personally and see it as suggestions for improvements.
- For companies adopting a core/flex model, it’s important to remember that the mobility function is expected to be more strategic than transactional.
- Technology is critical to implementing and administering a core/flex program. Global mobility will need to work closely with an external partner with the right technology offering to support their program.
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