By Sheri Gaster, VP of Technology at Equus.
Even without a crystal ball, it is pretty safe to assume that there will be a number of global mobility program initiatives facing mobility teams in 2018. Don’t be surprised if your organization is asked to tackle one or possibly a few of the following:
Business Travelers. In response to immigration and tax compliance concerns, as well as, the need to be able to quickly identify where business travelers are in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist activity, look for a renewed focus on the ability to track business travelers. Historically companies have found it difficult to assign ownership of this population, but we have seen a trend towards it falling either partially or fully under the oversight of the Global Mobility team. While the thought of managing this population can seem like a daunting task, we have seen a number of best practices, including the use of technology tools, emerge in this area that can be helpful as an organization looks to put a business traveler program in place.
If you are interested in learning more about how technology can help you monitor immigration and tax compliance and more strategically manage your business travelers’ click here for information on Equus’ PinPoint Travel Calendar.
Enhanced Employee Experience. Improving or Enhancing the Employee Experience was a popular buzz phrase in 2017. Many organizations have, or are in the process of, creating broad HR initiatives on the topic and global mobility is often identified as an area for high impact. As mobility managers look for ways to improve the relocation/assignment experience for employees, many are turning to technology for help. And not just technology that is aligned with business requirements, but technology that meets employee needs and expectations. At a minimum this means technology must be available via an intuitive app that provides access to data in real time. Also high on the list of expectations is the ability to go to one place to see all related information, upload and submit data once and have it flow to all appropriate parties, and action items – all from a single app that’s available anytime, anywhere.
In response to our client’s feedback and market discussions, Equus has designed a completely new employee portal and has created the Equus Ecosystem, which connects the entire global mobility value chain to provide companies a single, integrated system for managing their mobile workforce.
Flexibility. If you attended any of the Mobility Conferences or Symposiums in 2017 you probably heard or participated in a discussion about traditional expatriate or relocation packages and their forthcoming demise. While it remains to be seen if and when that prediction will actually become a reality, it is clear that organizations are looking at and utilizing different assignment types and often require more flexibility in their policies. In response, many organizations we talk to are considering implementing Core–Flex policies. These policies offer flexible options to meet the needs of the business and/or the employee. They are often intended to minimize exception requests, maximize employee satisfaction, and increase return on investment. While there are many advantages to implementing a Core-Flex policy many are concerned with increased administration as a result of managing a program where no two packages look the same.
If your organization is considering going down the road of developing and implementing a Core-Flex policy you should make sure that you:
- Identify your goals and objectives for introducing this type of policy
- Carefully consider which options should be core and which can be flexible – all while ensuring that division supports the stated goals and objectives for the policy
- Understand that budgeting and administration can be challenging due to variable policy elements
In preparation, you should consider technology that can help with the selection process, administration, and budgeting challenges, and talk to others who have experience with managing these types of policies to gain some practical insight.
Whether you are asked to undertake one or more of these initiatives in 2018 or not, they are bound to be popular topics of discussion for the industry and we expect to see creative advancements in all three.