What It Takes to Build a Global Workforce: A Bloomberg Study

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6 Copyright©2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. operations and growth. One of the best ways employees can develop world-ready skills is through programs that stretch them and push them beyond their comfort zone. That includes international mobility for leadership, according to Betsy Welch, global mobility manager for IAG, which has more than 88 million customers in 130 countries. "Mobility creates unique opportunities for leaders in global firms to expand their leadership experience, find synergies that bridge gaps between locations," says Welch. And though employee development can be implemented without mobility, the value of the global perspective can too easily be overlooked without it. As Welch puts it, "There is no substitute for the experience of living and working in another country." Kevin Martin, chief research officer at the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4CP), is even less optimistic about businesses that aren't on board with mobility. "The era of the national company is over," says Martin. "Given the complex diversity of customers, supply chain, and markets, if companies are not developing global-minded leaders they will fall short." Not only should your teams be given development opportunities to expand the global interactions throughout every department, a company's leadership should reflect the diversity of global markets and the supply chain. Only then can they truly compete. i4CP's 2015 Talent Mobility Matters report showed that for companies in which talent mobility was a priority, performance excelled, with a direct link to profitability, revenue, customer satisfaction, and market share. It turns out that high-performance organizations are twice as likely to have prioritized talent mobility than low performance organizations – proof that thinking globally has other implications well beyond leadership alignment. In organizations that don't prioritize mobility, the strategic impact of mobility professionals is lacking. Only 10 percent of mobility professionals reported some kind of strategic alignment with their company's overall talent agenda, according to a 2016 Brookfield Relocation Services survey on trends in mobility. And all those professionals noted that they are busy working toward a more cohesive, and logical, relationship between employee mobility and talent management as a whole. Recruitment and Retention Are Both Global "Mobility is also a great retention tool," says Travis Cossitt, senior manager of organization effectiveness for global financial services firm Western Union. At Western Union, talent management and mobility are inextricably linked. In annual talent reviews, potential for mobility opportunities are looked at, especially as it helps senior leaders expand development and stay engaged through new assignments.

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