Global Mobility - from an employee experience perspective

Thriving Abroad: The definitive guide to professional and personal relocation success, was published last month by relocation experts Louise Wiles and Evelyn Simpson.

This book resonated with both my life as an expatriate, and now my work with HR teams delivering optimal employee experiences for newcomers to New Zealand. I have no personal or financial interest in promoting it – apart from the fact I believe Thriving Abroad fills an understanding gap that is costing businesses and individuals dearly.

Louise and Evelyn have produced a detailed, informative and practical resource.

But most importantly it consolidates and highlights all the issues an employee faces when moving internationally to follow their career.

Too often these are silo-ed into functions such as immigration/tax compliance, benefits, shipping, travel or destination services, and can be de-linked from talent management and overall HR oversight.  Outside this again is the wellbeing of individuals and families as they adjust to a new home as well as work environment. This fragmentation risks undermining the employee's success in their new role (and new country) both in terms of engagement and performance.

Here’s my take on who can learn from Thriving Abroad and why:

Anyone with ambition to take their career offshore

Help yourself to be informed about the opportunities you pursue. And better equipped to manage the personal and professional challenges associated with an international career. 

Thriving Abroad provides a comprehensive structure/process for successfully shifting your life from one country to another. It also explains the global mobility function – what employers typically provide and how it is delivered. All the detail you never need to know until you take a role offshore ie immigration, tax, relocation support, shipping etc.

Leaders of New Zealand companies with a global footprint

Xero, Orion Health, Vista Group – there’s an ever growing list of New Zealand businesses which have experienced rapid international growth. And increasingly need to factor global mobility into their operations. These organisations have the opportunity to build ground-up solutions, rather than necessarily adopting existing models and services.

You probably won’t need to read every detail, but Thriving Abroad provides an overview of the issues in global mobility and most importantly walks through relocation from an employee’s point of view.  How does this fit strategically with where global mobility sits in your organisation, how policy is developed and implemented and the outcomes you need to achieve from sending people offshore?

Global mobility managers

Compliance and administration are often the top priority for organisations – visas, cross-border tax issues and assessing entitlements are all important.

But time and money invested in these areas can be lost if a sub-optimal employee experience leads to underperformance, or worse, assignment failure.

The case studies and analysis in Thriving Abroad provide a valuable window into all aspects of a relocation - particularly the detail of partner, family and adjustment issues which can be complex to address.

New Zealand recruiters sourcing talent in the global marketplace

This book has value for any recruiter who has seen an offshore candidate come close to taking a role then withdraw for ‘personal reasons', or relocate then leave soon after, citing ‘ my family wasn’t happy’.

A quick read will give insight into the additional barriers and hurdles that people face relocating internationally compared to local hires. And also solutions such as investing in look-see visits or resettlement support to address these, thereby enhancing job offers and improving retention rates.

Bridget is Principal at Mobile Relocation. Working in partnership with HR and executive teams, Mobile helps bring expat staff to fill key roles in companies and organisations throughout New Zealand.

Mobile Relocation - connecting newcomers with what they need to thrive in New Zealand.