Global Workforce Management: Characteristics of an Effective Program

HIGHLIGHTS
  • HR and business units must be proactive
  • Have a dedication to compliance
  • Build a culture of organization
global workforce management

Global workforce management is possible with a strategic, proactive view into compliance, workforce and financial forecasting. But that’s only the tactical approach. Let’s zoom out and examine the big-picture characteristics of a successful global workforce management program and how it should operate within modern organizations.

What is global workforce management?

Traditional “workforce management” involves a set of processes that an organization implements to optimize the performance of employees at the individual and departmental levels. Branching out into the globalized term, it takes into consideration the current and potential mobility of all workers and the feasibility of leveraging that human capital into current projects while working toward long-term business goals.

Proactive HR and Business Units

As an HR professional operating in the global realm, you must wear the hat of global mobility specialist, whether your title accounts for it or not. This involves accruing skills and developing organizational processes to ensure all components of global travel and work authorization are taken into account.

At your organization, is HR always the last to know? Our customers often talk about the reactive nature global immigration and workforce mobility management.

For example, if work authorization requests for China initiated by your engineering business unit often come across your desk in the eleventh hour, your ability to deliver the best, well-researched solution is hampered. In addition to handling lodging, airline ticket procurement, you must rush to gather the right documentation — from the manager, employee, your finance department and more — in order to satisfy the work authorization requirements. And that’s not accounting for any processing delays within the host country.

Framing your department as a resource for business units to achieve their goals will help those involved consider you as a strategic partner in the process. Additionally, setting expectations early on helps them understand their roles up front.

Dedication to Compliance

As global mobility within organizations becomes the norm, regulatory agencies are rushing to catch up to ensure individuals have the proper work authorization based on the distinct requirements of the host country. The stealth expatriate term, for example, was coined 10 years ago to address the growing issues of an increasingly mobile workforce, such as allowing workers to travel under business visas when their activities constitute as work, as defined by their destination’s immigration programs.

An issue like this might produce a: “What’s the worst that can happen?” response. If this mentality sounds familiar then, like many organizations, you’re at risk for hefty fines, sanctions and an inability to sponsor work authorization in the future. It’s not worth the time saved in lieu of obtaining the proper work authorization. And, when considered as part of your long-term global workforce roadmap, time nor reputation would be sacrificed because you’ll plan the proper procedures from the start.

A Culture of Organization

There are many moving parts involved with global workforce management. In order to balance each component successfully so you don’t miss deadlines — or worse, opportunities — you’ll need the right tech platform.

To effectively manage global workers, you need tools that are geared toward the needs of an ever evolving international workforce. And the standard workforce management system isn’t equipped to deliver the following features.

  • Forecasting: What immigration tasks are on your plate for 2017? A global workforce management tool, with forecasting features, will help you get a big picture view of upcoming visa deadlines, work permit renewals and more.
  • Budgeting: Forecast tools paired with flat rate fees will help you accurately plan your next budget. This reduces surprise and, more importantly, budget deficits.
  • Tracking: Accurate forecasting is impossible without proper tracking tools. At a minimum, it’s important to see a complete view of due dates, employee statuses and work authorization expirations.
  • Reporting: Reporting and compliance go hand in hand. Prepare for randomized audits and site visits easily with healthy reporting habits and clean data.

For more information on how to effectively manage your global workforce, visit world-ready workforce.

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