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Balancing act: How flexibility within policies is shaping global mobility

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to meet the global mobility needs of a diverse, global and multi-generational workforce.

The fluidity of global mobility is its beauty. The continual shifting of the wants, needs and expectations of both businesses and talent drive necessary changes to mobility programs.

Flexible policies are the key to optimising programs while balancing the requirements of talent with the governance responsibilities of a business.

In the summer issue of International HR Advisor magazine, Stuart Jackson, Account Director at Sterling, defines different flexible policy approaches, as seen in the table below.

Stuart also explains how businesses can view these flexible policy types in the context of their industry to better understand the best fit to mitigate exceptions while meeting business and talent objectives.

Types of Flexibility

ApproachDefined asEmployer Perspective
Zero FlexibilityThe “use it or lose it” approach• Equitable
• Financial gain when assignees don’t use full entitlement. Financial loss when exceptions are approved
• Ease of administration
Negotiated FlexibilityPower exerted by value creating
assignees for strategic assignments
• Inequitable
• Precedent creating
• Financial loss when exceptions are approved
Substituted FlexibilityPolicy benefits are substituted for similar benefits• Aims to be cost neutral
• Relative ease of administration
Substituted PolicyOne policy is substituted with another to achieve the same business outcome• Aims to achieve the same business outcome at a broadly similar cost
Managed Service
Flexibility
Core compliance services provided. Some core services provided on a ‘use
it or lose it’ basis. Flexibility to claim
reimbursement for some policy
benefits outside of core.
• Maintains compliance
• Preserves services considered to be key to success and have a duty of care element
• Aims to be cost neutral or even beneficial
• Preserves the ‘ethic’ of providing services rather than cash
• Relative ease of administration
Managed Cash Flexibility
Core compliance services provided. Some core services provided on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. Flexibility to cash some policy benefits outside of core.
• Maintains compliance
• Preserves services considered to be key to success and have a duty of care element
• Aims to be cost neutral
• Relative ease of administration
Managed Fund
Flexibility
Core compliance services provided. Organisation sets a fund limit with a cash or points based equivalent which the assignee can use to acquire services from trusted providers.• Maintains compliance
• Preserves the ‘ethic’ of providing services rather than cash
• Relative ease of administration
• Provides a low-cost option
Near Total FlexibilityCore compliance services provided. Cash provided to cover all other requirements• Maintains compliance
• Empowers employee
• Potentially abdicates duty of care
• Superficial ease of administration
• Provides a low-cost option

Further information

To read Stuart’s full article, Flexibility: Don’t Shoot The Admiral! click here.  If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in the article or learn more about Sterling, please contact us.

More about Stuart Jackson, Account Director at Sterling

As Account Director at Sterling, Stuart focuses on working with clients to optimise their global mobility solutions. Stuart has worked in global mobility for seventeen years. His broad experience of working with different program sizes across a variety of industry sectors helps to bring success to clients’ programs and wider business strategies.

 

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