Business Objectives Key in Mobility’s Transformation

Karen A. Reid, CRP, GMS-T - Jul 31 2018
Published in: Ask the Experts

“Mobility needs to understand the business and then be able to determine very quickly how we can assist,” says Head of Global Mobility at Adobe Jacquie Davidson. “We need to have answers and solutions faster.”

A deeper understanding of overall business objectives—with the imperative of speedier solutions—is all part of mobility’s transformational journey, detailed in Worldwide ERC®’s recent report “The Perfect Storm: Mobility Professionals Decode the Future.” Today’s mobility reaches out beyond the tactical and operational to serve as a strategic partner to talent management and business leaders.

Leveraging Business Objectives

First up for mobility professionals: Acquiring knowledge of the company’s business objectives, because this is what drives the talent management requirements where mobility can offer recommendations and solutions.

A survey of 371 in-house mobility practitioners undertaken for the Perfect Storm report shows this is an area that needs more attention; in fact, 65% of respondents note they are at best moderately knowledgeable about the objectives of the business units for which they move employees (Chart 1). How can the mobility function quickly respond and offer solutions to business challenges if it first must take time to get up to speed on the business units’ objectives?

Related: Mobility: It's Your 'Exotic Specialty!'

Being Agile Means Being Prepared

Agility to meet changing business requirements can be difficult in large, more traditional organizations with established procedures on policy writing, communications, training and technology.

Sarah Hunt, Associate Director of Global Mobility at Mondelēz International, suggests:

“The more flexibility we can build into what we’re doing, the easier it is to move on a dime when we have to change to meet business needs. If you can’t be agile enough to meet the business needs, business units will go around you, and that’s where you end up with issues and problems.”

Perspective is Key

Global Employee Mobility Director Kerwin Guillermo at Hewlett Packard Enterprise emphasizes that mobility professionals need to see things from the business leaders’ perspective, discerning “what’s their problem, what will help them, what will harm them.”

He notes that business leaders need to see that mobility professionals can “partner with other parts of HR and provide interventions that will allow them to hit their objectives.” 

Knowledge of business objectives is foundational to next-gen mobility. But it’s not an imperative that’s coming – it’s already here! Mobility professionals who cultivate an awareness of the objectives of the business units for which they move employees can help identify issues from a broader perspective, enabling more efficient and targeted strategic mobility counsel.   

For more future-forward mobility insights, download Worldwide ERC®’s report: The Perfect Storm: Talent Mobility Leaders Decode the Future.