Global jaunts not giving businesses value for money, claims PwC

BY Fraser Tennant

Businesses investing millions sending their employees on assignments across the globe may not be getting value for money, according to a new Modern Mobility report by PwC.

The report, which draws on a survey of 200 global executives, states that six in 10 organisations believe that their global mobility programs do not represent a worthwhile return on investment.

Additionally, PwC predicts that the number of people undertaking global assignments will jump 50 percent by 2020, despite only a paltry 8 percent of global organisations currently being able to accurately calculate the cost of their mobility programs.

Clare Hughes, a director in PwC’s global mobility team, said “It’s not surprising that organisations are expecting a jump in the number of people that are globally mobile – it is a great way for businesses to fill skills gaps, enter high growth markets, attract employees and develop their people. For some businesses, international experience is now a must-have for anyone taking on a leadership position.”

The PwC report also warns that HR teams across the globe are being forced to operate with meagre resources, lacking the investment and infrastructure information they require to tackle the evolving business landscape, as well as the know-how to effectively manage the increasing number of globally mobile employees.

Ms Hughes continued: “Organisations’ failure to measure the cost and value of their programmes will cost them dearly in the long run. Many businesses risk wasting considerable money sending the wrong people to the wrong places, overpaying for expats when local talent is available in-country or offering large financial packages when people are more motivated by the development opportunity.

“Businesses need to have a clear global mobility strategy which is based on growth priorities and what skills they are going to need and where, backed up by plans on how they are going to source, deploy, manage and motivate employees who work internationally.”

Providing extra food for thought, the PwC report, while noting that nine in 10 organisations say they are looking to increase the number of their globally mobile employees over the next two years, three in 10 admit they aren’t sure how many of their employees actually work overseas each year.

Report: Moving people with purpose – modern mobility survey 2014

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