Mobile workforce as popular as ever

Organisations all over the world are leveraging the benefits of a globally mobile workforce. According to the latest annual KPMG Global Assignment Policies and Practices (GAPP) survey, 72% of over 600 organisations surveyed use global mobility programmes to support overall business objectives.

“A globally mobile workforce is as popular as ever,” said Ooi Boon Jin, Head of International Executive Services, KPMG in Singapore. “Over the 15 years of this survey’s existence, in those companies where use of mobility is the norm, we have seen continued expansion and adaptation to the programmes. We have even observed companies with headquarters in Nordic and Asia-Pacific regions beginning to jump on the globalisation bandwagon. These companies are moving their staff to new strategic growth locations.”

Flexibility and adaptability of programmes to address changing demands is strongly evidenced through the variety of assignment types offered. Some 81% of organisations offer short term assignments. Also, 96% offer long term assignments, while 47% offer permanent transfers or indefinite length assignments.

Surprisingly given the current economic environment, and the noted desire to support the business, only 12% of survey participants said that cost control and assurance of an acceptable ROI were of importance.

“Having agreed-upon metrics to demonstrate ROI helps any global mobility programme demonstrate their value objectively to the broader organisation and secure continued programme funding,” Ooi said. “However, a notable amount of survey participants struggle to track ROI information as it relates to international assignments – 27% do not know the percentage of assignees that leave the organisation within 12 months of repatriation, and 31% do not know why they leave.”

Survey participants continued to include wide definitions of “family” in their expatriate benefit policies. Some 55% included unmarried domestic partners and companions of the opposite gender, and 49% included unmarried domestic partners and companions of the same gender. These broader definitions are most evident in European and Asia Pacific-headquartered organisations, and also within the financial services and high technology industries.

8th November 2013