2014 is off to a roaring start—we’ve wrapped the Winter Olympics, Jimmy Fallon now reigns The Tonight Show, and the Oscar’s Red Carpet dazzled us once again. March Madness has just settled, and the Masters is fast approaching.
But how is this year treating those HR professionals who manage global workforces?
Here’s our take on potential global HR challenges:
HR Talent: It Comes and Goes
We work in a competitive world. Global corporations experience high turnover in HR departments, leaving them without much-needed, knowledge-rich employees to effectively manage their global workforce. With little experience, the HR Generalist is thrown into expatriate management and left to figure out her position. Once she establishes her footing, she leaves for a higher-paying position, taking her newly-gained experiences and knowledge with her. And the cycle repeats. HR must train to retain.
Leveraging What You Have, Realizing What You Don’t
We work in a data-driven world. HR is asked to utilize hard data to better manage employees. HR departments in smaller corporations need to focus on leveraging their existing tools, such as Word and Excel, to assist in data management. The extensive capability of existing technologies is often unexplored. Sometimes, existing technologies don’t quite fit the bill. In this case, HR can team with a technology partner to help supplement its existing software or even to help implement a new software system, but first, the missing tools must be identified. HR must leverage existing technology, but also seek help when needed.
The Connected/Unconnected Expat
We work in a connected world. Traveling expatriates want to conduct business on their schedule. HR must be flexible and adaptable, creating processes that enable business activities to be conducted remotely. Some expatriates reside in underdeveloped countries or remote locations without internet access, so HR needs innovative solutions to maintain consistent contact with these employees as well. HR must generate various connectivity solutions for different “types” of expatriate populations.
The Empowered Employee
We work in a knowledgeable world. Today’s workforce has more access to more information about contracts, salary requirements, and competing positions. Job seekers bring more power to the bargaining table. This can present challenges to HR for attracting and retaining talent. HR must put in the time and do the research, always staying one step ahead of the well-informed talent.
Facing the Challenge
So, what’s our advice for facing HR challenges head-on this year?
- Train to retain.
- Leverage your existing technology—and know when to call in the reinforcements.
- Get creative with communication solutions.
- Prepare for the prepared workforce.