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Unlocking the Potential of Workforce Mobility: Navigating Challenges and Maximizing Benefits

Research conducted by EY indicates that companies are in danger of losing valuable talent due to their failure to effectively mobilize their workforce. The findings stem from EY’s 2024 Mobility Reimagined survey, which gathered insights from over 1,000 global mobility professionals across 21 countries regarding the benefits and obstacles associated with developing mobility strategies.

Despite 64% of employees worldwide expressing a higher likelihood of remaining with their current employer following a long-term global assignment, only 25% of employers have a fully developed mobility function. This discrepancy highlights a critical gap in organizational readiness to harness the potential of employee mobility.

The survey reveals that employees overwhelmingly perceive international assignments as transformative experiences, with 92% considering them “life-changing” and 89% deeming international mobility essential for business continuity and resilience. These sentiments have seen an increase from 74% the previous year, indicating a growing recognition of the strategic importance of mobility programs.

Gerard Osei-Bonsu, EY’s global people advisory services tax leader, emphasized the necessity for companies to adapt to the evolving landscape, characterized by economic volatility, geopolitical uncertainties, talent shortages, and shifting employee expectations. Osei-Bonsu asserted that attracting and retaining top talent hinges on the establishment of effective international mobility functions and programs.

Despite the evident benefits, many companies encounter escalating risks and challenges in implementing global mobility functions. Seventy-one percent of respondents noted an increase in cross-border risks, primarily driven by the pandemic and ongoing geopolitical and economic disruptions. However, a significant proportion of organizations lack comprehensive risk management strategies, exemplified by the disparity between the recognition of data privacy risks and the implementation of mitigating policies.

Furthermore, nearly half of the surveyed companies utilize a centralized mobility operating model, often isolated from the broader business context, leading to communication, collaboration, and technology-related impediments. Maureen Flood, EY’s Global Mobility Reimagined leader, mentioned the importance of aligning mobility initiatives with robust policies, adequate investment, and integration within the organizational framework to unlock their full potential.

In conclusion, businesses acknowledge the strategic significance of international mobility in fostering workforce agility and strengthening resilience. By addressing inherent risks, investing wisely, and integrating mobility functions seamlessly, organizations can harness mobility as a catalyst for growth and navigate future challenges with confidence.

At Cornerstone, we specialize in designing customized global mobility programs tailored to your company’s unique needs. Contact us today for expert assistance and guidance in maximizing the potential of your workforce mobility initiatives.

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