Three things struck me from the first virtual Bite Size Briefing:
1) With 148 faces online for Part One, this was a BIG one! Your appetite to learn and connect was nothing less than impressive;
2) Such diversity of topic! We’re seeing more areas than ever requiring GM guidance, but does this present challenge or opportunity?
3) The Zoom Chat Room was extra chatty! So heart-warming to see your questions, comments, humour and support for each other. What a network!
Many pens were scribbling when Magrath Sheldrick stepped up to give their insights on global immigration, including visa situations, application rates and the controversial topic of quarantine. And then, looking ahead beyond the crisis, it may be hard to believe but the Brexit timetable for immigration remains the same and we were given a useful reminder of some of the key dates and considerations.
Next we welcomed a little break from COVID and heard from Peter Mills at Cigna on Whole Person Health. With an ongoing focus within the Networks on supporting assignee wellbeing and health, Peter demonstrated how we can help people across the whole health spectrum.
Who didn’t have goosebumps when Keynote Speaker, Ben Hunt-Davis shared his Olympic rowing experience to help us stay focused and motivated in these testing times? With many thoughts and tips that we can all apply to our professional and personal lives, key ones for me are spending time and energy on the 2-3 areas that are most important to me; The value of my support team and knowing who to approach at different times for different things; Accepting that I can’t control certain situations or people right now but I CAN influence them. And…telling myself today is going to be a good day!
Part Two of the Bite Size Briefing saw some impressive technical experts and a couple of fantastic panels. Starting with Michael Joyce at AIRINC, we were given a very understandable guide to currency volatility – clearly a big topic at the moment due to what’s going on in the world and inevitable impact on FX rates. Michael talked us through some of the methodology and best practice in managing assignment allowances including COLA reviews and assignee communications. Lots of chat room activity on this one!
The second session saw a successful partnership approach between corporate member Tom Standring at Hitachi and technical experts, Mike Hibberd at Global Expat Pay and Ash Phillips at Western Union Business Solutions. Here they shared their ideas on how Global Mobility can help businesses with their challenges as they head towards recovery. Specifically, they focused on innovative technology and services needed for improvements in data and payment processes and ideas around enhancing the assignee experience.
Never far away from an Expat Academy agenda, Short Term Business Visitors showed its face once again and continues to be the proverbial hot potato! Liam Brennan from Global Tracker took a look at the opportunity we have post-COVID for engagement between Global Mobility, Tax, Immigration, Travel and Security (“The Travel Committee) to ensure safety and compliance.
Remobilisation insights from some of our Global Heads based around the world concluded the sessions. Being from various industries with different size populations and multiple kinds of moves, it is clear to say they are busy but with no single strategy. One item they agree on, however, and that is that this crisis has given Global Mobility a broader voice, with more connectivity than before.
Thanks go to Guy, Leane, Loretta and Steven for sharing their thoughts. We hope you enjoyed all the expert presentations and the networking drinks that followed. All material can be found on MyGMPD and don’t forget that the Bite Size Briefing Parts 1 and 2 each carry 1 GMPD learning point!