Symposium Huddle: Successes, Sustainability and Superheroes

Expat Academy Symposium Huddle: Successes, Sustainability and Superheroes It felt surreal stepping back into the lovely room at PwC where, 22 months prior, at the first Symposium Huddle of 2020, COVID was a new hot topic and discussions centred around urgent repatriation activity from China and other affected countries. How the world has changed in that time! No amount of Global Mobility experience or crystal balls could have prepared us for the development that lay ahead. But what was certain this week, it was great to be back!!

Familiar faces and new faces quickly created the fantastic buzz that comes from gathering in person. Table introductions came first, followed by time to share challenges and successes of the last year. With many successes across the board, it was an important exercise to stand back and reflect on all that had been achieved during what felt like the madness of lockdown to many. To highlight a few:

                                                • Data – the opportunity to establish measures to improve reporting accuracy to the business.
                                                • Introducing a Cross Border policy to “govern the chaos” and define a remote work risk level as it became clear remote working was here to stay.
                                                • Demonstrating the broad skills of Global Mobility teams, versatility and resilience included, as they found themselves spotlighted in crisis management talks.
                                                • Closer partnering with travel providers, using the enforced business traveller fire break to drive enhanced policies, processes and (in some cases) technology solutions for short term business visitors.
                                                • Having the time to harmonise policies after recent mergers and acquisitions.
                                                • Survival! It was widely agreed that enduring everything that came across GM desks during the pandemic was a success in itself!

With regards to challenges, the difficulty of managing ongoing displaced workers and their remote access to client data continues for many. Additional struggles arise from the current, slow immigration timeframes, implementing global policies, severances from the Global Employment Company, attracting assignees to challenging locations and employee ‘self-education’ (Google!!) on immigration.

An update from Iain McCluskey at PwC on the upcoming changes as a result of the Global Mobility Tax and Immigration Services’ business being acquired by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice took us into the next session on Sustainability and how Global Mobility can make an impact. Alan, Ingrid and Jil led an interactive and engaging exercise which provided the opportunity to brainstorm and explore how the ‘Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create (ERRC) blue ocean strategy framework’ can be applied to mobility.

The hottest topic of remote workers dominated the first Huddle discussion and an update from Ezeibe at Equinix on all that they are working on at the moment saw us into lunchtime.

The afternoon sessions opened with a fun, table task where everyone was asked to draw their Global Mobility superhero incorporating their most ideal superpowers and necessary skills. Our Expat Academy community are a brilliantly creative bunch, and this collaborative approach helped to identify all the commonalities amongst them. We’ll see what we can do to consolidate those superpowers into the Global Mobility job description templates on the Vault!!

A second opportunity to Huddle covered some more tricky topics including RFP for a business traveller tracking tool. The room fed back some great top tips. For example, ensuring that before the project even starts the level of risk is truly assessed and once the project goes ahead it is key to have multiple stakeholders on board so maximise the success of the project and limit hiccups along the way.

Core-flex was another hot topic that we grappled with followed by a much-needed refreshment of afternoon tea and cookies before we moved on to tackle graduate programmes and the links between Global Mobility and Talent Acquisition.

Thanks to all those that came and whole heartedly threw themselves into the sharing and connecting ethos of our Huddles. We look forward to seeing you all (and more) for the first Huddle of 2022 where, before the year truly starts in earnest, we take a step back to look at the Global Mobility function’s strategy and focus for 2022. If you’ve not booked your place yet, please click here.

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