The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager: Performance Objective Setting

by Gina Tonic

Expat Academy The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager: Performance Objective Setting Dear Diary,

Taking a look at my calendar this week I noted that I’ve blocked some time out to get my head round my PPP – Personal Performance Planning. Still after all these years it induces immediate eye rolling and to be honest, whilst I agree with the theory of performance appraisals, I am not a number one fan and, I believe, for very good reason. The very nature of Global Mobility makes it very hard to put the day to day into boxes of Goals and Behavioural Competencies. To have a meaningful goal means there has to be some way of objectively measuring it. And here’s the issue. Some of what we do is extremely hard to measure.

For example, during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I was managing a senior executive move from the UK to Beijing. We had made all assignees aware that it was very likely their HHG shipments would be thoroughly searched on arrival in China, for additional security reasons during the Olympics.

This particular senior executive’s shipment arrived and, as expected, was thoroughly searched, but with no care taken by the customs officers to handle the personal possessions carefully. Needless to say, there were quite a few items damaged in the search and some items were, we think, stolen, as they were not in the shipment when it was delivered. Some of these items were a set of medals awarded to the assignee’s teenage son, the most precious one to him being one awarded when he had won the National Championships.

The assignee was, understandably, extremely upset and angry about this and his son was distraught. I contacted the British Gymnastics Association and explained the situation and asked them if it would be possible to get a copy of the medal issued and sent to me, so I could send it to the assignee. They agreed to do this, and the medal arrived within a couple of weeks. After the Olympics had finished I sent it on to the assignee in China and he and his family were really pleased. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to recover the other missing medals.

So how do I add that into my PPP? How do I measure and quantify how much that went towards helping the assignee’s son? The reality is I can’t but if I had my way I would add the following category to the PPP for the Global Mobility team – ‘Moments of GM brilliance’. A chance for the team to demonstrate all the added value that we provide that doesn’t fit in any of the other boxes. It would most certainly include all the things you can’t outsource as they don’t fit in a standard process or policy.

Anyway, enough pontificating, must get back to it. I think I’ll start with the goals most easy to measure (reviewing our suite of policies, vendor management etc) and hopefully, over a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip biscuit (or two), there will be some divine inspiration to help me come up with a way that objectively measures ‘Moments of GM brilliance’.

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