The international mobility of workers continues to increase, as both businesses and employees realise the benefits that international experience can provide, according to recruiting experts Hays. Businesses with operations across a number of countries could benefit from encouraging employees to work in other geographies, as it allows organisations to plug skills gaps and gives workers the opportunity to expand their experience and skill set. This approach has also been adopted by City Football Group, the owners of Manchester City and New York City FC, as they have encouraged their own staff to embrace international experience.
Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays Malaysia, shares four ways businesses could benefit from global mobility, with some examples taken from City Football Group.
1. Talented employees in the right place
Many businesses across the globe are struggling with skill shortages and failing to operate to their full potential as a result. Being able to bring in talent from overseas is an effective short-term solution to the issue. Tom Osborne comments, “Not only can global mobility help organisations that are struggling to fill roles locally, it can also be extremely beneficial to employees too, as it can provide them with a broader range of opportunities. Gaining this valuable experience can also help to accelerate their career.”
2. Knowledge exchange
Embracing global mobility can benefit organisations through the exchange of expertise and knowledge between their different regional offices. One example of this from City Football Group is former player, Patrick Vieira, who after finishing his playing career accepted a training and youth development role with Manchester City, following which he was appointed Head Coach of New York City FC, taking a team of staff from Manchester to New York to help him. “Patrick has been a big part of City Football Group, both in Manchester and now in New York,” says Tom Glick, Chief Commercial Officer of City Football Group and former President of New York City FC. “He understands the values which drive our Group, but also the importance of all our Clubs having a strong and authentic local identity and relationship with our fans.”
3. Greater diversity
It is important international businesses reflect their global presence through a diverse workforce, this will help to ensure business needs are met in each country. Diversity can also help an organisation benefit on a number of other fronts. Tom Osborne says, “People are shaped by their own individual experiences. Having a diverse workforce can be a huge creative advantage, as people from different backgrounds will see a problem and find a solution differently to one another.” Businesses must also ensure the knowledge from more experienced workers is passed on to the more junior colleagues.
Tom Glick, Chief Commercial Officer of City Football Group, adds, “Many football managers have reflected on the benefits of pairing youth and experience. If it’s not something they’re doing already, business managers can take some inspiration from this by identifying opportunities to mix up the team, recognise who the mentors and stars of the future are, to help bridge the gap between those with experience and younger workers.”
4. Increased loyalty
Offering employees the opportunity to experience new cultures as well as the chance to further their career through international experience can create loyalty with those key employees. Tom Osborne adds “Providing staff with the opportunity to fulfil their potential will create a greater allegiance to that company. It gives them the chance to up-skill themselves and knowing that their employers are willing to support that will do wonders for their loyalty to that business.”
Tom Osborne concludes, “Businesses who are able to tap into a wider workforce can reap the long-term benefits, as it is an effective way to develop talent while improving business capabilities. If done properly it can be a win-win situation for all involved.”