Monday, June 7, 2010

Navigating Global Organizational Needs with Limited Experience

Lucille, the HR Manager of Global Company received a communication from her VP of Administration that three of her recently hired engineers will be sent to three different countries because their technical expertise will be needed in those locations.  John will to go Netherlands, Jeanne will go to India and Pam will go to Canada. 

While Lucille has been in her job for 2 years now, she never had a chance to deal with any outgoing professionals particularly to these countries.  She asked her co-worker Susan, HR Specialist who has been with the organization over 5 years  if she has any knowledge of doing any of this,. Unfortunately, Susan did not have any experience as she was involve mostly in local recruitment hiring, interview scheduling and other HR administravia.

She put the communication on her desk for the day. While working on other things, she was baffled on what she will need to do about it.  It was noted that the three individuals must be at their destination within the next 15 days and end of the month is the latest. 

Before the end of the day, she went to ask her VP if the named individuals have been briefed about their new work location.  She was told that initially their immediate managers have discussed the possibilities but the HR Manager will drive the logistics and make it happen. While Lucille notified her Boss with honesty that she did not have any experience in this area. She was told that she will find a way to make this happen.  

Lucille went home nervous, confused on what to do.  She made some research on the internet. She found several websites however, the information was complex and each country is different. She looked at several fora however, she cannot find exactly some information that relates on specific goals for each individual. 

Lucille was challenged by this endeavor, while she wouldn't like to be viewed as irresponsible. The following day she called her friend Mary, a fellow HR Manager.  Mary advised her to bring on a Consultant in Relocation.  However, Mary further emphasized that she would be very careful in speaking with Relocation Consultant as there are many of them with that position title but they have not done an actual relocation management experience. Most of them are Relocation Consultants that are focused in real estate business, moving household goods, pets and transportation - these are only small parts of the relocation and not the whole picture. Each of them like your money and offer you their individual services. The next time you know you will be dealing with 10 different company representatives. "You will need someone who have actually managed relocation of employee from offer letter package up to the transitional adjustments and then repatriation. And someone who actually worked with people internationally in those countries and they work as your Partner and a Team Manager".

Mary offered her assistance to Lucille by providing her additional insights.  Lucille started interviewing company representatives whom she sourced, however no one among the people she spoke within the popularly known organization have actually done the complete scenario which was given by Mary.  A week is over and did not find the right partner.

Lucille began working with the individuals who will be relocated.  With her meeting with Pam (who was going to Canada) the employee asked if Lucille have assigned a company to work with.  

Lucille admitted, she cannot find an experienced company but continue to locate.  Pam encouraged Lucille to contact JNT Consulting ... they are in the internet.  Lucille told Pam that she came across the name but did not call because they are not one of the big organizations with advertisements.  Pam replied, it is not the big name and advertisement that works it is the actual knowledge and experience in this area. What is important is they are available to speak with and guide you along the way. I have heard many horror stories among expats about the big companies that relocated them especially when I was in Netherlands.

Pam shared her experiences with JNT Consulting.. "at the other organization I worked with previously, I was sent to the Netherlands for 2 years. I met JNT Consulting there and they managed all of the company requirements and my family's needs.  I did not experience any problem at all. My family and I went to the Netherlands smoothly and we were very happy.  They provided me with guidance on the cultural adjustments, pre-departure information, logistics and planning, they provided caring people that I worked with flawlessly. At any time, you can speak to people in that company - no passing around by pressing buttons on different extension numbers when you call. Their President is also available to speak with you when others are busy with other things. All individuals involved in my relocation knows everything that took place and next stage that will be taking place.  They provided me with additional information that makes you become successful with minimal stress, about the city, its amenities and compliance to local and tax regulations. They assisted me in finding a school for my two kids, introduced me to groups of locally based organizations that we can relate with culturally. They were there when we planned to repatriate.  Like when we moved to the Netherlands, we moved back to USA without any complaints.  In fact, many employees at Global Company that were relocated by JNT Consulting spoke highly about their experience and professional guidance that they got from them. Their proprietary 'Relocation Guide Booklet' was an excellent resource for me.  My former company had expats in many countries and visiting workers from and to these different countries.  They all shared great experiences about them."

Upon completion of the meeting, Lucille called the company and was able to speak with someone who shared her many facts that she needed to understand when planing for relocation of employees at the same time for different countries.  She was impressed. She made an appointment to meet with JNT Consulting representative immediately.  She was relieved after the presentation and meeting.  She understood the entire scenario that will take place in every individual region. She understood the complexities of compliance work she will need to go through with the guidance of JNT Consulting. She began working with JNT Consulting from rigid planning, implementation, execution, management, compliance to immigration, pre-departure, destination services, family cross cultural adjustments, post relocation issues maintenance and repatriation planning.

Forty five days later, all three Expats (John in Netherlands, Pam in Canada and Jeanne in India) have begun their work at their assigned locations.  Their families and adjustments went very well. Lucille kept in contact with JNT Consulting and she was relating how happy her employees were.  Everyone is great, they are just focusing in their job, and her executives in the US were very happy with their productivity as a result of smooth relocation management. She met her deadline in making sure they are at their destinations as planned. "Working with JNT Consulting is a great return on investment"

Many professionals in the Human Resource Organizations are inexperienced when it comes to international management of people. Working in an international zone requires the competencies of Strategic Human Capital Management because it requires a mindset that is critically attuned beyond the comfort zones within an HR Administravia environment.  

As an international human capital professional, one must be equipped with well rounded knowledge, experience and attitude to work across borders where alot of unknowns will become a daily routine. Openness and flexibility are virtues in these areas in order to become successful in overcoming the challenges of international zone. 

Working with and learning from experienced professionals will lead to a better and more effective organizations.  Human Capital is an asset that will translate successful results of every undertaking within the business environment. 

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