Published: Thursday, October 26, 2023
Sirva Communications

Sirva recently held a two-day workshop with mobility leaders in the APAC region to share our knowledge, network, and help evolve our Global Mobility programs. We covered a diverse scope of topics, but our conversations were largely focused on solving four critical problem statements:

  • How do you demonstrate the value of the Global Mobility function?
  • How do you balance the employee and family experience while managing cost and compliance?
  • How can Global Mobility better partner to demonstrate the value and return on investment (ROI) of mobile employees?
  • How can we create a more tech-enabled and data-driven Global Mobility Program?

Groups gathered to develop mission statements, discuss what was going right and what was not going well, and identify short- and long-term goals.


Macro trends are shaping macroeconomic, geopolitical, and social environments, with impacts on mobility.

Geopolitical Developments and Inflation

Geopolitical Developments & Inflation

  • Inflation
  • Disrupted supply chains
  • High interest rates
Talent Management - Open Roles and Skills

Talent Management - Open Roles and Skills

  • Difficulty filling roles
  • Changing demands of employees and adapting to new forms of work
  • Need for reskilling
Five Generations in Workforce – Retiring Boomers

Five Generations in Workforce – Retiring Boomers

  • Baby Boomers retiring at an increasing rate
  • Differing expectations of millennials and Gen Z
  • Rise of the gig economy
Technology and Digitalization

Technology and Digitalization

  • Growth of cloud, RPA, mobile AI, and meta
  • Technology developing fast enough to replace “missing” workers
ESG Imperative

ESG Imperative

  • Organizations focusing on environmental, social, and governance as part of the decision-making processes
  • Shift is reflected in workforce attitudes


How Do These Trends Shape and Influence Global Mobility Strategy Today?

Mobility leaders are seeing these trends shape their global mobility strategies in many ways:

  • Greater focus on changing business and employee needs
  • Heightened attention on the employee experience, both digitally and non-digitally
  • Being a strong advocate for the Global Mobility function by re-packaging and re-imagining its value
  • Gaining a greater understanding of changing business dynamics and needs
  • Designing strategies to attract and retain gig workers in remote locations
  • Balancing cost and demonstrating ROI
  • Focusing on how to get talent to the right project, in the right location, at the right time

How Do You Demonstrate the Value of the Global Mobility Function?

Participants identified a mission statement of making mobility mainstream, creating greater mobility access for all, and using mobility as a tool for attracting and retaining talent.

What’s Working Well?

What’s Not Working Well?

  • Process documentation
  • Leadership support
  • Integration of talent and immigration
  • Relationships with vendors
  • Ecosystem integration – policies, data, partners, brand
  • Value of function
  • No single point of contact (SPOC)
  • Lack of principals and guidelines to make decisions
  • Demonstrating return on investment (ROI)
  • Challenging moves after COVID-19
  • Internal departments’ management of tasks

We asked the question, what do Global Mobility leaders need to do to influence change at:

  • The Industry Levelhow do we influence and re-shape our industry?
  • The Corporate Program Levelhow do we evolve our corporate program?
  • The Team Level how do we grow and develop our team?

From there, we identified some short- and long-term goals:

Short-Term Goals

  • Develop a wider Mobility ecosystem
  • Empower external stakeholders
  • Define the industry critical issues are

Long-Term Goals

  • Improve stakeholder engagement
  • Integrate and develop a workforce across the entire organization
  • Have the right tools in place
  • Develop cross-industry solutions


How Do You Balance the Employee and Family Experience While Managing Cost and Compliance?

In response to this problem, participants identified a mission statement: to ensure Global Mobility programs are fit for purpose, cost effective, and align with business objectives and employee needs. We also identified the current challenges organizations are navigating.

Navigating Current Challenges

  • Need for policy flexibility
  • Changing family dynamics
  • Managing cost for talent development, ROI, building business cases
  • Moves to emerging markets
  • Rise of business travel with compliance risk
  • Assignment reluctance
  • Regional talent distribution


How Can Global Mobility Better Partner to Demonstrate the Value and ROI of Mobile Employees?

The group’s mission statement is to have the Global Mobility function be strategic advisors to key stakeholders for all mobile employees. To that end, near and longer-term goals include:

Short-Term Goals

  • Educate key stakeholders
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Define ROI criteria with stakeholders
  • Global Mobility team mindset change

Long-Term Goals

  • Partner with talent and talent acquisition teams
  • Career progression strategy within organization
  • Provide data trends and ROI to businesses

What's Working Well?

What's Not Working Well? 

  • Appropriate programs within the organization
  • Right choice of service providers
  • Collaboration with other HR functions
  • Processes working within the company (i.e., automation while maintaining human touch)
  • Remote working requests increasing from both business and employees
  • Absence of international assignment systems and digitization
  • Talent availability, attraction, and retention of new generation
  • Talent planning progression, how to engage stakeholders, increase awareness and create a long-term plan for employees
  • Getting the right fit of talent, local talent development vs hiring expats
  • Managing complex processes for cross-border moves that involved temporary accommodation and various destination services. Which is the first touchpoint?
  • Roles and responsibilities with Global Mobility stakeholders and touchpoints require clarification, how to make things happen


How Can We Create a More Tech-enabled and Data Driven Global Mobility Program?

The group mission statement is to be an agile Global Mobility function with a world class mobility program supported by innovative technology. So, what kind of progress are we making towards this goal?

What's Working Well?

What's Not Working Well? 

  • Internal stakeholder engagement
  • Structured processes
  • Structured policies
  • No formal structure and policy
  • Transformation change management
  • Engagement with talent group too late in the process
  • Frequent changes of leadership and vision
  • Lack of technology
  • Getting employees to take up local or local plus packages
  • Vendor management

Short-Term Goals

  • Get stakeholder buy-in
  • Simplify reporting with tech tools
  • Upskill team

Long-Term Goals

  • Enhance RFP tech platform
  • Build competence as trusted advisor in developing talent
  • Acquire good data and insights to drive change

Asia Pacific is one of the most progressive regions in the world, involving the most innovative tech and early adoption of digital tools. Hopefully we can put our learnings into action to challenge our thinking on how our industry needs to innovate.

Watch our short video for highlights of the two-day workshop.

If you would like to learn more about mobility trends in the Asia Pacific region, and around the world, please reach out to your Sirva representative or email us at We’d be happy to connect with you.

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