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Top-10 considerations for an incident-response policy for globally mobile employees

Hitherto unprecedented global events have tested all of us over recent years. And if they’ve taught us GM professionals anything is that it’s vital to understand the potential risks facing our assignee populations.

Posted in: Corporate News, Global mobility & HR
Published Date: 01 July 2024

The Crucial Building Blocks Needed to Have a Good Incident Response Strategy

We asked a Senior Global Mobility Director in the FMCG sector, overseeing 1900 assignments in 65 countries, to weigh in on this important topic, one that is top of mind for many of us right now.


More than a duty of care

As a senior Global Mobility professional, I have a duty of care to keep my international colleagues safe and ensure business continuity for my organisation in the event of a major global incident. As someone who deals with people every day, this extends beyond a professional obligation to become a personal duty, which I take very seriously.

As such I have spent a substantial amount of time analysing the risks and understanding the steps that would need to be taken to ensure international workforce safety and support business continuity planning.

It’s a big subject, but within my capacity, here are the top-10 areas I would focus on.

  1. Economic Conditions and Inflationary Pressures: The current nature of global markets, in light of international conflict and crisis, demands that we ensure employee financial stability, particularly during a period of fluctuating costs of living and FX volatility.
  2. Workforce Planning: Managing variations in labour expectations, as well as anticipating succession planning because of relocating work via on / off / near-shoring, becomes a never ending chess game of workforce planning. It is our role and responsibility not only to play, but to take control of this game.
  3. Cyber Threats: With the adoption of digital technologies, cyber threats pose significant risks to global employees, necessitating the education of international employees in cybersecurity measures and digital hygiene. Considering the proliferation of public Wi-Fi networks in hotels and airports, protecting company assets remains a huge focus for all employees.
  4. Physical Safety: This includes the possibility of moving employees – and their families and dependents – quickly, safely and cost efficiently out of hardship locations and / or stopping them travelling into such locations as mandated by my risk team and, ultimately, the executive.
  5. Regulatory Changes: Constant evolutions in immigration, customs and import regulations often make our cross-border workforce planning a challenge. It is our responsibility to remain on top (even ahead) of these changes.
  6. Digital and Mental Health Integration: Our OHS team aims to create supportive, resilient work environments. This includes digital detox initiatives and AI-driven wellness recommendations for employees. We aim to expand support further to international employees and their family members, particularly those in hardship locations. Duty of care is part of our DNA.
  7. Holistic Wellbeing: Our risk and security organisation rightly, and thankfully, emphasise a holistic approach to employee well-being, including physical, mental, and financial health. These risks can often by amplified for international employees, hence my direct dialogue with and growing influence on business continuity planning.
  8. Sustainability and Employee Wellbeing: A clear and shared sense of purpose binds our global workforce together. Integrating sustainability into everything we do reflects the growing recognition of its importance to employee satisfaction and organizational resilience.
  9. Risk Mitigation Tools: Luckily in this regard I’m spoiled. Years of investment with an external risk and security provider gives me API data transfer from all our global travel providers. Immigration risk hotspot data from another source gives me real time oversight and the ability to manage cross-border workforce risks. It’s not for the faint hearted and I’m glad I have colleagues to help with it, but for a programme of our size, I think it makes sense.
  10. Extreme Weather and Climate Risks: We witnessed how much of a problem rising sea levels can be when some of our SE Asian operations were flooded 10 years ago. The increasing frequency of extreme weather events necessitates comprehensive risk management strategies to protect company assets, not to mention local and international employees and their families.


The best time for risk analysis was yesterday

Preparing for Risk Management Is Crucial for Creating a Successful Global Mobility StrategyAre you conscious of the main threats to your employees and your organisation? Do you know how to mitigate them should another major global incident occur?

A robust risk management programme helps ensure compliance and manage costs. Outsourcing your global mobility programme can strengthen your risk management strategy by providing additional benefits:

  • Help identify potential challenges that could hinder your assignees from doing their jobs effectively.
  • Reduce turnover – a happy and supported assignee is more likely to stay and contribute to your company’s success in a new location.
  • Improve ROI – by helping your company maximise the return on investment for international assignments.

Our team is on hand to help you identify the risks facing your assignee population, put measures into place to manage them, and thereby reduce their impact on your assignees, your organisation and, by extension, your ability to function effectively under challenging circumstances.

Contact AGS Relocation today for a no-obligation discussion of your global mobility goals.