Why Mentoring is Key in Global Mobility

With asignee and family adjustment so high on the list of challenges within the Global Mobility industry, could mentoring be the key?

Mentoring: The Key to Global Mobility« Back to Articles

In a recent survey from BGRS, the third most challenging factor for the Globally Mobility industry in managing Assignments, after compliance and cost containment, was ‘Assignee and Family Adjustment’. I can understand why. For employees travelling to new locations, there are often steep learning curves and vast adjustments. The impact on the family plays a big part in this too. In fact, in the same BGRS survey, 27% of those asked said there were increasing numbers of married and partnered employees choosing ‘single-status’ for long-term assignments. Perhaps this is because they know how tricky it can be to uproot family. So, what exactly can be done to help improve assignee adjustment? Well, I believe that mentoring has a considerable role to play in improving assignee and family experiences and breaking down the challenges.

Mentoring has been proven, time and time again, to offer a vast-range of benefits for individuals and organisations alike. These can include employee retention, engagement and knowledge sharing. So, simply put, we know that mentoring works. There are a huge number of ways in which mentoring schemes and programmes can be implemented but they are all too often neglected. Why? Because traditionally mentoring programmes require a lot of resource to make them work, matching mentors and mentees, keeping track of mentoring relationships, helping employees to make the most of their mentoring and much more too. Furthermore, when we think of mentoring and try to imagine implementing it into a worldwide agile and mobile workforce, there are undoubtedly additional challenges. However, thanks to the advent of the internet and mentoring platform PushFar, this no longer needs to be the case.

Why a Mentor?
Having a mentor who has been through similar challenges and experiences can be a huge support and breath of fresh air for employees at any stage in their career. When you then look at the additional challenges often faced by employees in adjusting to new locations, it makes sense that mentoring play an important role in aiding individuals. By offering employees a mentor, you give them an additional channel of support where alternatives simply fall by the wayside. In providing mentoring networks within the Global Mobility space, organisations can offer a real, impactful and knowledgeable support network to combat the otherwise potentially tricky situations. Mentoring can often be more than knowledge sharing and support though, it can play a big part in helping to avoid repeat mistakes and failings.

Let’s take another area in which mentoring is popular – entrepreneurship. Traditionally, mentoring has been popular with entrepreneurs. Why? Because entrepreneurs have steep learning curves, risk a lot of pitfalls and often fail. Mentoring helps entrepreneurs to learn from others’ mistakes, avoid falling and failing where others have and ultimately helps with business growth. The same could be said of Global Mobility: steep learning curves and a lot of adjustment.

Mentoring for Family
Creating a network of mentors and mentees within your organisation doesn’t need to stop at employees who undertake an Assignment or Permanent Transfer. In fact, the recent BGRS Global Mobility survey highlighted 68% of assignees were married or partnered. Such partners can often benefit from additional support to help avoid becoming the “invisible” or trailing spouse or partner. Being matched with a mentor who has had similar experiences when accompanying a spouse or partner could be a very valuable support resource that may prevent the failure of an international move. This all sounds good and well, but how can an organisation setup an effective mentoring scheme, using technology to support the mentoring agenda in Global Mobility?

Setting up a Mentoring Scheme
I briefly touched on the increasing part that technology must play in the mentoring space, and it does. Mentoring schemes can now be setup quickly and easily and inviting an employee and their spouse or partner to join them can be easy too. Platforms can match prospective mentors and mentees, without a HR Manager or Global Mobility Professional needing to go through this process manually. The technology takes care of exploring locations of mentors and mentees, matching by experience level, industries and much more too. Better still, the platform then helps both parties to manage their mentoring relationship while giving the scheme managers full visibility of everyone in their network. It really can be that easy and make so much difference.

So, if you are looking at reducing the challenges around managing employee and family adjustment, it is worth considering setting up a mentoring scheme given ultimately just how beneficial it could be.

If you are looking for technology to support your mentoring schemes, click here to find out more. If you’re looking for support in the Global Mobility space, head to the Next Gen GM LinkedIn Group here. The focus of Next Gen GM is to support the next generation of Global Mobility Professionals with less than fifteen years' of experience within global mobility, both in house and vendor, to come together and enhance their Global Mobility development and network.
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