7 Global Mobility Metrics Every HR Executive Should Know


In today’s competitive global marketplace, companies must be able to place the right employee at the right location at the right time. This necessitates a robust mobility program for employee assignments, permanent relocations, and new hires.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t understand true mobility costs, let alone the return on these investments. Why? Because most companies are not tracking associated global mobility costs. In fact, according to SHRM.org, nearly half of all employers in a 2016 survey said they do not track the actual cost of international assignments. And yet, 69 percent alsosaid they feel pressure to cut costs in this crucial area.

Clearly, there’s a disconnect. How can you invest wisely on global mobility if you don’t know what you’re spending?

To make the most informed, effective decisions for your workforce, you must have solid data to back you up. Here are the top seven global mobility metrics related to cost and ROI that every HR executive should know in order to foster a thriving, cost-effective mobility program:

1.) Estimated vs. Actual Cost Report

Sure, you’re checking estimated cost reports before you send colleagues on international assignments. But if you’re like 76 percent of companies, you’re not comparing that initial estimate to actualcost. Doing so, though, gives you crucial insight into whether your numbers are on target…or way off the mark.

2.) Costs by Division or Cost Center

To get the full picture of where your costs are coming from, you should know the total and average cost per move, broken down by cost center. Are certain divisions taking up more resources than others—and is there a good reason for that? For example, you may think that most of your mobility investment comes from front-office departments, but knowing spend by department would confirm (or refute!) your hunch and ensure your funds are being invested in the right place.

3.) Employee Satisfaction

Mobility is a huge driver of employee satisfaction. To know if you should consider expanding mobility programs or opportunities, you should have a good idea of employee satisfaction rates, gathered via survey, at your company. And remember—it’s important to rely on employee satisfaction metrics that boast clear scoring rather than metrics that obscure the source of the data. It’s unfortunately common for companies to use unreliable data here, because the concept of “satisfaction” is so abstract.

4.) Trend Information

What trends are affecting your organization that may influence the need or desire for workplace mobility? Savvy HR execs are dialed into major geographic and political trends, and they also understand how these trends impact different organizational divisions. For example, travel-loving Millennials are increasingly seeking out work opportunities that can take them around the world. If you have a company or department with a growing Millennial workforce, this is a trend to watch.

5.) Employee Performance Pre and Post Relocation:

To determine if an employee move is good for ROI, you must have benchmarks to reference for employee performance. This also goes for knowing pre- and post-performance metrics for shorter assignments—as well as performance while an employee is on the assignment itself.

6.) Proportion of Assignees from Diverse Backgrounds

Many HR departments have worked hard over the past few years to help foster a diverse workforce and workplace that are welcoming and supportive of hard-working colleagues from all kinds of backgrounds. Diversity initiatives can—and should—also extend to global mobility efforts. Knowing what proportion of your assignees come from diverse backgrounds (including female assignees) will give you a clear picture of whether or not mobility opportunities are being offered fairly and equitably to all.

7.) Cost Increases Associated with Long-Term Assignments

How much more expensive did a long-term assignment make an employee? Knowing your numbers here is essential for understanding your ROI—and if you should send an employee on a similar long-term assignment again.

What other must-know metrics do you turn to in order to make smart global mobility decisions?

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