Are organisations really managing the global workforces effectively?
Motivation and drivers play a key factor in the recruitment process and talent management, but on a global scale what really engages staff will vary from place to place. Take the Asia Pacific region for example.
Tradition is something which is heavily embedded when it comes to corporate culture in regions such as APAC. A great example of this came to light when I heard from an American HR director who was deployed to China to set up operations. Having had conversations with the line mangers what soon became apparent was that traditional methods (or what we classify as ‘traditional’) were carried out but with a heavy focus on local and social traditions too.
For example, hiring managers not only carried out the standard recruitment process, but in this particular organisation it was considered the norm to check a candidates’ horoscope for compatibility with management and colleagues. This was an influencing factor when it came to basic recruitment and selection.
Cultural eye opener
Another key observation which was made was the importance of family and the benefits that extended beyond the normal ‘perks of the job’. It isn’t unusual to find employee healthcare benefits extending to the parents (as well as the spouse and dependents) of the employee for example.
Hearing these experiences from clients and staff in the region can be a real eye opener and shows just how important it is to understand global diversification when looking to attract and retain talent globally.
If you are moving into a new region, there are three key steps you should consider and discuss with experts on the ground beforehand:
1. Understand the different workforce drivers within that market – in APAC for example one key motivator/ driver is gaining a prestigious title such as a vice president or director. Titles such as these can be handed out in order to keep employees motivated even though there is a gap in capability compared with counterparts in other regions. This can be a tricky one to deal with, especially when it comes to grading or banding employees and defining the layers and capacities within the organisation.
2. Be open minded and aware of the different cultural beliefs and diversity and embracing it. For example in some countries a full moon day is considered a religious day and therefore declared a public holiday each month. Companies need to research and evaluate how instances such as these impact their business and if there are any alternative ways of working that would benefit both the employee and the business.
3. Create a 'glocal' identity. I was speaking to a global HR director for one of the world’s largest engineering companies that has over 250,000 employees worldwide. The company is Swiss centric and he takes pride in saying that to each of his employees based in each country the company has adopted a local culture – so in India employees felt they were working for an Indian centric company and in China and so on.