When he wasn’t getting face tattoos or knocking out opponents, Mike Tyson dropped some pretty memorable quotes. A personal favorite is, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
It’s a pretty raw quote, but it perfectly captures that feeling of being caught by industry disruptors.
In this post, we’ll examine four recent disruptors impacting workforce mobility: data analytics, wearable/mobile technology, the sharing economy and intelligent communication and self-service tools.
The first industry disruptor we’ll look at is data analytics. This disruptor is helping companies better identify candidates, fill open positions faster, monitor skills and career development and ultimately drive better ROI. However, mobility managers will have to start harvesting the right data and merge HRIS and mobility data to garner truly predictive insights. We also see analytics helping us better understand the emotional journey and engagement level of employees on the move, while finally bridging the gap between mobility and talent management.
Wearables and GPS-enabled devices will help us track the mobile workforce while creating a more nimble response to business opportunities. This technology will also facilitate tax and immigration compliance and decrease administrative costs. In fact, one of our clients is using an international assignee tracking device to avoid duty of care and compliance risks. Although difficult to quantify, this robust ecosystem is destined to significantly reduce costs and improve the employee experience dramatically.
Another “punch in the face” disruptor is the sharing economy, which is certainly impacting the taxi and hotel industries. However, while solutions like Uber/Lyft and AirBnB might work for personal travel, clients are reluctant to endorse them or incorporate them into policy because of concerns about duty of care. Most of the home and apartments being rented through AirBnB and other sharing services are not tightly regulated, meaning employees could find themselves at risk (theft, danger, etc.) and dissatisfied with their lodging choice—a concern that could affect their productivity. Conversely, corporate housing providers, have strict quality control and services and features designed for mobile employees and can ensure a more dependable and consistently higher quality experience.
Technology such as Amazon’s Alexa can help employees plan and execute their moves more effectively—for example, making it easier to order packing boxes. Live chat and video conferencing also promise to improve the counseling experience and advances in algorithms will continue to expedite the real estate process making home valuation and mortgage processing faster, easier and more transparent.
Employees on the go need and want these self-service solutions, but even with an inexhaustible river of information online, it’s hard to make a life changing decision based solely on the internet. And as we know, employees are exponentially happier, more productive and deeply engaged when they have someone to guide them through the process.
Industry research (like the Trippel Customer Service surveys) substantiate that transferees appreciate a combination of self-service and personalized assistance. Being able to connect and communicate with a counselor who understands the move, financial constraints, commute times, neighborhoods and policy guidelines is more powerful and beneficial to mobile employees. In fact, on many of the surveys we receive from mobile employees, they refer to their Weichert Counselor as a “member of the family” and often request the same counselor if they are moved again.