Proof that Mobility Matters: Are you Measuring your Mobility Program’s ROI? 08.22.2018 | Ellie Sullivan

Proof that Mobility Matters: Are you Measuring your Mobility Program's ROI?

Unfortunately most companies aren’t even attempting to measure the impact of mobility on their organizations and sadly, very few can quantify their investment.

In fact, according to RES Forum only 22% of companies project their assignment costs or “have good visibility and understanding of their annual global mobility spend”. Our own research confirms that although the majority of companies feel Mobility is “critical” to supporting their Talent Management goals, only 2% successfully measure ROI.

With multi-million dollars investments being made in today’s mobile workforce, it is essential to validate the investments you are making in your talent to improve your ROI.

We realize it is a steep challenge but we recommend you start by collecting, sorting and analyzing the data you already have.

From the famous words of Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Without reporting and tracking analytics how can you prove to your business that your mobility program matters and how can you prove to your talent that going on assignment is worth it.

Start with the basics; analyze activity by assignment type/duration and move type and mine your data for insights into costs, demographics, which departments are using mobility the most, etc. These “descriptive analytics” will provide insight into what is happening (hindsight).

Next, share the information with your key stakeholders. Often times, business leaders lack insight into costs and without visibility and transparency, they can’t accurately evaluate the ROI.

With insight from your stakeholders, you can begin to explore program “insights” and the relationships between your historical information and what happens to your mobile workforce.  Dig into turnover, promotion rates and engagement rates to uncover what really happens after a mobile assignment or relocation.

For example, if your analysis reveals that expatriates are less engaged than your other employees use this information to find out why, interview them and gain helpful insights into their engagement levels. Consider conducting a voice of the customer (VOC) study to gain insight into what they experiencing. In our Advisory practice we’ve done hundreds of stakeholdering projects and they reveal some pretty interesting points of view. They typically serve two purposes; they provide objective insight into trends while educating and informing your stakeholders, and build consensus for changes required to improve results.

Some companies conduct more due diligence when buying office equipment than they do sending someone on assignment. Sadly, our research indicates 35% of companies “aren’t even concerned with measuring the value of mobility”.

These practices and attitudes perpetuate the idea that the mobility function is a tactical one.  But, with the right information you can build strategic insights and bring a greater understanding of the value mobility delivers to the business; filling talent gaps more quickly, building leadership skills and enhancing engagement and retention rates.

Even with the tremendous strides in big data and workforce analytics, it can be difficult to pull data from various silos across the organization. But this data will gain senior level attention and help you build the case that Mobility Matters.

Stay tuned for our upcoming webinar on Thursday, August 30, 2018 as we make workforce mobility analytics easy!

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Written by Ellie Sullivan


Ellie Sullivan, SCRP, SGMS-T, has over 30 years of experience overseeing critical mobility advisory initiatives, including policy benchmarking, proprietary research and tracking global trends and best practices. She is also the creator of our proprietary Optimization Lab format, which brings together Weichert SMEs and client stakeholders for day-long workshops to analyze current program challenges, identify solutions and create a road map to the ideal future state.

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