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A Mobility Challenge Shared is a Challenge Halved

EMEA Talent Mobility Summit Lunch Event

By: Jonathan Langueneur
Director, Account Management


I was struck by how often I saw a mixture of surprise and relief from the Mobility professionals at the insideMOBILITY EMEA Talent Mobility Policy & Strategy Summit recently. These industry insiders discovered that some of the challenges that they face in their organizations are not so terribly unique after all.

The topics on our agenda were permanent transfers, service outsourcing, internal program integration and preparation for Brexit. As we discussed individual challenges and solutions in those areas that day in Amsterdam, I saw heads nod and eyebrows raise as participants paid close attention when their peers shared their experiences and perspectives.

Of course, every international company has a different culture and specialized Mobility program service requirements. It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all industry or service. But at a higher level, the programs often have a lot in common and lend themselves to similar approaches and solutions.

Take the area of extended business travel and cross-border transfers. Both entail major challenges, many moving parts and specialized technical knowledge. What came through in our discussion, though, was that “it’s not all on Mobility.” It probably makes sense to share certain responsibilities with other internal functional groups, say Travel, Tax or Immigration. Further, participants pointed out that quality suppliers can, in fact, accommodate an organization’s very specialized directives and requirements.

These were lessons and reassurances that could only credibly come from someone else who also is managing a major Mobility program.

It’s a lot like being a new parent. We’re first and foremast committed to doing everything we can to nurture and protect our child. We tend to put on blinders and think we’re the only ones who can possibly know what’s best for our very unique child. But when you spend time with other parents, you hear, “Oh, your child does that too?” “That approach worked for you?” Talking to and learning from other new parents is a huge relief and a wonderful source of information.

Mobility and Rewards professionals rightly resist “off-the-shelf” solutions. That’s an indication of how seriously they take their wide range of responsibilities to their organizations and their assignees. But I saw throughout our discussions in Amsterdam that often they can learn from each other…and sometimes it’s just nice to know they’re not alone!


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About the Author

Jonathan joined Graebel in 2016 as Director of Account Management, bringing with him over 13 years assignment management experience working closely with global clients in pharma, life sciences, oil & gas, technology, FMCG, retail and banking sectors. Based in London, Jonathan works in partnership with our clients key regional stakeholders to achieve their programme goals and to promote global mobility in their talent management agendas. Jonathan considers himself a European, speaks English and French and holds a degree from the University of Liverpool.

Profile Photo of Jonathan Langueneur