Is it Business As (Un)usual in Mobility? Mastercard, Textron, and Westinghouse Electric Company Share Their Insights
I recently had the pleasure of hosting our latest Relocation Playbook webinar, Business as (Un)usual: Navigating Global Mobility’s “Next Normal.” With a panel that boasted mobility experts from Mastercard, Textron, and Westinghouse Electric Company, we knew the session was going to produce some great conversation and we weren’t disappointed! I would like to take this opportunity to thank our panelists, Melissa Myer, Director, Talent Mobility, Mastercard; Marisa Johnson, Sr. Manager, Global Services, Textron, Inc.; and Trish MacDonald, Director, Global Mobility, Westinghouse Electric Company. The insights and real-life examples they shared were invaluable. If you missed the live event, you can watch the recording here.
Reflecting on the findings from Cartus’ Relocation Playbook Spring 2021 edition, following are a few snippets of what was discussed during the one-hour session:
- Marisa Johnson, Sr. Manager, Global Services, Textron, Inc. on the importance of flexible mobility in light of the pandemic: “Forevermore, we’ll have a points-based policy, which was one of the things that came out of the pandemic, because it has really highlighted to us that everybody [has] really unique concerns and situations that they’re dealing with. […] So I think one of the things we have learned is how much flexibility is really required and needed for our [mobility] program.”
- Trish MacDonald, Director, Global Mobility, Westinghouse Electric Company discussing the roll-out of a points-based policy using Cartus’ core/flex relocation solution, Benefits Builder: “Without Benefits Builder, that really would not have been possible for us to roll [our international permanent transfer points-based policy] out. It would be too administratively cumbersome. The feedback thus far has been positive from the employee experience perspective.”
- Melissa Myer, Director, Talent Mobility, Mastercard on remote work policy beyond the pandemic: “When we look at our remote work policy, which we’re currently building out and developing, we’re looking at our future of work. What is it going to be like in our future? […] Really trying to align our remote work policy to where the company is going in the future.”
- Marisa Johnson on the most challenging locations today: “Argentina was a challenge for us. Australia was also a challenge for us. […] Singapore continues to be a challenge—mostly because the dot continues to move on quarantine requirements.”
- Trish MacDonald on the key questions and challenges identified around COVID-19 vaccinations: “We’ve been talking about these vaccination passports and what does that really mean for mobility. And we do frequently talk about this during our weekly calls with our immigration partner and, really, there’s no solid information on what that will look like. […] We will, of course, be closely monitoring the vaccination passport discussion to determine how it will impact our business and our global mobility and global immigration program going forward.”
- Melissa Myer sharing insights around diversity, equity, and inclusion… “And I do think that this is something that absolutely is going to be integrated into our mobility policies. […] It’s something we have to think about going forward to make sure our policies are very equitable and that we’re giving everyone an opportunity for a mobility experience, so I do think it’s definitely going to be integrated more in the future.”
Navigating the “Next Normal”
Continually evolving immigration and quarantine rules, vaccination programs, temporary accommodation shortages, and household goods delays are just a few of the challenges that companies in the mobility space are currently experiencing. As more organizations begin to relocate employees again, mobility and HR professionals are working hard to create innovative solutions to overcome the challenges raised by the pandemic, while at the same time managing employee expectations. Following are Cartus’ key recommendations to help mitigate the challenges of today’s “Next Normal”:
- Communication remains key. Regularly update all parties involved in the mobility process, from assignees and key business areas to your immigration and relocation services provider.
- Share contingency plans with key business areas so everyone within your organization is aligned throughout the process.
- Remember to build quarantine times into relocation schedules and ensure internal business partners know to do the same. For example, international internship programs that operate on a rotational basis will not be implemented as seamlessly as before the pandemic because, depending on the location, each intern may be required to quarantine.
- Relocating employees should be made aware of the possible disruption that the pandemic continues to have on global mobility. For example, the industry is currently experiencing significant disruption to U.S. household goods services, which is impacting assignment start dates and the overall relocation experience for many employees moving into, out of, and across the U.S.
- Where possible, ensure your relocation policies are flexible enough to amend should you encounter new challenges that may impact start dates, end dates, or any other aspect of your mobility program.
As the market leader in relocation services, Cartus will continue to monitor the impact the pandemic is having on global mobility. In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact your Cartus representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.