Offices across many countries means dealing with a workforce from a variety of backgrounds. Different cultural considerations, not to mention time zones, may potentially come into play. In the coming years, company HR departments will need to adopt new strategies and technologies in order to stay as effective as possible
New outlooks on training
In more traditional paradigms, corporate training programs were standardized and administered to all employees across the board. In an age when recruiting, acquiring and orienting new talent can comprise a much larger chunk of time and resources than it used to, thanks in part to globalization, this standard model of training may not be efficient. A blogger writing for Forbes reported that while companies are spending more money on corporate training, the trend of skills training is veering away from traditional learning methods. According to Forbes, roughly 60 percent of money spent on training was dedicated to nontraditional, out-of-classroom training programs such as on the job and on-demand training. Career development of employees is becoming more of a goal for companies, and HR professionals looking to support that will want to implement programs designed with that goal in mind.
One HR trend that has been gaining steam in recent years is performance-based development. This type of approach to training was lauded by HR.com for its ability to streamline the assessment and training process, ensuring that time and money is only spent on training when and where it’s needed.
New technology and tools
A report published in recent years by Accenture discussed how workplace and HR technology must adapt in the face of globalization to meet the workplace changes that are on the horizon. One particular area of focus was on the idea of “glocalization,” described by HRTechBlog.com as the process of implementing localized technology on a global scale. Especially in a company with several international offices pulling from different talent pools, access to training tools is more important now than ever before. To save both cost and time, recent tools like cloud computing and mobile apps for training can go a long way in ensuring HR has the flexibility it needs to meet the demands of different locations.
“Agility” is one of the words most frequently used in recent discussions about the new demands on HR. One of the side effects of a more globalized workplace is differences in local business and personal cultures, as well as discrepancies in talent pools. According to Forbes, the companies that are the most successful in meeting these changing demands are the ones who are able to adapt the most quickly and most efficiently. HR and management practices designed from the top of the home office and disseminated equally to all branches are becoming passé, as HR needs to become a more localized and integrated part of each regional location to respond to location-specific talent-related situations. Providing corporate language training as part of the bevy of HR development tools is an important step in ensuring that HR professionals in regional offices will be well-equipped to deal with local talent effectively.
Another key component of an agile HR department is that it relies on taking a more active, hands-on approach to talent and resource management. Forbes reported that companies that checked in with their employees to evaluate goals quarterly saw a 30 percent increase in performance over companies whose goal assessments happened annually. This type of HR management hearkens back to a well-established glocalization of policy and technology, as effective HR management in this climate will rely on management being able to respond to and assess the needs of their workers more immediately, rather than filtering concerns through a top-down corporate policy.
Successfully adapting your management and HR strategy to a globalized workforce requires more than simply building offices in new countries. One of the biggest strengths that globalization can bring your company is diversity. Employees from different geographic and cultural backgrounds bring a wealth of alternate experiences and perspectives, and these are a huge asset to your company. According to data presented by a panel on global HR trends presented by SAP, a striking 85 percent of employees who are sent to a new country leave their job within 12 months. Rather than spend time and resources relocating employees, not to mention orienting them once they arrive in their new country, the smarter and more cost-effective move would be to instead focus efforts on attracting and developing talent local to the office in question. This has the dual benefit of saving HR time and resources, and of adding the local employees’ perspectives to the overall company arsenal, thereby contributing to a stronger overall whole.