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The human resource challenges in the global environment

This is true even for organizations that historically only operated in a domestic environment.

What are the challenges of HRM in the global environment?

Issues include global competition for products and services, global talent management, risk and privacy, understanding global diversity and cultural issues, flexible reward systems, leadership challenges, and managing international assignments. While many of the HR competencies apply to domestic HR practitioners, new and heightened global skills are required for HR practitioners to deal with international issues.

  • Benefits and Compensation Benefits and compensation are the backbone of any HR strategy, but in international HR, benefits and compensation are even more important in focusing on the work-life balance of employees;
  • Compliance with International Laws As businesses begin to expand into the global marketplace or as they hire employees from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds, they may have to adapt to new labor laws and tax liabilities;
  • French, Spanish, German and Flemish are preferred in addition to English.

This article will provide an overview of several key issues and competencies required for global HR practitioners. Global Talent Environment Challenges include working with an ever-increasing mobile workforce with trade and visa restrictions generally making it easier for employees to move from country to country.

  • Different generations in the workplace, combined with country and cultural differences impact all aspects of talent management including recruitment, selection, onboarding, coaching, training, performance management, compensation, and retirement issues;
  • Benefits and Compensation Benefits and compensation are the backbone of any HR strategy, but in international HR, benefits and compensation are even more important in focusing on the work-life balance of employees;
  • Managing International Assignments Most organizations do not handle expatriation and repatriation well;
  • Training and Development Related to the idea of benefits and compensation in international HR are training and professional development programs.

HR professionals must understand the various forms and methods of visas and the employer responsibilities to effectively promote and manage talent across borders, including employee taxation issues. Different generations in the workplace, combined with country and cultural differences impact all aspects of talent management including recruitment, selection, onboarding, coaching, training, performance management, compensation, and retirement issues.

Among the talent issues to be addressed: Identify theft, hacking, privacy notification, and data security factors must be taken into consideration.

  • In other countries, minimum health care may be provided by the government with a common practice to have the employer provide supplemental health insurance;
  • Professional development helps employees to hone their skills in global marketing, international business development and finance trends.

HRMS tools must be configured to determined appropriate system design accounting for tracking personal data, currency conversion, language, pay rates and frequency methods combined with data encryption.

Global Economy New competitors, changing labor markets, labor force availability, currency and inflation factors, tariffs, customs and import laws, grease payments and corporate social responsibility within global markets must be considered including: Agility with Reward Systems On a country by country basis, total reward systems base compensation, variable pay and benefits must be effectively applied.

A total reward philosophy statement may provide guidance to assist in developing global systems based on what is provided by the home country, normative practices, taxation levels and employee expectations.

For example, in some countries the government provides comprehensive health care, life insurance, disability and retirement plans. In other countries, minimum health care may be provided by the government with a common practice to have the employer provide supplemental health insurance.

Managing Global Leadership Effective global leaders have several key characteristics, many of which are similar to any leadership role such as integrity, trust, interpersonal communication skills, people development, vision, problem solving and strategic planning.

HR in a Global Environment

Some of the key differences are greater flexibility and agility to adapt, appreciation for subtle and not so subtle cultural nuances, diversity and inclusion awareness, influencing skills, international business experience along with the ability to travel internationally.

Managing International Assignments Most organizations do not handle expatriation and repatriation well. In general, there is a lack of assignee assessment and preparation including family interviews, broader cultural and language training, ongoing feedback and discussion, visa requirements, knowledge of local customs and laws, tax reconciliation and identification of the repatriation process.

Awareness of culture shock and reverse culture shock will assist in managing assignments. Having additional resources to assist with managing travel, emergency evacuations, language and cultural training along with balance sheet evaluation of appropriate compensation and living expenses, tax equalization and lodging assistance are invaluable.

Communication Skills Proficiency in multiple language skills are a huge plus.

Cultural Diversity

French, Spanish, German and Flemish are preferred in addition to English. But beyond language skills, understanding cultural nuances and avoiding US based idioms or phrases may create difficulties and relationship challenges.

International HR Issues

Executives with experiences in living in multiple countries will provide greater understanding of the issues.