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- Managing the Global Workforce | MGT | Amberton University
- How to manage a global workforce
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Added to Your Shopping Cart. Description Human resource management HRM is the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization's employees. As the need for effective and top staff rises, Managing the Global Workforce provides the most up to date and topical information on accessing human resource management. Written by Paula Caligiuri, an author recognized as one of the most prolific authors in the field of international business for her work in global careers, this book covers the full range of strategic, comparative, and cross-cultural issues affecting the way a workforce is managed globally.
About the Author Paula Caligiuri, Professor of Human Resource Management, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, USA As a leading expert in strategic human resource management with a focus on international management, global leadership development, and international assignee management, Paula has been recognized as one of the most prolific authors in the field of international business for her work in global careers and global leadership development and has lectured in numerous universities in the United States, Asia, and Europe. So in the current globalization phase, most multinational executives are turning to a management structure that combines the benefits of globally consistent policies on the one hand and local relevance on the other.
In other words, they have an HR approach that is both super global and super local. When value is driven by consistency and standardized operations HR transactions, for example, or training that provides a functional workforce with common skills , a company needs global policies, services and technology platforms. But when value is driven by the needs and variations of specific markets—sourcing talent, motivating, rewarding—a company needs to be intensely local in its focus. Take the case of London-based Diageo, the global premium beverages company with offices in 80 countries and a presence in approximately markets.
The company continuously evaluates market growth opportunities while also protecting its core business.
It has been especially innovative in redesigning the HR operating model it needs to execute this strategy effectively by creating a more agile workforce and a more responsive business. One essential part of this work involved becoming super global: Diageo also sought to create the appropriate types of HR operating models for different markets; some are well developed and big enough that shared services across multiple HR functions would meet a range of economic and customer service requirements.
Diageo did this by using a customized shared services model that not only provides more consistent service to employees around the world but also can be quickly adapted to meet unique local market requirements. A knowledge repository, for example, helps standardize functions and materials, and helps process transactions consistently and in compliance with local laws.
The centers also help Diageo navigate complex data protection and privacy laws across borders. One of the services made available to Diageo as part of these new HR capabilities is an electronic employee filing system. This provides greater data security that meets requirements in both the European Union and North America, and it provides easier access to employee information for the service centers to support HR personnel across dispersed locations.
However, additional countries have now been brought into the new HR support model, including 15 in Latin America and the Caribbean. Diageo is also now working to evolve the structure and coverage of its shared services centers to meet growing business and economic demands. For a company to execute globally, its governance structures must allow more decisions to be made locally in areas into which it is expanding.
The company must create processes and ways of working that encourage innovation at the local level; this is especially critical in industries for which understanding consumer tastes and preferences within a distinct market is important. Equally important, leaders must be drawn not only from where the company has historically done business but also from areas where there is significant market potential. Processes and governance structures should be redesigned to put more decision making into the hands of managers in those new markets.
Diversity of board makeup is also important.
Managing the Global Workforce | MGT | Amberton University
Leadership development is also critical; the next generation of executives needs to be exposed to other cultures and receive training in global management. You gain critical experiences by being exposed to people, policies, laws, norms and human motivation from different places around the world. In some cases, this kind of global experience and exposure translates into long-term overseas assignments for personnel.
But other creative approaches can be effective as well. At Shell, Dalzell used relatively short-term assignments for employees as a way to meet the needs of different geographies while also developing critically important skills and mindsets in the workforce. The approach was successful for several reasons. More people were willing to sign up for shorter postings, countries were more willing to grant work visas for that kind of arrangement, and there was less concern about someone coming into a unit and competing with local talent.
So it sparked an enthusiasm and an energy that we could not have created ourselves. Technologies and information systems also play a key role in the super global aspect of the dual imperative. Such work, which often also involves establishing shared services centers for the HR function, must also be accompanied by the redesign of HR processes to achieve both consistency and local relevance.
Shell, for example, implemented a single IT system for HR—called Shell People—that executives credited as a key reason the company was able to move forward successfully with a global business strategy less constrained by governance and policies focused at local or national levels. The redesign of systems and processes at Shell to enable a global, consistent platform also changed the way management thinks about which talent-related competencies were core and strategic, and which were not.
For such non-core tasks as payroll processing and benefits management, the goals of efficiency and productivity are better handled through a shared services or outsourcing approach.
How to manage a global workforce
By streamlining its processes and consolidating systems, HR can then assume a more strategic role, less encumbered by day-to-day transactional requirements. But what, exactly, is required? First and foremost, companies need a human capital and HR strategy that is fully aligned with the business growth strategy. Companies also must find the right balance between the common, global structures they need to be more efficient, and the local innovations and services they need to be credible to the customers they are seeking to win.
HR systems and smart technologies will play a significant role in creating the streamlined global operations needed to be successful.