Point: Global is Best
By Anne Freedman, senior editor of Risk & Insurance®.
With the ever-increasing demand for skilled workers and a turnover tsunami that has plagued so many companies, it is shortsighted to give employees a reason to look elsewhere.
And it's just as bad to dissuade highly qualified potential job candidates from even applying.
To compete in today's global economy, companies need consistent, coordinated benefits throughout their worldwide organization.
Costs easily escalate when companies offer different policies in different parts of the world. Conflicts pit one group of employees against another. Decentralization leads to a lack of control over employee benefit structures and policies.
Coordination of worldwide benefits needs to reflect an organization's global culture and brand. Oversight needs to be global in nature, with a true "command and control" coordination from corporate headquarters.
Benefits must be consistent with overall corporate policies, while making reasonable accommodations to local differences.
Yes, companies must work with multiple jurisdictions that have conflicting cultures and policies, but a sure way to damage a heavily financed and promoted global brand is to treat employees differently depending upon where they work.
International postings are an ever-increasing way for rising stars to make an impact on their organizations and on their own careers. Why insult them with poorly thought out benefits just because of where they are based for a year or two?
With employees working around the world, and transferring from one market to another, how can an organization offer employees lucrative U.S. benefits while overseas and then snatch them away when they return home after a successful assignment?
Global benefit policy oversight mitigates that adverse impact. It also mitigates the tax, legal and cost implications that can damage benefit offerings when they are not well coordinated.
Brokers and carriers can certainly help corporations as they can manage regulatory, budgetary, talent management, environmental and competitive pressures.
Corporations also face significant liability -- including professional liability and reputational risk -- when they opt for uncoordinated local policies and practices at their various international locations.
Global coordination of employee benefit policies is the way to go.
June 1, 2013
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