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The Irresistible Mobility Experience

In business, the customer is king. Organisations go out of their way to deliver the best customer experience possible; whether in store, online, or through an app.

The employee experience, however is typically very different, and employers are struggling to change this dynamic1. When employees move internationally for work purposes, they may be expected to navigate various complex systems or processes and co-ordinate multiple stakeholders, in the midst of emotionally preparing to work overseas.

But what if we could deliver a mobility experience that feels more like a world‑class customer experience? An experience in which employees can more easily interact, access information, review options and take action seamlessly…

How can organisations go about achieving this vision for their global mobility programme?

The employee experience landscape

Organisations today are faced with an increasingly complex global talent landscape. From the perennial forces of regulatory change, geopolitical tension and economic uncertainty, to the unprecedented rate of technological change and the shift towards an agile, diversified and on-demand global workforce, businesses are re-evaluating their views on mobility and work.

In particular, faced with increasing transparency and crippling skills shortages, organisations are realising the significance of a positive and consistent employee experience to improving engagement, attraction and retention, ultimately resulting in an enhanced customer experience and positive business outcomes.2

In response to these changing dynamics, leading organisations are now developing an integrated focus on the experience for the entire workforce (Figure 1).

Similarly, when it comes to the mobility experience for employees moving internationally, this means shifting from a reactive, one size fits all approach to a proactive, personalised approach which creates human value using insight based decisions.

The mobility journey

Be it an overseas business trip, a fixed-term assignment or a permanent move, relocation can be exciting, but also challenging & emotionally demanding. It may provide new opportunities, but also cause increased levels of stress.

From adapting to a foreign culture and integrating into a new work environment, to the pressure placed on relationships and families, an individual’s emotional wellbeing may fluctuate extensively across the relocation journey (Figure 2).

Coupled with the increased administration involved for the individual in organising an international move, employers face a considerable challenge in creating a positive experience for mobile employees.

With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that employee willingness to move has decreased3; representing the number one barrier to managing a global workforce today4.

“Moving abroad was a big, emotional decision not only for me, but also for my family. From being a dual income family, we became a single income family as my wife had to quit her job. Even when moving to a lower cost country, a good mobility experience would take these factors into account.”

Global rotator, Consumer Business organisation

Placing the employee at the centre of mobility

We believe the employee experience should be irresistible even when someone moves internationally.

What drives a positive mobility experience will differ at each organisation, and will be impacted by the business strategy, sensitivities to cost, speed and efficiency. It is, however, essential that the experience meets the needs of the user, i.e. the employee, taking into account different demographics and deployment types.

The irresistible mobility experience balances a human-centred approach with the strategy and culture of the organisation, curating the mobility journey around the employee’s needs to deliver a consistent and high-quality experience.

Where to get started

Organisations can take the following steps to start bridging the gap:

  1. Identify the mobility experience challenges by considering the possible pain points in the end to end user journey, e.g. employees feel overwhelmed with the volume of administration involved with their moves.
  2. Listen to the voice of every mobility user, including employees, service providers and business leaders, to gain a more in depth understanding as to the current service.
  3. Analyse the existing experience by reviewing any available data on mobile employees.
  4. Focus efforts on the parts of the mobility journey which will have the biggest impact on the overall experience.
  5. Create tailored solutions that are desirable to employees, financially viable, and organisationally feasible.

“I like to be in control of my financial affairs but moving internationally made this more challenging, so I relied heavily on the organisation’s vendors to support me with my knowledge gaps. For me, a good experience means clear, timely and concise communications to keep me informed, and a simple user interface to reduce the administrative burden on my part.”

Long term developmental assignee, Financial Services organisation

On-going experience measurement

Developing a robust means of measuring the mobility experience is essential, not only to help establish the challenges in the existing service, but also to validate that any enhancements achieve their objective of improving employee engagement.

Historically, organisations have done little to measure the mobility experience. Where measurement does occur, it is often undertaken by third party vendors through one-time surveys, but response rates are typicality low, and the principal objective is to review the overall quality of operational support available to mobile employees from service providers.

A more holistic and targeted mobility data set can help organisations to stay ahead of the curve, understand the factors influencing the success of international deployments and make real time interventions to improve the mobility experience.

This is why organisations are revisiting the scope and depth of themes which provide a measure of the mobility experience. There are four key areas which organisations may find important to measure (Figure 3):

The most forward thinking approaches are also reconsidering the mechanisms used to collate this data, with a human-centred focus on what works best for the employee. This could mean a move away from retrospective pulse surveys and assessments, to a real-time app based solution or cutting-edge wearable technology.

These innovative approaches may allow employees to provide instant feedback on their mobility experience, through a simple user interface, and with an automated triage of specific issues to the correct contact. Not only can this facilitate swift resolution of challenges in real-time, but data analytics can also enable organisations to pick up on key trends, and plan improvements to the typical mobility journey based on recurring themes.

It is important to stress that each organisation's approach to mobility experience measurement may be different, taking into account company culture and other measurement mechanisms which are already in place across the wider organisation.

Our approach

At Deloitte, we believe in a problem solving philosophy that focuses on people, to create offerings that are intuitive and deliver value. Our unique approach leverages our global mobility expertise and our design thinking methodology to help our clients cultivate an irresistible mobility experience.

This human-centred, collaborative approach is creative, iterative and practical. By gathering evidence through research, combined with empathy and experimentation, we help our clients create a holistic understanding of the current service and experience.

This enables organisations to identify opportunities to create engaging experiences for mobile employees, which make a real human impact on the mobility experience. Cultivating this ‘service vision’ gives real purpose and focus to the mobility programme.

The first step is to establish a shared understanding of the current context and identity opportunities to resolve key challenges. For our clients, typically this understanding can be gained by taking part in an interactive and immersive mobility experience Lab.

Our experience tells us that this design-led approach is the most productive and innovative way of creating seamless mobility experiences to achieve meaningful results.


To provide an irresistible mobility experience, organisations must move from the old to the new rules. This means placing an increased level of focus on how the mobility journey feels for those who move oversees. Only by truly assessing the current service through the lens of its users and creating experiences to meet employees’ specific needs can organisations effect meaningful change.

Taking steps which make a tangible and human impact on the mobility experience can significantly enhance the mobility brand, acting as a role model for the wider organisation's employee experience initiatives.

Now is the time for organisations to get ahead of the curve and tackle the challenge head on.

1 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report
2 Building Business Value with Employee Experience, MIT Cisr Research Briefing 2017
3 Boston Consulting Group − Decoding Global Talent 2018
4 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report

“A good experience includes support to deal with different cultural sensitivities. My move was difficult due to my sexual orientation – it was a rollercoaster for me and my husband moving to a country which does not recognise same sex marriages.”

Permanent transfer, Consumer Business organisation

Deloitte’s Global Workforce practice

Deloitte’s market-leading Global Workforce team partners with organisations to establish future-proof global workforce strategies, tailored to client specific business and talent objectives. We have vast experience in collaborating with organisations to optimise, reshape and transform both the operational and strategic aspects of mobility and talent programmes.

We embrace design thinking to help clients to reimagine their approach to talent mobility, focusing on areas ranging from policy and process design, service delivery model transformation, programme effectiveness measurement, customer experience enhancement, global talent strategy, digital planning and workforce analytics.

Our multi-disciplinary team of over 250 global professionals specialise in transformation, analytics and technology, and we also partner with third-parties and start-ups. Our unique approach and design-led mind-set bring industry specific and functional knowledge, as well as data driven insights and innovative technology solutions.

We have a proven track record of delivering complex projects and providing unrivalled thought leadership.

“Great employee experience for me from a logistical perspective starts with clarity on the scope of support provided by the employer and a single point of contact or single point of entry to access all of my relocation contacts.”

Short term developmental assignee, Professional Services organisation

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