ORC Sightlines

October 2009

In this issue:

Integrating Global Mobility and Talent Management

Many employers treat each international assignment as an individual event, a means to fill a particular need at a particular moment. Organizations and their employees sometimes view international assignments as a sacrifice, a hardship that requires special compensation, rather than an opportunity. This view of international assignments often results in a transactional rather than strategic approach to design of global mobility programs. Instead, global mobility should be managed as a critical part of a complex human capital system—globally consistent but flexible enough to adapt to different strategic circumstances.

Much of the job of HR is to help line management build the capacity of the organization to fulfill its mission. Since capacity is a function of both the work to be done and the people needed to do the work, capacity building requires:

When linked to the rest of the capacity-building system, international assignments can be an engine for developing key talent and positioning individuals in the right job in the right place at the right time at the right cost. The first step towards alignment is to differentiate jobs based on their value to the business and their value for development of talent, as illustrated below.

Job Value to Business Versus Value to Talent Development

Where jobs fall on the grid will help managers make decisions about talent management processes
decisions about positions:
—and decisions about individual talent:

An integrated, talent management approach to global mobility can help companies get more out of their considerable investment in international assignments.

This article is based on a presentation given by Susan Carter, a senior consultant in ORC’s Human Capital Management practice, to the East Coast Roundtable, one of several regional ORC Networks for managers of expatriate human resource or compensation issues. To learn more about ORC’s integrated approach to talent management and global mobility, contact Susan at +1-212-852-0389. For more information about ORC’s expatriate management roundtables, contact Tricia Danielsen, +1-212-852-0348.

Benchmarking HR Metrics in UAE

HR metrics is an emerging science in the Gulf Region, not yet widely practiced and not in a consistent fashion that allows companies to compare themselves to one another. Members of ORC’s UAE HR Network are banding together to advance HR metrics in the region. The group proposes to develop a common set of useful metrics that will provide insight to the HR function’s effectiveness and contribution to the organization and allow members to benchmark with others in the Network.

“It’s important for HR to be accountable for its own success,” explained John Macdonald, Managing Director of ORC Worldwide’s Middle East region. “Good metrics help HR talk the language of the business, help executive management to better appreciate HR’s added value, and identify those HR programs that aren’t delivering a return on investment so they can be fixed or eliminated.”

At the UAE HR Network’s October meeting, Elke Willaert and Anu Daga of DHL shared their experience with implementing HR metrics in the region. They demonstrated the HR Scorecard that has been developed in recent months and how it contributed to a reduction in staff turnover and an improvement in employee engagement. Focus on measuring results, they advised, rather than activities, and integrate data collection into day-to-day processes. Use metrics that establish one or more of the following:

In the meeting, Network members agreed to create an HR Metrics Working Group charged with the task of facilitating the development of an agreed set of HR metrics for use in benchmarking among network members.

The UAE HR Network provides companies active in the Middle East a confidential environment in which to exchange practical information and experience on local, regional, and global HR issues affecting the region. For more information, contact John Macdonald at +9714 339 7967 in Dubai.

EEOC to Expand Disability Protections

Reprinted from ORC’s monthly newsletter for global equality, diversity, and inclusion, A World of Difference.

The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has requested comments for its long-awaited regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The proposed regulations would substantially expand the definition of “disability,” extending protections to over a million more Americans.

The proposed regulations would, among other things:

  1. Instruct that an impairment need not be a “significant” or “severe” restriction of a major life activity to qualify the individual for protection against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  2. Move away from individualized assessment by creating three categories of conditions – those which “will consistently” meet the definition of disability; those which “may be disabling for some individuals but not for others,” and those which “are usually not disabilities”.
  3. Expand the scope of basic activities which “most people” can perform with little or no difficulty.
  4. Reinterpret the definition “working” to focus not on a broad range of jobs but rather on the ability to perform “the type of work at issue”.
  5. Cover individuals under ADA even if they cannot show that the employer perceived them to be substantially limited to a major life activity, as long as they can show that the employer regarded them as having a condition that would qualify as a disability.

ORC will submit comments on the changes by the due date of November 23. To contribute observations that you’d like us to consider in our review of the implications of the proposed measures, please contact Nita Beecher in ORC’s Global Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion practice.



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