A Workforce World View
The typical enterprise of today is a multinational organizational with thousands of employees operating within multiple time zones, geographies, cultures and jurisdictions.
Organizations like IBM, Proctor and Gamble and General Electric have truly become globally integrated enterprises. All of these organizations face the challenge of being able to manage the talent of their global workforce to deliver an effective service consistently throughout the markets in which they operate.
These organizations need to have effective systems in place to monitor both the engagement levels and performance levels of individuals from every area of the globe. This is the only way that they can effectively manage so many employees across so many geographies and disciplines.
Before these organizations can start monitoring employee engagement and performance levels, it is vital to establish what these key metrics are. These can vary according to the type and organization and its strategy.
- One of the oldest and reliable employee metrics is that of employee turnover. This measures the amount of employees who leave voluntarily and involuntarily each year and expresses this as a percentage of the overall workforce. Usually, employee turnover that is higher than company, industry or cultural norms can signify a problem with management. Globally integrated organizations can therefore monitor turnover by geography, jurisdiction, function, department, demographic and can get a first level indication of any potential problems with certain areas of their business.
- Another key metric is employee satisfaction. However, this metric has now been superseded or evolved into the metric of employee engagement. A recent Gallup survey showed that companies with higher employee engagement levels saw a greater growth in earnings per share. This would be measured by having each employee from every global location complete an online survey which would ask them questions about how they felt about various aspects of their employment and the company. This would be conducted on an annual basis. Where required, the questions can be delivered in local languages. Once again, the centralized management team would be presented with an annual overview of engagement levels by geography, department and function.
- The last key metric to look at is aggregated employee annual appraisals scores. All employees from every location will complete an employee appraisal which will provide an overall assessment of each individual’s performance based against the organization’s performance criteria. This information can be aggregated and analyzed by region, country, department and function. This can help the organization to see if there are specific areas or geographies which are under performing and take remedial action.
This process of measuring and reporting on key metrics has become a highly automated process within the world’s leading businesses. Most of these organizations will have an integrated talent management strategy and this will usually be implemented through a talent management IT system. SAP, Microsoft and IBM are just a few of the businesses offering talent management technology to employees. These systems allow employees to enter performance data from any location in the world, assuming they have an Internet connection. The system will aggregate data and present the various management teams with an overall analysis of teams, business units, functions, geographies or department that are under performing in comparison to the business norm.
Most of these high end systems will come with multilingual capability which helps these systems to be integrated effectively across the globe. Cultural differences are overcome by the fact that these performance metrics are based on numbers which are universally understood.