Developing Strategic Global Benefits Programs

global benefits; international incentives; productivity; recruitment; hiring packages

Before a company can attract local talent, it should develop a strategic global benefits and incentives program.  On local, regional and cultural levels, a company must offer benefits programs that compete favorably with offerings from other employers.  Here are some considerations.

Know the Competitive Landscape

A company must know and understand the benefits packages offered by other companies in the same region, industry and job function.  With this information, a business should  differentiate its plans by offering unique packages that stand out from the others.

Understand the Legal and Regulatory Environments

Most countries typically allow tax incentives to support particular benefits.  To take advantage of these incentives, your legal team must have a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations that apply.  Armed with this information, your company can design global benefits programs that qualify.  To do so, identity the rules that apply in each region, adhere to them and regularly monitor them for changes.

Balance Benefits across Segments

Within each region, different employee segments are attracted to different types of benefits.  Identify an optimal set of benefits within your budget that will make the strongest appeal across all employee segments.  Recognize that the best programs are ones employees cherish and you can maintain at an affordable cost.

Prioritize Key Global Benefits

Recognize the impossibility of satisfying the needs of all employees.  Instead, prioritize your resources to focus on benefits that have the greatest value to your key employee groups and that you can offer at a reasonable cost.  Instead of offering a huge array of benefits, offer a more limited set of benefits and deliver them well.

Diversify Your Offer

Because countries and regions differ in their expectations and requirements, it rarely makes sense to extend your domestic package across all markets.  Thus recognizing and accommodating local customs and needs is just as important as adapting to legal and regulatory requirements governing benefits.

Ensure Understanding Through Open Communication

Benefit programs are always difficult to explain so that employees understand them.  However, businesses must do their best to ensure that employees understand them and know where they can find help when they have questions.  Keep in mind that the purpose of benefit programs is to keep and retain employees by showing them that they are valued.  If employees don’t use or are unable to use the programs, they may not feel appreciated.  If a company merely provides a packet couched in highly technical or legal jargon in fine print, its benefits program will likely not achieve the desired results.

When discussing difficult subject matter, use illustrations, examples and simple language to get your points across.  For foreign audiences, always use reliable translation services and hire language interpreters.  Make the content as accessible and simple to understand as possible and ensure participation by engaging active listening skills.

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