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Barbara

Managing mobility in Asia

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Barbara Lam, regional manager of enterprise mobility, Asia Pacific, Avery Dennison shares her ideas on creating the perfect mobility plan.

In most developed cities in Asia Pacific such as Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul , the housing cost is relatively high. Hong Kong is no exception. A recent study found that expats considered the city the best place for them to move up the career ladder, but the high cost of living is a cause for concern.

The challenge for human resources practitioners is to make a cost-effective package for our assignees to meet both the needs of the business and the individual.

At Avery Dennison, we have a menu-driven policy matrix with different benefits and support packages to balance the needs of the individual and business.

There are different policies providing various degrees of support to our assignees depending on their seniority and length of assignment. The business pays for the support that is really needed so it can better control its own budgets.

Budgets aside, it is always wise to work with relocation service providers to identify risks before proceeding with the assignment. There are restrictions in getting appropriate work permits/visas in some countries that may put expat assignments at risk.

For example, employees with less than five years working experience are not able to apply for a long-term work permit (12 months) in Indonesia and can only apply for a short-term work permit which is six months.
In some countries, there is a minimum wage requirement for applying for a work permit so it is wise to check with relocation service providers before proceeding with the assignment.

Creating inclusive mobility programmes is another challenge for today’s mobility specialists.

Avery Dennison’s global mobility programme has coupled development opportunity and flexibility to ensure a good work life balance for employees (both men and women) and it helps to facilitate more women going on assignment.

We support the needs of the assignees and their family regardless of gender. For example, we offer family support to provide the career, education assistance and community networking research for the spouse.

Globally, as of May 2017, approximately 32% of the management at Avery Dennison is female. In terms of the expat population in Asia Pacific, we have around 37% female employees and this percentage combines junior employees, senior managers and top management.

ALSO READ: Global employee mobility in 2017: 5 trends to watch

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