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Globalization Partners and SHRM Release Report Revealing That Companies Struggle to Manage Global Teams

91 percent of HR professionals report that their organizations face challenges

Globalization Partners Inc., whose Global Expansion Platform enables companies to hire talent in more than 150 countries without having to navigate the complex legal, tax, and HR matters traditionally associated with global expansion, announced the findings of a new survey conducted in conjunction with SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) about managing and working on global teams.

Growing globally is an essential part of doing business today for almost all professionally managed companies. Having access to new markets can provide a competitive edge, attract new customers, and drive new opportunities.  Companies also expand to enable access to great talent everywhere they find it.  This past winter, Globalization Partners conducted their 2019 Global Employee Survey across eight countries, and this spring, partnered with SHRM to better understand the opposite side of the equation — how employers and human resources practitioners in particular — view both the challenges and benefits of having employees distributed around the globe.

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Here’s what we found:

The challenges:

  • 91 percent of HR practitioners report that their organizations struggle to manage global teams either sometimes, most of the time, half of the time, or always
  • Global teams feel a lack of equal influence in the organization, with 62 percent of companies saying people in headquarters have most of the authority
  • Nearly one-half (49 percent) of those surveyed said collaborating across time zones is an issue and 33 percent reported limitations due to cultural differences
  • 40 percent of HR professionals are struggling to find candidates for global teams

The benefits:

  • 81 percent of global HR professionals say the global perspectives brought by these teams are a big benefit, along with the resulting diversity (72 percent)
  • They also cited increased creativity (54 percent), followed very closely by access to talent anywhere (52 percent) — unsurprising given the growing war for talent
  • Global teams have higher employee retention rates: their levels of voluntary turnover being lower than their U.S. based counterparts (12 percent vs. 24 percent)

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“The survey data is extremely valuable in helping to frame the realities of managing today’s global teams,” said Nicole Sahin, CEO of Globalization Partners. “We see the unquestionable positive impact that having access to the brightest people, without regard to jurisdiction, brings to our clients. As international expansion increasingly becomes a requirement for growth, this report provides valuable insight for companies adding employees in new markets.”

“As technology has delivered an increasingly connected world, organizations have found it easier to turn to globally distributed teams as a solution to their talent needs,” responded Liz Supinski, Director of Data Science in SHRM’s Research group. “This study reminds us that, as stewards of communications and organizational culture, HR is key to helping organizations succeed in global growth.”

The Global Teams Survey was conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and Globalization Partners® from February 6-March 20, 2019. The respondents to this survey were 464 global human resources professionals randomly selected from SHRM membership. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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