Having a strong GBS is a sure way for companies to make the best benefits decisions that influence talent acquisition, employee wellness, compliance, and more.
By Katherine Loranger
A global benefits strategy (GBS) will guide an organization’s entire philosophy and approach to global benefits. A GBS allows HR teams to have guardrails and guiding principles for decision making around benefits packages. It also supports recruiting, talent retention and represents an organization’s brand and culture. For companies hiring in more than one country, a GBS is crucial for being compliant, competitive, and understanding where an organization fits in the market.
Before developing a GBS, HR leaders should reflect on who they are and who they want to attract. This will immensely inform global benefits strategies. Set a benefits ethos to guide in developing a clear strategy. Another important consideration is determining a budget. A leading GBS can’t be constructed without an appropriate budget, or else companies risk building something you can’t maintain. Values and benefits approach should be set as a guide with flexibility across regions.
When developing a GBS, one common challenge is employees not understanding each country has different requirements for benefits packages. Employees across global organizations talk to each other, which can raise questions about why one employee in one country has different benefits than another. This is why having a formal GBS is so important. With a GBS, HR teams have a clear understanding of the organization’s benefits philosophy and a baseline for what all employees can expect from a benefits perspective. HR can then answer questions from employees and clearly communicate while benefits are not exactly the same from country to country, the organization has a strategy in place to ensure policies are equitable for everyone.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking about benefits as just another budget line item, but at the end of the day, benefits greatly impact the livelihood of employees. What benefits an organization offers tells employees how committed they are to their well-being, so it’s important to think strategically about policies and plans.
For HR leaders looking for a global partner to manage the global expansion and/or global hiring process, partnering with an employer of record (EOR) may be a good fit. EORs can help organizations recruit, hire, pay and manage global workers with ease. They have the in-house and local expertise to navigate the complexity and compliance challenges that come with global expansion and hiring.