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With Brexit encouraging a growing number of organisations to establish themselves abroad, Ben Wright explores three people management challenges that are often ignored when companies expand quickly.
Human capital management is an often expensive, time-consuming and complex challenge, but it becomes more difficult to manage when an organisation expands overseas.
And in light of the growing number of UK firms exploring overseas markets following recent political events, this is likely to become a prominent HR concern. In fact, according to the Institute of Directors, nearly one in three UK companies is planning to relocate or expand operations abroad as a direct result of Brexit.
This is particularly true in the tech sector, as statistics from our recent The State of Global Expansion 2019 report show many UK tech businesses see moving into overseas markets as essential to accessing the talent they need. Of the 500 we surveyed, 90% said they were planning to expand into new countries in the near future, with 43% citing Brexit uncertainty as the driving factor in this decision.
Whatever the motive for overseas growth, managing employees across a growing number of locations will soon be a staple of an HR director’s job description, if it isn’t already.
HR professionals need to start considering which elements of a global expansion will, or should, come under their purview. Recognising and adapting to cultural nuances, developing successful leaders and tracking people management success metrics such as employee satisfaction, are all important factors in efficacious international growth.
The culture factor
The cultural differences between countries can have a surprising impact on how their workforces should be managed.
While different nations have their own compliance and employment laws to deal with, often it is the softer, cultural elements that are overlooked. For example, Western commercial dealings are very transactional, so it can be a challenge for American or Europ