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On 18th October, K2 and AIRINC ran a mobility event in Munich, Germany.

Sessions explored agility and adaptability in global mobility, K2 and the relocation experience, supporting the modern mobile family, leading with a global mindset, and the K2 Foundation.

Exploring agility and adaptability in global mobility

Led by Mira Pathak, Associate Director – Client Solutions EMEA, and Helen Hollingsworth, Senior Client Engagement Manager, AIRINC, this session started with the results of AIRINC’s 2023 Mobility Outlook Survey to provide some benchmarking background. It was revealed that only 6% of respondents in EMEA feel that their mobility programme is being administered effectively. In addition, the survey revealed that:

  • Increasing initiation speed is the most common demand made of global mobility programmes
  • Technology is key to a successful global mobility programme
  • Cost predictability is more important than cost cutting

The session also included the results of the recent AIRINC remote work survey and an interactive discussion with the group about remote work and self-initiated assignments. The question where business trips sit within global mobility was also discussed. In many companies, nobody wants to take ownership of business trips, but when a trip extends past 30 days, or there are tax implications associated with the destination country, global mobility has to step up.

K2 and the relocation experience

This session was delivered by Emma Kerslake, Event Specialist at K2, and Sarah Wales, Relocation Manager at K2. To begin, Emma gave a short presentation on K2, outlining the services that we offer and the unique way in which we deliver them. Emma then handed over to Sarah, who spoke in detail about the role of Relocation Manager, highlighting key character requirements such as empathy and the ability to remain calm under pressure. Sarah also explained that as a Relocation Manager, you are the single point of accountability for your assignees. Should issues arise, those assignees need to be confident that they can come straight to you and that you will take full responsibility for dealing with the situation. Assignees are unlikely to have a positive relocation experience if this confidence is lacking.

Supporting the modern mobile family

Led by Wiebke Jonas, Assignment Management Consultant, K2, this session focused on how best to support the modern mobile family, which no longer tends to fit into the nuclear family model. Wiebke encouraged attendees to discuss the need for flexibility when it comes to global mobility policies, thus allowing for different family situations and guarding against the risk of ‘outing’ someone to the business.

Leading with a global mindset

This session was delivered by Stefan Remhof, Managing Partner, People Mobility Alliance. Stefan spoke about integration factors/challenges and the ways in which organisations can help assignees integrate into new countries. The former includes families (Do they help or hinder integration?), a lack of language skills and whether or not an assignee has a global mindset. The latter includes increasing cultural awareness, developing integration strategies and addressing specific cultural norms within the host location.

Stefan also spoke about empowering the employee experience, exploring what organisations can do to reduce stress for the employee, offer them financial support and ensure cultural integration. Sending an employee on assignment is about more than just moving them; it’s about taking their whole set-up into consideration and prioritising cultural training, which comes in at a relatively low cost in comparison to other assignment elements.

Laughing little boy in the rain

K2 Foundation

Emma Kerslake concluded the series of sessions with an overview of the K2 Foundation. Established at the beginning of 2023, the K2 Foundation supports the futures of children around the world, particularly within the regions that K2 operates. It does this by raising money through a variety of activities/ventures, from charity bake sales to the Nepal expedition and volunteering programme. It then uses the funds raised to make a positive impact on children’s lives through a range of projects/partnerships, which include a project to rebuild a school in a São Paulo favela; a partnership with Naomi House & Jacksplace, two hospices supporting life-threatened and life-limited children; and a partnership with SOS Africa, which sees K2 sponsoring the education of five local children.

Both informative and inspiring, all parties left the event with new ideas to take back to their global mobility teams. Mira Pathak commented that “from the very beginning, working with K2 has been an absolute pleasure. AIRINC and K2 share very similar values, both when it comes to clients as well as their own staff; and our professional areas of expertise complement each other perfectly.” Emma Kerslake added that “the idea for the collaborative Munich Mobility Forum was born just six months prior and has quickly become one of our highlight events of this year; a unique opportunity to partner with a wonderful company like AIRINC and connect with GM & HR professionals around Bavaria. The event was a resounding success – so much so, that we’ve already been asked when the next one will be taking place!

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