Lessons Learned from Going Global: Two Organization Types Outperform!

The new white paper Lessons Learned from Going Global: Two Organization Types Outperform! reviewing how Multinational, Global, International, and Transna­tional organization types adopt HR technology is now available. The research is based on 338 organizations with operations in multiple countries that responded to the CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey.

We’ve tried something different with this report and it was a breakthrough for me. It’s short! That was hard to accomplish as there’s just so much interesting material that a data geek like me and my team can find. We resolved to just focus on key findings and recommendations that, as it turns out, are pretty common sense. And, here’s a secret: while it’s just about organizations operating in multiple countries, I think the four organization types also represent organizations operating in just one country. So anyone can read this and get value from understanding their organization type in terms of how they are structured, where decisions are made, their focus and then how HR technology and best practices can help!

org_modelsWhat we found was that the Global type outperforms on financial metrics. These firms are highly centralized and standard­ized, with major decisions made at corporate and rolled out to local op­erations. They are focused on centralization and efficiency. Consider their cost control measures, such as globally consistent HR processes and data all managed through a single HR system. That advice is good for single country  firms too that have multiple instances supporting different lines of business or as the result of mergers and acquisitions.

The Transnational type outperforms on pro­cess maturity, technology adoption, and level of best practice. These firms combine aspects of the other three organizational types, leveraging ef­ficiencies, maintaining flexibilities, and sharing learning and innovations worldwide. They are focused on efficiency, flexibility, and learning. Consider their approach to balancing process and data handling standardization with innovation and flexibility. As organizations mature, they find the need for some flexibility as truly not all processes can be standardized.

Key Themes and Recommendations

Control costs. High performing global organizations minimize costs by developing an HR systems strategy, moving to a single instance of the core HR management system, standardizing processes and data, and moving to shared services supported by manager self service and an automated HR help desk.

Consider Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. Early global adopters are achieving benefits of SaaS from the reduced need for HRIT/IT staff, faster time to innovation, and improved user experience driving faster adoption and faster time to achieve outcomes.

Optimize talent management with an integrated solution. Organizations with an integrated talent management solution outperform, fostering innovation and driving key outcomes, whether built on a best of breed or an ERP-based integrated talent management solution.

Use business intelligence/workforce analytics for competitive advantage. Enabling an organization to manage with metrics is becoming the last remaining way to achieve competitive advantage. Move to adopt middleware, dashboards, and to put decision making tools and data into the hands of managers.

Focus on change management to achieve alignment and drive value. Best practice global firms involve everyone impacted by technology change. They define a vision that communicates value, gain consensus globally, establish a global governance structure, form a project management office with staff highly skilled in working globally and culturally empathetic, use global representatives for training, testing, or user experience fine-tuning, and continuously communicate. Good advice for organizations operating in one or one hundred countries.


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