CWS 3.0: August 17, 2011 - Vol. 3.20

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7 Effective Tips to Launch a Successful Global Program

Your contingent workforce program might be a success in the United States, but if you want to expand it to other geographies, you’ll need to do some extra work.

C-suite buy-in. To be successful taking a contingent workforce program globally, like any other initiative, you need executive buy-in across multiple disciplines and geographies. To secure that, you’ll need to demonstrate a clear mission and a value proposition that resonates in multiple countries and cultures. Make sure you have a sponsor at the C-level who is willing to put his or her weight behind the program. This becomes critical to ensuring adoption across different business units.

Appreciate area differences. What may make perfect sense in one country may not resonate in another. You may find that some regions value tracking the workers, while other regions value managing worker directives and compliance with local labor laws. Still others may value cost savings. Acknowledging different value propositions is key to implementing a successful program.

Timing is essential. Next, you need to consider the timing associated with implementing a global program. Most providers prefer to implement in a big-bang method to minimize the impact associated with implementation costs. This works well when you have a large temp worker population in concentrated areas, however, it could be challenging and make for a rocky launch if your group of contingents is spread across multiple countries in smaller numbers.

Company culture. Some U.S.-based providers find it easier to establish programs in English-speaking countries because there is no language barrier. Others choose to implement the program taking into consideration country culture or complexity of labor laws. Some believe that it’s easier to go where the laws are simpler.

In reality, experts believe that the best way is determined by the company and its culture in each country. Your organization’s culture may support a big-bang theory of implementation. Companies that encourage autonomy may find CW program adoption more challenging if they go the big-bang route.

Enlist your VMS/MSP provider. Providers with country-specific experience can make recommendations on the best strategies. The provider should be familiar with your company’s mode of operations as well as culture. It is important to work with them in planning your program launch and implementation.

Communicate details. Once you have decided on the plan, it is very important to communicate it to the hiring managers/users. Though approval from the top tells the people that this is the way it should be, business unit support evens out the inevitable bumps in day to day operations. Internal stakeholders iron out the kinks in the program as they use it and give valuable feedback.

Sell, sell, sell. Sell the value of the program, report on the results and acknowledge the benefits gained through increased adoption of the program. Have a transparent process. Present the data generated by the program. Report results at every stage of implementation. If you can show how smart business decisions can be made based on program data, you will encourage adoption. This in turn keeps the confidence high and increases user adoption.

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. As seen, a successful global CW needs to take into account many different factors. But there is one commonality. The best programs have a genuine partnership with their providers. Both have to work together to increase efficiencies, improve the processes and communicate the results across the enterprise.

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