Many US organizations have a common misconception about global growth: international markets are less mature. It’s not uncommon to hear that EMEA is five to six years behind the US in how contingent workforces are managed. However that’s certainly not the case, as Bryan Pena of Staffing Industry Analysts, Liz Harper of Brightfield Strategies and I discussed last week during our Making It Work: Best Practices for Expanding your Contingent Workforce Program Internationally webinar. These markets are not less mature than those in North America — they’re just different. During the webinar, we talked about how organizations can better prepare for global expansion by educating themselves and planning for these cultural nuances before deploying their contingent workforce programs overseas.
Harper provided some background on EMEA-specific legislation influencing the way contingent programs operate. The Data Protection Directive, Health and Safety Directive, Temporary & Agency Workers Directive (AWD) and the Fixed Term Worker Directive all significantly affect how organizations are able to expand their programs globally, and prudent organizations must take these laws into account.
But outside of any legal considerations, there are cultural nuances to change management to consider before deployment as well. Harper noted a few examples of how the national culture impacts the corporate culture:
- Power-Oriented Culture: Countries like Japan and India fit into this quadrant and value the dialogue between stakeholders rather than what’s being discussed. In other words, these countries want to know who’s attending a meeting rather than what will be discussed.