Building a global workforce

DQW Bureau
New Update


Once merely a concept, global talent manage­ment has now become an essential

prerequisite for successful global com­panies. As a result of the economic power

shifts and changing global demographics, more and more enterprises are

establishing world-class practices and a balanced approach to develop a

sustainable multi-national talent base. Global companies now have to build a

strong and globally deployable workforce for effective execution of their

business goals and to remain globally compe­titive. It has become essential for

them to bind all the employees together and induce a closely-knit environment

across all the locations of the company.

A Global Workforce

Sans doubt, it is the 'people' or 'talent' that is the most valuable asset

of a company and a key differentiator. 'Talent' collectively determines an

organization's and the economy's productivity and the quality of the output. At

a macro level, productivity or efficiency is vital for the economy, but quality

is the decisive metric of effectiveness and provides a competitive edge in the

global scenario.

The education system needs to be continuously aligned with the emerging and

dynamic demands of the industry. Industry-relevant concepts and processes such

as effective quality management and 'Six Sigma' should be introduced at

educational institutes.


Besides curriculum revision on an ongoing basis, behavioral skills training

at engineering and business schools are recommended to prepare students find

their feet in the corporate world with confidence. A major component of such

skills is the effective communi­cation and influencing skill. This coupled with

technical proficiency is an indicator of the collective strength of any


Given that people work in teams and experience, the interplay of cultural

sensitivities has led to the evolution of 'communi­cation skills'. The onus to

facilitate the creation of environments and skills that nurture cultural

sensitivity lies with the human resource depart­ments. Training modules have

been developed in this context eventually contribute toward shaping

organizational philosophy and values.

As a result of the economic

power shifts and changing global demographics, more and more enterprises are


world-class practices and a balanced approach to develop a sustainable

multinational talent base


The human resource team works closely with the senior management for creating

appropriate leadership behaviors and values, which then cascades into an

organizational chain, establishing a culture. While this might contradict the

cardinal rule that the culture of an organization is based on the collective

behavior of its constituents, the larger role played by the leadership in this

area needs to be understood and leveraged to establish the right culture.

Leaders have a greater influence on culture creation and hence, it is imperative

that it starts at the top. This aids in cross-pollination of ideas and ensures

that diverse geo-teams are united in their approach.

Currently, there are no specific training models to build a global workforce.

However, there are many initiatives institutionalized to foster a global culture

within an organization. Successfully creating a global workforce can be achieved

by a combination of behavioral and management training, and leading by example.

With cross-cultural teams working together from different time zones,

challenges are inevitable. Some basic challenges that are relatively easier to

address are accent compre­hension, articula­tion, and communication styles. More

serious and sensitive issues that need to be dealt with caution are

inter-cultural diversity, power connotation, keeping up deadlines and time

schedules that might differ because of the distance and, cultural and social


The vision, mission, and values of a company have a direct bearing on

'buil­ding a global workforce'. While the 'vision' represents the goal,

'mission' indicates the path that should be followed to achieve the goal, it is

the 'values' that provide the energy and zeal to achieve the goal. All three

together run like a common thread inspiring and motivating employees across

geogra­phies to work closely in good spirit.

Abhay Valsangkar

(The author is Senior

Director-Human Resource,

Symantec India