Global… local… international… These words are becoming more and more prevalent in the world of human resources. Organizations of all sizes and complexities are operating in different countries, not only because they want to grow and extend their reach, but more often, because they want to survive. So, what do the above terms mean when linked to HCM systems? What are the differences between Globalization and Localisation?
These are just terms that we’ve popularized in the HR realm to make sense of complicated organizational perspectives. The fact of the matter is that it hardly matters, because the first element of any HCM system is the human being – the person.
There is a simpler perspective, and far more effective approach, and it’s what Ultimate does every day: putting people first. By starting with the individual and understanding who they are, where they live, their role in an organization and what they are doing – providing support for the person at work – we achieve two things very quickly. First, we design applications that are useful and relevant to the individual, providing the engagement that is the foundation for business application adoption. Second, we understand the information, processes and relationships that make sense for that person, based on the nature of their work, in what country they work, and with whom they work.
This requires a versatile HCM backbone that enables personalization. Using a smartphone analogy: Globalization means you will be able to use the same smartphone in many countries. When you visit another country, the phone will know it, will be context-aware, will adapt the appropriate time zone automatically, and will turn services on or off according to the country’s regulations. You will have the same user experience regardless of the country you are visiting, because your smartphone is adaptable.
HCM systems must put the person first, while also providing organizations with appropriate views of the people, teams, processes and information that make up their business locally, regionally and globally. Through those views come insight into individual and organizational performance, as well as the reporting required for smart growth and, of course, compliance.
The best globalization practices start with understanding people, roles and teams. With that understanding, as practitioners, we are well on the way to the types of local insight and global oversight our companies need as we grow worldwide.