Lloyds Register centralises global mobility services

EXCLUSIVE: Lloyds Register is in the process of developing a centralised global mobility service across its international locations.

The organisation, which has four business streams in energy, marine, management systems and transportation, has around 200 formal expatriate employees.

Selina Jones-May, head of global mobility at Lloyds Register, said: “When I joined two years ago, the global mobility function was decentralised.

“At the moment, we have 60 HR people who touch global mobility activity. That’s obviously out of line with best practice and isn’t really best fit for Lloyds Register.

“When I joined, I started to build a strong business case to summarise why centralisation of the function would be beneficial for the organisation.”

The process was signed off in April 2013. Since then, three regional centres of expertise have been established, with a single HR professional taking care of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), one in Asia and one in the Americas.

“The formal centralisation will happen around March or April next year,” said Jones-May. “Between now and then I’m working on a couple of initiatives. The first is process-mapping the whole of the global mobility function.

Global policy benchmarking project

“I’m also kick-starting a global policy benchmarking project. Our policies are around eight years old, are not in line with what the business requires anymore and are certainly not in line with what I’ve seen at other places. I really want to develop a whole suite of policies that link with talent, skills and the different types of business streams we have.”

The final piece of centralisation will be to align Lloyds Register’s global mobility providers. It is undergoing a range of request for proposals (RFPs) to determine how best to move forward with this process.

The first step, in April 2013, was to move all of its expatriate private medical insurance (PMI) schemes to Bupa. Jones-May said: “That was a very successful initiative because we were able to meet what the business needed, but also assignee feedback really improved as well.”

The organisation was shortlisted for a European Emma award for the project. Jones-May (pictured) was awarded ‘Global mobility professional of the year’ at the awards, which are run by Employee Benefits’ sister organisation, the Forum for Expatriate Management.

Aligning relocation provision

The next RFP is for relocation providers, with the organisation moving from a model of 40 relocation providers to just two. 

“We are consulting across the globe,” said Jones-May. “If, in London, we just implement these things, they won’t actually imbed properly. With my RFP processes, I always try to ensure that, from day one, we have the buy-in and support from the local and regional teams.

“This has involved a lot of consultation to make sure everyone is on the same page, that we need to move to a dual model, and that everyone is aware of the benefits from a cost-management perspective and the control of governance perspective as well.”

Lloyds Register will announce the winners of its relocation centralisation in early December and will imbed the processes in January 2014.

“I’m about halfway through the journey,” said Jones-May. “It is about getting the model up and running, and now looking at all the vendors, policies and processes, refreshing everything, and making sure it’s in line with the business and people strategy.”

Communications across the business

She has cascaded communications throughout the organisation since the centralisation process from the top down, from regional directors through to the heads of HR for each region.

Jones-May added: “I’ve had to divide it up into different segments so as not to overwhelm people. My latest communication was in the summer when I announced that centralisation was happening and what the plans were for resourcing and recruiting those teams.

“In January 2014, I will release another communication to the global population to let them know how that’s going and the fact that from January to the end of February, there will be further consultation to ensure all these processes that are going to be rolled out, that everyone has bought into them, that everyone understands what those mean, and how this function will operate differently to how it does today.

“I see this as a year’s journey, but by the end of February, the processes need to be in place, operational, and by the end of June, our financial year end, I’ll have most of the others sorted.”