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How to get the most from a global workforce

On this week's HCTV, Patrick Medd from Ernst and Young gives his advice on how to make global working work for you.

Video transcript below:

Reporter:  For an increasing amount of large multinationals working globally can bring with it huge amounts of challenges.  We spoke to Patrick Medd, Learning & Development Leader for Ernst & Young, Asia Pacific for his key pieces of advice for fostering global working.

Patrick Medd, Asia Pacific Advisor Learning & Development Leader, Ernst & Young
Patrick Medd: 
 The thing that I found the starting block is absolutely picking the people and building the relationships and you know nothing gets done through emails, nothing gets done from global by sending instructions, you need the relationships, you need the stake  holders and you need to figure out really what the buy in and what the selling points in every area is.  So once you know your people and can really understand what that business is and know that we are actually acting as a business partner, then the relationships are formed and those relationships are very much advised, as an advisor to start with and then maybe as  a business partner and then maybe you can then start to do some enforcements that we are globally is the way we should be going so to push then.

Communication, you know everyone reads things differently, everyone says they heard it on a call but when I do a call I have a slight puck saying what I am saying, I have the actions in the end saying what I have done and then I get people to talk about you know what they are then going to do.  I think that’s really key when you’ve got, I’ve got 21 countries across Asia Pac because when you are listening to something in a second language, you know it takes a long time to process and you can never appreciate that complexity that they go through, what I am sitting with the [old tracks] and going through a lot of information and then you know I make sure it’s written and I communicate it often and back and congratulate and reward and just thank them.

Reporter:  Medd urges companies to consider what initiatives will work being in force globally and which are better to left regional.  

Patrick Medd:  This thing with global is what is good to be global and what is completely consistent and solid, so these are the things like values and core beliefs and things you know that we sort of say, this is our employee value proposition, these are strong things and then what’s the flexibility with actually going to the different countries and the locals because you actually sit there and think, well that we can’t control that globally so there has to be that kind of kind of flexibility to say this is definitely a global, a thing that we can work on and we can make it consistent.  This we have to allow some flexibility.

Reporter:  Finally Medd cautions that communicating with notion of a global team can sometimes be challenging.

Paul Medd:  Our global team isn’t a separate entity.  A lot of the regionals will say, oh who is global.  Well, we all are global, we know the people that operate to the area level, people that operate at the country level, we are actually getting subject matter experts from each country and bring them together to design training programs.  Therefore they are global for that moment.  So and the more we can do that, now the challenges we faced would we would produce program and then what would happen is people would say, yeah this isn’t relevant in China or in Korea or in the States or in South America.  It doesn’t feel relevant, so now we do is we take experts and we take them out of the business and we say this is really key, well we want to take the people from the front client facing end, put them together in a team, we might even fly them to a destination so they can be in a room and say, what would the greatest way of doing project management that would work with everyone.  What would be the best way and we’ve got cross cultures, we’ve got cross businesses, we’ve got you know every different type of style involved and that group becomes global and therefore the buy in is better and therefore the production is better and we’ve actually just won an award for our project management program that we run on that basis.  And it’s an outstanding program and that’s the sort of thing that we can do consistently globally.