GLOBAL BUSINESS CHALLENEGES
As companies become global enterprises, they face common challenges sparked by their growing aspirations and operations and the need to leverage resources and control costs across geographies. These shared experiences have led to a number of global business priorities that now dominate corporate agendas.
Mercer identified these global business challenges through a review of business, academic and governmental research in 2006. Mercer then conducted a survey of nearly 400 global organizations to learn how they are prioritizing these challenges and what implications the challenges have for HR and the management of their organizations’ workforces. In particular, the research probed the impact on total rewards programs, which are critical to attracting and motivating the talent that is essential for global business success.
Research shows that, in order of importance, the top global business challenges include:
A. Generating top-line revenue growth
B. Globalizing business operations
C. Responding to emerging skill shortages
D. Continuously improving processes
E. Controlling costs and managing risks
F. Engaging employees
G. Changing working demographics
These challenges are discussed in more detail below, with related challenges – such as top-line growth and bottom-line cost improvements – addressed together.
a) Revenue growth and costs
Mercer’s research indicates that the No. 1 priority, by far, for most companies is generating top-line revenue growth. This business imperative is affecting HR agendas as companies seek to both increase revenues and control cost and risk. Survey participants told us that to meet the challenge of revenue growth, HR is focused on increased recruitment of key talent and sales effectiveness, which both translate to bottom-line improvements in the short term. Over the long term, their priority is compensation and benefit programs. On the cost-control side, HR’s priorities include...