Engagement and Incentives: Going Global

November 3, 2015
When you call an airline, the reservation agent on the other end of the line could be in the Philippines. Your local bank was recently purchased by a Spanish one.  And, according to Forbes, your Japanese car may have been mostly made in America, where “682,000 U.S. jobs are generated by the Japanese-branded automobile companies’ production facilities.” HR must now reach across the globe to deliver a consistent employee experience across cultures and languages. They must take many new challenges into account. How can you be sure that the rewards you choose have meaning in another country? Is the brand message the same everywhere? It is important to be fair and appropriate to all employees, in the U.S. or abroad. The demand for international employee engagement programs is on the rise. If you are thinking of going global with your program, here are a few important things to consider before getting started.
  • Currency – When headquartered in the U.S., most companies convert everything into US dollars, but some choose to do everything in the local currency. Think about your cost centers and preferred billing process before finalizing your program.
  • When $100 Does Not Equal $100 – There can be vast differences in the standard of living between countries. A $100 reward in the U.S. is significant, but in some countries, it could be a week's salary! Your incentive and recognition partner should be able to provide guidance on appropriate award amounts across borders.
  • Bill on Issuance versus Bill on Redemption - Some companies prefer to bill for all points and awards at the time that they are uploaded into the platform. Others choose billing when the award redeems. There are significant accounting benefits to billing on issuance for a global program and any currency fluctuations will have less impact on your budget.
  • Customer Service Around the World – A great incentive and recognition solution provider works with partners who can provide local customer service. This is important not only because of language challenges, but also because customer service reps need to understand the culture of people on the other end of the line. What’s a big deal in one country may not be in another.
The benefits of bringing your international programs onto one platform can include:
  • Cost savings
  • Program consistency
  • Customized local services and rewards
  • Representing the face of the brand with local presence
  • Centralized invoicing
  • Reflecting the taxes and tariffs in each country
Business is global and that presents challenges.  But with the right tools and local partnerships, you can keep your team engaged, wherever they may be. Here at Dittman Incentive Marketing, we are proud to offer international fulfillment to 77 countries around the world. For more information on our TotalPRO platform, click here.

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