An interview with Helena Egan

Meet our Melbourne Summit speaker, Helena Egan, from Toyota as she talks about the future of Global Mobility and why you should attend her session!

Go to the profile of Rosie Perkins
Jun 30, 2016

FEM is delighted to confirm Helena Egan, Global Assignments Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation Australia, will be joining us on our ‘Exploring the mobility framework - in a perfect world, what would mobility look like in five years?’ keynote panel at the Melbourne Summit on 20 July.

FEM: How long have you been involved in the Global Mobility sector?

HE: I have been working in the Global Mobility sector for the past two years. I was also an expatriate to Japan from 2007 to 2009.

FEM: What changes have you seen in that time?

HE: As Toyota Australia transitions from a manufacturing-based company to a Sales and Distribution Company in 2018, there has been a steady increase in the number of global assignments to our parent company in Japan. The purpose of these assignments is to: (a) up-skill existing employees who will remain in the new organisation in 2018; and, (b) capture vital sales and marketing knowledge that will ensure our continued success in the years ahead.

In addition, given current global economic conditions and cost of living pressures, our Toyota affiliates are constantly reviewing expatriate entitlements with the aim of reducing their cost share ratio.

There has also been a concerted effort to align future candidate selection for global assignments to business needs directly resulting from the new 2018 organisational structure at Toyota Australia.

FEM: What do you think are the 3 greatest challenges facing Global Mobility professionals today?

1) Aligning the company’s and the employee’s expectations in relation to the purpose and the expected deliverables of a global assignment;

2) Maximising return on investment of a global assignment for both the company and the employee;

3) Managing the expectations of a returning employee in terms of career progression upon re-entering the company (i.e. a global assignment may not result in automatic promotion upon return).

FEM: Why do you think (this issue) is such a challenge for Global Mobility and why is it important that the audience understand more about the debate?

HE: In spite of the best intentions of companies and employees, managing the career expectations of employees upon return to the home company remains one of the biggest struggles.

The absence of a robust support program for returning employees (and their families) from a global assignment impacts on employee retention rates.

Evidence has shown that, after a certain period of time, a number of returning employees resign from their positions to pursue careers with other employers who highly value the skills, knowledge and experience gained on a global assignment.

FEM: What is the one message you hope delegates take away from your session?

HE: Managing the employee’s expectations upon return from a global assignment is critical to ensuring a smooth re-boarding process. The manager plays a key role in the employee’s re-boarding process.

If the returning employee has an agreed career development pathway post assignment that enables him/her to best utilise the skills, knowledge and experience acquired overseas, it will improve employee engagement and increase employee retention rates.

FEM: Who would you recommend attend your session?

HE: HR professionals working in the global mobility sector as well as managers of employees on global assignments.

In order to ensure that a global assignment delivers the expected outcomes for both the company and the employee, it is essential that managers clearly understand the mindset of an employee undertaking a global assignment.


Managing a small team of relocation consultants, Helena is responsible for the mobilisation of: Toyota employees and their families to affiliates in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, US, Europe and the Middle East, all domestic assignees throughout Australia, as well as in-patriates from Toyota affiliates.

Helena has first-hand experience as an expat having worked at Toyota HQ in Toyota City, Japan, from 2007 to 2009 as an automotive parts buyer. Helena’s team is committed to ensuring a smooth relocation occurs for all Toyota employees in accordance with Toyota’s Cultural Framework and policies.


Register now for the FEM Global Mobility Conference Melbourne - 20 July - Crown Hotel and Conference Centre, Southbank, Melbourne

Go to the profile of Rosie Perkins

Rosie Perkins

Marketing Manager, Forum for Expatriate Management, Centaur Media Plc

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