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Episode 30: The employee experience of tomorrow

05.08.2023 | Duration: 12:33

In this episode of Mobility via Podcast, Katherine Avery, Robert Smith, and Bryan Samek discuss the employee experience and its importance from a broad talent and global mobility perspective.

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Podcast transcript


Hello everyone and welcome to our next episode of Mobility via Podcast―a KPMG TaxRadio podcast series covering a range of global mobility topics from remote work to talent management, business strategies, tax matters, and mobility technology – just to name a few. I’m Robert Smith, a senior manager in or Global Mobility Services practice and your moderator for today’s discussion.  Today we’re exploring Employee Experience and its importance from both broad talent and global mobility perspectives.  

With me today is Katherine Avery, a partner in our Global Mobility Services practice and Bryan Samek and associate director also in our Global Mobility Services practice. Katherine and Bryan, thanks for being here with me today.

Before we hear from Katherine and Bryan, let me give you a quick roadmap of what we’re going to cover today. We’re going to start with a wide lens on the state of employee experience, then narrow in on new ways of thinking of employee experience as it relates to your mobile workforce. Lastly, we’ll discuss our new solution, Dot to Dot, which is designed to help understand global mobility experience in a newer and deeper way than ever before.

So let’s get started.  Employee experience has moved up the c-suite agenda and companies are tuning into how their employees are doing and acting on what they hear more than ever before. Can you give us a sense of the trends in employee experience?

Transcript continued


Yes.  I think I’ll give it a try, Robert.  Thanks.  There’s a lot of focus on employee experience and wellbeing, and certainly this was on the radar before COVID, but it has really moved front and center as we see the C suite across all industries talking about their priorities which include driving a sustainable and effective workforce as an important business imperative.  We continue to see challenges around having the right people doing the right work at the right time and seeing people working in ways that are more and more digital.  To be successful at doing this, you have to put the employee experience at the center of the way that you want to design both processes and technologies to drive your digital transformation and doing that allows companies to start looking at two different types of value, and the first is sort of the traditional value chain of efficiency and effectiveness, the more traditional ways that companies view value creation, efficiency and effectiveness. 

But the second is employee satisfaction and sentiment, which is a newer way of looking at value that includes both quantitative and qualitative measures of success.  The idea of satisfaction and sentiment, or workforce listening or workforce sentiment analysis you’ll hear it called as well, isn’t necessarily a new thing.  It’s been around five or ten years even in a fairly significant way.  But in a world that’s rapidly changing and becoming more and more digital and hybrid in the way that the workforce connects globally, it’s becoming a paramount thing to measure employee and workforce sentiment and connectedness just as much as you measure operational efficiency and effectiveness.  Companies that take on this type of measurement typically find that they see increases in employee satisfaction that lead to increased retention, better work product or better outcomes and loyalty to the organization.


Awesome.  Thanks for that.  So Katherine, I’m going to stick with you also for our second question here.  Let’s zoom in specifically on the employee experience in the context of global mobility.  What are we seeing in terms of how companies are evaluating and measuring the experience of their mobile workforce, and what are the trends that are out there?  


Global mobility has fundamentally changed and, frankly, how companies are looking at the experience of their global workforce is lagging behind.  Today global mobility affects not only what we think of as traditional mobility like expats and international assignments, but huge cross sections of a company’s entire employee population.  The issues facing mobility program leaders are more complex than ever.  They’re less predictable because of the dynamic change around us, and mobility is touching more stakeholders in an organization than ever before too. Remote workers, complex reward structures, duty of care and other challenges draw in Corporate Tax, Talent Management, Total Rewards, Legal, Compliance, Travel, Security, Immigration and many more, and these items require connectedness to get the right information and the right data.  Expanded reach definitely brings added pressure, but it also brings great opportunity for the Global Mobility team.  

So what does the traditional employee experience look like in mobility?  Historically, each vendor or supplier like a relocation management company or a tax provider, immigration, household goods, et cetera, would send out a survey and ask questions on a one to five scale about the transactions related to the move and the interactions with the supplier.  The data from those surveys is very disaggregated, often too large or complex to analyze and drive meaningful action.  I mean and if you want to take just the verbatim comments that are in those surveys, very difficult for companies to spend and invest the time in reading all of those comments. 

 So companies are making decisions now on how to design the service of mobility and what their priorities should be, even which vendors to provide the various services.  So they’re making those decisions in the absence of true employee sentiment and feedback.  Employers have to ask.  Employee expectations have changed.  Has our global mobility experience kept pace?  


Katherine, I think that that’s a great question, and so, Bryan, I’m going to switch this over to you now, and let’s focus on what can mobility teams do to catch up to how the rest of employee experience is viewed and how it’s being measured?  So I know that at KPMG we have the solution, Dot to Dot, which provides a whole new way of looking at employee experience specific to mobile workforces.  Can you tell me a little bit about how this came to be?  


I surely can.  Thank you very much, Robert.  Let me start by saying Dot to Dot and the concepts of employee experience is very near and dear to my heart, the idea of Dot to Dot and really connecting the dots, if you will.  Like most things, we started fact finding here at KPMG by simply talking to our existing clients, like Katherine mentioned, around the start of COVID.  We were really trying to understand what the needs were of our clients, where they were really struggling in terms of employee experience and some of the aspirations that they were really targeting. 

In many cases, we heard that companies, overall they want to understand how mobility impacts their talent pool.  We know that all too often these companies struggle with compiling the amount of data necessary to actually have a full picture of employee experience, especially across their entire employee population.  If they do notice issues broadly across that population, do they actually have the right people in their own teams or perhaps externally with suppliers to fix or resolve some of these issues? 

For a little bit more background, we held several ideation sessions with these clients to uncover what it was that they really wanted to know about the employee experience, mobility specifically, and about the performance of suppliers that they use within their mobility programs, how could we take data from those two sides of the house and integrate in a view that would actually make sense to our clients?  Born from these design sessions, we heard a lot of the same pain points that Katherine just summarized a minute ago with the idea that Dot to Dot should emphasize and focus on the questions that are asked of the employees.  Right?  Quite literally, the feedback that is captured from the employees who are on a move. 

The manner in which we asked the questions and how long it takes for the questions to be responded to in surveys is fundamental.  Right?  We need to make sure that we are providing a good conduit for employees to effectively share their thoughts and feedback.  That requires good experience, right, and good experience design.  We also know that mobility teams simply don’t have a lot of spare time in their day to day to chase and collect this feedback and, furthermore, they need quick access to data and insights to make decisions based on the feedback that they’ve received. 

So that was also another component of our experience that we designed, and our design team focused on reinventing dashboards that don’t look or feel like anything we have anywhere else in the firm to make this information easy to read and digest.  Ultimately we want our clients to be able to interpret, pinpoint where they need to action on experience, their shortfalls and, almost as important if not more, to be able to articulate success stories for their program.  So we iterated on all this design feedback with our clients, got input from them every step of the way, and that’s ultimately what is the foundation for Dot to Dot and for our experience insights product.  


Thanks, Bryan.  That sounds like a really interesting project to work on, and I have to admit that it sounds like data visualization is really the key to success here at the end of the day.  So Bryan, speaking again about Dot to Dot, can you tell our listeners why they should consider Dot to Dot for the mobility experience?  What would it do for them exactly?  


Yes, absolutely.  Katherine hit on a couple of other pain points around perhaps the impersonal or infrequent nature for employees particularly before they go on a move or after they’ve arrived.  The surveys that are sent to them and the feedback that is typically captured, that doesn’t really allow our clients to ultimately be proactive and deliver on the higher promises of mobile experiences that they’re trying to provide to those employees.  They really need deeper insights.  What I mean by that is how well employees are connecting with new colleagues in the new location, for example.  Do these employees feel that they’re being given the right benefits or the correct benefits for themselves and for their families?  Do they feel like they’re getting a fair deal that really sets them up for success for their move both personally and professionally? 

If I had to sort of wrap up Dot to Dot, I’ll focus on some of the core value of what it will enable mobility programs to do.  First and foremost, Dot to Dot gains clarity around employee sentiment at every step of the way.  We’re concentrating on work-related elements but also general feelings and wellbeing for your employees.  Dot to Dot accurately predicts success of moves, and we do this by gauging team migration and perceived value of the team and ultimately marrying that to family metrics. 

Dot to Dot proactively addresses many of the challenges that occur during moves, and we’re focused on enhancing employee experience and enabling our clients to change processes or perhaps mobility policies related to their vendors and services.  Dot to Dot gets a comprehensive view for your entire supplier ecosystem and the experiences that your employees have directly with those suppliers through agnostic surveys.  Lastly, Dot to Dot expertly supports your organization’s talent strategy and does so with timely insight and allows you to share data again in the form of trying to tell successful stories. 


Thanks for that, Bryan.  We’re just about out of time.  So Katherine and Bryan, I want to first thank you for discussing Dot to Dot and the state of employee experience with me today.  For those listening in, we hope you found this session informative and helpful in thinking about how you want to proactively address some of these challenges.  In future episodes, we’ll continue to address the top of mind issues of interest to our listeners.  In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you.  If you have thoughts on today’s podcast episode or ideas for future podcasts, please send us an e-mail at  One final thanks to the audience for listening.  We’ll see you next time. 


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