During May, ChapmanCG and HR leaders from a variety of industries came together at the fabulous Ferrari North America Headquarters to discuss key challenges faced by multinational corporations with globally dispersed talent.

We framed our discussion around the cultural integration of the workforce within the global multinational environment and how organizations can do a better job to assimilate regional teams effectively into the values and practices of Corporate HQ. We also reviewed some best practices and innovative ideas around engaging remote HR talent.

We were delighted to be hosted by Dennise Tapia, Head of Human Resources for Ferrari North America. Our speaker panel included Dennise Tapia from Ferrari, Jeremy O’Brien who recently joined Eaton Corporation, Jamie Marchand from Broadridge and Stella Strazdas from ChapmanCG. In attendance were leaders from American Express, Balchem, BASF, BD, Berg Health, BNY Mellon, Bristol Myers Squibb, Cardinal Health, CNBC, Coach, Credit Suisse, Johnson & Johnson, QuintilesIMS, RB, Teva, Tiffany & Co and WeWork. These HR leaders have gained a wealth of international work experience and had first hand exposure to many of the management challenges we discussed.

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It is widely accepted that creating and embedding a common culture across a global organization is critical to its long-term success. It is central to engaging a broad population with different beliefs and values, and to forming a common purpose. A lack of clear focus on this key driver can lead to difficulties in attracting, developing, and retaining the right talent. With countless mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and divestitures happening across all industries and in all countries, the need to deliver a clear message on culture and promote how employees can feel part of a global culture has never been more important. Delivering this message to talent thousands of miles away from the corporate headquarters presents another layer of complexity.

We discussed the psychological impact of being stationed in a remote location and not feeling like an equally contributing member of a global team and the impact this may have on engagement and productivity. The best HR leaders understand the importance of emboldening remote workers and affirming their contribution to the success of the whole. They explain and project the purpose and values of the organization, its strength of brand, corporate social responsibility and promote diversity of thought and inclusiveness. Technology can be a good tool to ensure that people get together on video conferences and do not operate behind a faceless email account. However, an ‘us versus them’ atmosphere can still be felt if a remote worker is faced with a sea of distant colleagues all sitting in one boardroom on a computer screen. One HR leader spoke about how he combats this problem to ensure an equal playing field. He insists that if one of the team is remote, then everybody should be remotely accessing the meeting. Often these simple, practical, and subtle suggestions can have a great lasting impact. It is important that we all think ‘outside the box’ for solutions and step inside the shoes of a remote worker to understand what they are experiencing.

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To round off the day, we were treated to a networking opportunity over drinks and food while being dazzled by the Formula One racing car on show and the splendid venue which exuded Ferrari. It became apparent that the culture of the company which emanates from Enzo Ferrari himself still lives large today and is critical to the success of this iconic brand. Indeed, it has been encouraged that all employees, at all levels, visit the manufacturing site in Maranello where the very first Ferrari was made and the latest models come to life to this day. It is critical for all to know and feel that they are part of something special and bigger than themselves. We imagine the Ferrari team were thrilled with the recent Monaco Grand Prix result and we are sure we can speak on behalf of all attendees in passing on our congratulations to this inspiring organization.