“People who have worked for us in two countries are around 20% more likely to stay with us,” she told HR magazine. “If it rises to three countries the retention rate increases by 25%, so we are able to see a very clear benefit to offering international opportunities.”
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and L’Oréal UK’s Global Careers report found that the increasingly interconnected global economy has had a strong impact on UK workplaces, with one in four (28%) UK employees now working in internationally-focused roles.
Additionally, international experience was found to add 15% (or £2,700 a year) to the average UK salary. “Working in an international role can increase an employee’s skillset, which is valuable in anybody’s market,” Minneci explained. “Those employees will be proving they can adapt to different levels of complexity, so they are likely to get promoted earlier and gain additional responsibilities when compared to their peers with more linear career paths.”
The research found that 61% of workers who have international experience believed they were able to progress more quickly within their organisation as a result. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employers said that exposure to global markets enables their staff to progress more quickly. Skills gained included a greater awareness of global economic and political issues – cited by 43% of employees – and increased tolerance and cultural sensitivity (cited by 64%).
Workers who had overseas experience were also found to be more productive. The researchers estimated this increase in productivity contributed £9.4 billion (0.6%) to the UK economy in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA).
Shruti Uppala, an economist from the CEBR, said that the diversity of the UK’s labour market brings a broad range of benefits to the UK economy. “Businesses benefit from a forward-thinking and diverse workforce equipped with international languages and cultural knowledge,” she said. “This enhances the firm’s ability to conduct business in international markets, which is critical for growth.”