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Cultural integration for overseas assignments

Relocating for an employment opportunity can be difficult for many individuals, and cultural integration often plays a significant role in the success of an employee’s assignment. To ensure success, businesses may require a dedicated action plan to assist their employees with tackling culture shock. Here at Santa Fe Relocation, we’re taking a closer look at how businesses, small and large, can ensure streamlined cultural integration in the workplace from providing sufficient support, to offering regular training.

Provide sufficient support

While businesses will often provide initial support after the move takes place, there are numerous scenarios where the expatriate can feel isolated after making the move. According to an InterNations survey, in countries which have strict rules to govern society such as Kuwait, 31% of surveyed expats described the process of making friends as ‘very difficult’. As a result, many expatriates remain in some form of ‘bubble’ where they interact only with the expatriate community in their host country instead of integrating successfully with the local culture.

In order to combat this, businesses may consider introducing some form of cultural integration scheme within the workplace in order to introduce the expatriate to a number of locals. Information on social events and having a strong understanding of the language can be highly beneficial when it comes to cultural integration in the new host country.Providing sufficient support to employees throughout the duration of their assignment can help to ensure success.

Training

When it comes to assisting with cultural integration, it is important that businesses provide sufficient support in order to ensure that the employee is comfortable when adapting to their new job role abroad. Businesses that provide their employees with the relevant training can help to build confidence and ensure the assignment is ultimately successful.. Businesses offer multiple different kinds of training programs from a foreign country adaption program suitable for individuals, couples and families, to in-depth workshops designed to help improve the efficiency of cultural integration.

Communication is key

Moving to a new country can often reveal a number of typically unheard of behaviours including defensiveness and greater concern. Due to this, it is important that businesses strive to ensure that the employee is aware of what is happening at all times throughout the relocation process. This includes making sure that the employee in question is aware of how their role may change, whether they will be appointed a new manager and, if so, what this individual may be like, and whether various factors such as pay will change as a result of relocation. Without this communication, employees are likely to become disconnected from not only the idea of relocation, but their role and, more worryingly, your business. For this reason, regular communication is key with not only the employee but between each individual involved in the process to ensure that you have a strong relationship with your employee and their family during the relocation process.

Create new opportunities

In order to successfully assist with cultural integration, businesses must create opportunities for the cross-functional team to work on projects. This can provide employees with the opportunity to get to know one another, build relationships and expand their network. In addition, creating opportunities for the cross-functional team may even result in better results for your business. Combined, the team’s knowledge can help overcome numerous challenges that may be a part of or assist with cultural integration. This includes ensuring employees remain engaged and productive during their time in the workplace.

There are a number of ways businesses can assist with cultural integration from creating new opportunities for employees to get to know one another, to providing support when it is needed the most when it comes to moving abroad. For more information about how we can assist your relocation, get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0208 961 4141, today.

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