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Steps for global development assignments

Global development assignments are a crucial part of efforts made to efficiently develop intercultural competency and move leaders, including high-potential employees, to add greater value of global business. Therefore, it is paramount businesses make the most of global development assignments.

There is no doubt that cross-border development assignments for leaders and high-potential talent alike is expensive, which is why it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure assignments are not a waste of investment. To do this, assignees must undergo the necessary assessment, preparation, development, training and coaching required for success.

This way, businesses can avoid assignment failure, and feel assured that their time and efforts have not been wasted on both the business and assignee. To make the most of global development assignments, businesses must put the assignee first. The investment model outlines how global businesses can ensure improved global leadership development that maximises the outcomes of global development assignments, as follows:

Step 1: Intercultural Competencies

The first step of the investment model assesses the intercultural competencies of the assignee and how this is developed over time. This step of the investment model involves a range of cognitive, effective and behavioural skills which will contribute to how the assignee communicates and interacts with those of another culture.

This is a vital skill for assignees to possess when relocating, and their strengths in each of these areas can be identified using assessment, feedback and development. These intercultural competencies can be developed over time, as assignees adjust to their new home country, and assimilating these skills can lead to an assignee evolving into a talented and successful leader.

Step 2: Intercultural Training & Coaching

Once an understanding of intercultural competency strengthens and the areas in need of development have been recognised, it is paramount to learn how these may apply to different cultures and countries. Understanding the social adaptability of each assignee is important, as businesses are then able to anticipate potential points of vigilance. Intercultural training and coaching can be held on an individual basis through a training program provided by the business, and can even be stretched to incorporate the spouse of the assignee if they are to relocate together.

Successful intercultural training and coaching can ultimately help to raise the success rate of expatriation, as it can result in a reduction of supplementary costs. This training can be highly customisable to each employee and can provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge required to build global relationships. Even assignees that have returned from a previous assignment and are being relocated once again may struggle with the intricacies of a new country’s culture, no matter where they were based prior, so it is important that this is assessed and implemented at all times.

Step 3: Enhanced Intercultural Adjustment

As shown in the investment model, intercultural competency assessment and development followed by training and coaching leads to enhanced intercultural adjustment on global development assignments.

Cross-cultural adaptation can impact assignees in different ways, but when an assignee is competent at interacting with other cultures, and can show the six measurable factors of acceptance, knowledge, affect, lifestyle, interaction, and communication, the assignee is much more likely to complete their assignment, and move on to become effective leaders in their business. This is important for businesses, as it can help to ensure that assignments are completed on time and to the full extent as arranged, which can help to avoid any unnecessary costs.

There are numerous ways businesses can successfully make the most of global development assignments. Adhering to the new model for global development – the investment model – can help to ensure that assignees are able to adapt to their new home country much more easily, while allowing the business to keep a close eye on the development prospects of the individual assignee.

If you would like to find out more how to support employees working overseas, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team today.

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