Today’s global economy is very much shaping the future of our workforce all over the world. In order for a company to remain relevant, competitive and able to look ahead at the long term success of their business, it’s important to ensure that their employees are fluent in the ways of the world. Nearly 80% of all midsized and large companies are sending their professionals abroad for work and another 45% planning on increasing their global presence.
With expatriates costing more than twice of what they would in the same position at home and acting as the largest expenditure (aside from the CEO), it does leave some business owners wondering how worthwhile international assignments actually are. The truth remains that companies do get a huge return on this investment- when the investment is managed in the right way, however. In a study of 750 people that looked at the experiences people had as expatriates in the US. Japan and across Europe, it was interesting to see the results of what happened to the expats and what their experience of relocation for work was.
A small percentage said that they left their time overseas early due to dissatisfaction at work or the fact that they have difficulties adjusting to their new environment. Nearly one third of people stated that they did not perform to the expectations of superiors and a quarter of the workers left to join a competitor within a year. With so many companies clearly doing something wrong when it comes to relocating their workforce and managing their expats, we thought that it would be worthwhile to explore the right way to manage expats and explore the best ways in which to do so.
Sending people away for the right reasons
First and foremost, one of the most important things that any company can do when it comes to sending their employees overseas is doing so for the right reasons and those which will seek to offer long term success. It is important to relocate your workforce due to pressing and immediate matters, as opposed to simply assigning people to glamorous cities and allow their workers to offer something new to the place they are being transferred to. Expats themselves will also need to be fully briefed about the reasoning behind why they are being sent abroad i.e. to develop leadership etc. It’s all about being able to able to plan for the long term gains, as opposed to simply seeking immediate rewards.
Send the right people
One of the biggest problems facing companies who are looking to send their workforce abroad is in the fact that they tend to send skilled workers, however these skilled workers may not be the best when it comes to being able to adjust to the difference in perspectives and business practices etc. Companies that have a strong background with successfully relocating their workforce are those that couple an individual’s know-how of the role on offer with their openness to new cultures too. Companies that manage their expats to a high standard are also those that use a range of tools that measure someone’s cultural sensitivity and evaluate people early on in terms of being an ideal candidate for a potential pool of expats.
Finish the right way
Taking repatriation seriously is also a sign that a company has what it takes in terms of successfully managing their expats. Research has found the following:
- Three quarters of workers who returned home felt that their permanent position when returning home was a demotion
- Over 60% of people felt that they were unable to put their experiences from working overseas to their best use at home
- The return rate for expats stood at 25%
Being able to manage the process of expatriation and repatriation and overseeing it from beginning to end allows there to be a focus on ensuring that there is stability when it comes to transitioning back from their time overseas.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to best manage your workforce overseas, then be sure to contact our Corporate Relocation page and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable members of staff. We will help you make the most of employee relocation and work alongside you every step of the way when it comes to offering the most effective solutions for your employees.
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