Sending employees overseas can be a great opportunity both for them and your business as a whole. Assignees get to experience a fresh start in an exciting new environment and expand their professional horizons, while your company stands to grow your business across new international markets.
As the employer, once you’ve made the decision to send staff abroad, there are several things you can do to help your assignees prepare for their posting and integrate once they arrive:
For long-term or permanent relocations, encourage your assignees to visit their host country for pleasure before making the move for work. This is a great way to help them become familiar with their new surroundings and prevent culture shock.
Make sure they’re ready
Permanent travel plans should only be made once everything in the UK has been straightened out. As well as supporting assignees with the practicalities of moving abroad, make sure their colleagues are briefed on how the move will affect normal working patterns and responsibilities.
Ensure there are no surprises
Unfamiliarity with the local legal processes and requirements can be a major source of frustration for assignees. There may be certain rules regarding registering them or their vehicle, obtaining an ID card, etc, that are only more confusing if a language barrier gets in the way. Make sure the assignee is fully briefed before arrival, and has access to expert advice once in-country, to help them settle in without any avoidable drama.
Help assignees integrate
Living miles away from friends and family can cause feelings of isolation, so it’s important to ensure your assignees can quickly make connections in their host country. Provide your assignees with advice and assistance to help them integrate into their new community and establish a social support network.
…but give them a lifeline from back home
Even after an assignee has spent time assimilating into their new environment, the pull of home is likely to remain. Arranging periodic travel back to the UK and encourage them to use Skype or WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends and family.