There are a range of benefits of a holistic training plan for expats as they settle in to their role abroad:
Clear understanding of their role: employees who are sent abroad for the right reasons are likely to be most successful. Pre-assignment training that clearly lays out the primary goals of their assignment is likely to help employees meet expectations with greater ease.
Better integration: the inability to settle into their new country is cited by most expatriate failures as a key reason for their return home. Therefore, detailed inter-cultural studies and sensitivity training is required to:
- Provide a detailed overview of the cultural differences between home and host countries.
- Develop emotional flexibility to accept unfamiliar behaviour and values are effective ways of doing things.
- Help the expatriate to evoke a sense of respect towards the culture and norms of their host country and to enact change in a culturally sensitive way.
Improved language skills: ideally pre-assignment training will offer the basics of the host country’s language to those moving abroad. Good host language skills improve an expatriate’s access to information once they move abroad and helps them to build connections, an essential element of expat success.
Happy families: BGRS mobility trend survey shows the most common reason listed for expat failure is ‘family concerns’ including challenges relating to their partner settling in, children’s education, quality of life or support in the host country. Some of these can be alleviated by not forgetting the expatriate’s family when it comes to pre-assignment training.
In-country coaching: pre-assignment training should also outline the in-country coaching an expat can expect. Receiving structured support from other expats, management and colleagues once they move, can significantly improve the overall success of their time working abroad.