Processes HR departments can put in place to help expat employees settle in to their new life overseas.
A comprehensive orientation programme for expatriates will greatly increase their chances of success. Unfortunately, it is unlikely a one size fits all approach will work on this occasion as pre-departure training will need to consider the unique:
- Culture of their new home
- Situation of each employee
However, it may be useful to have some general guides to:
- Safety and security
- Family life including choosing schools for children
On every destination, you send expats to.
Local support for non-work administration
Many expats find having local support in their destination more beneficial than contact with HR or other colleagues in their base office. If you don’t have someone, consider outsourcing this role to a specialist who can help new expats settle. A local will understand ‘how things work’ and can assist with advice or practical help on a wide range of issues that can potentially confuse someone new to a country. Such as:
- Personal tax
This can free up time and reduce stress for families who are making the journey over-seas.
Help building a social network
Research shows psychological wellbeing while working as an expat is strongly linked to expatriate success. There are many things HR can do to help this process, including:
- Arrange informal introductions to colleagues before the employees go on assignment
- Encourage employees to use social media to build relationships with colleagues
- Organise an employee-centric activity for them on arrival, for example if they move with their family, facilitate an opportunity for them to meet other expat families working in your organisation
- Take a look at spouse expat information groups or check out our trailing spouse guide for other ideas