Today, companies are increasingly dependent on international markets for higher revenues. More and more, companies with a serious international focus and a solid global strategy are seeking effective ways to expand their global operations, including expatriate programs. By providing the right support, human resource professionals can ensure the success of these programs.
Support can take many forms, from training to respond to issues to providing an information source. Some elements of support include:
- Leveraging a relocation/transition service to provide local assistance.
- Offering cultural and language training.
- Providing a company intranet for easy access to documents and information.
When sending employees abroad, the goal should be to ensure that they come back. Connecting them with other American expatriates and training them before and after they leave are good practices. Regular communication and trips back to the United States can also help them maintain a relationship with their country—and your company. Finally, offering them an equivocal challenge when they return, perhaps leveraging their international skills, will help them continue to thrive.
Before posting an employee overseas, numerous issues will need to be considered, both internally and together with the expatriate. Research, training, information, support and clear communication are key to successful posting—before, during and after. The employee should understand his or her role and, with a good expatriate program, the company should be confident in the ability of the individual to succeed.
Vice President, Human Resources