Moving to another country is one of the most gratifying, but also one of the most challenging, experiences there is. For a business considering employee relocation, it is important to think about a prospective mover’s well-being in their new home. Using global mobility services can help make a temporary or permanent assignment a rich and positive experience. After all, our environment has an impact on our well-being, which in turn shapes how engaged and productive we are. Why not work to make the relocation process as positive and individualized as possible? You will improve your employee’s quality of life, and receive an improved quality of work in return.
Why Do I Need Global Mobility Services?
Relocation can occur for a variety of reasons: maybe your company is expanding globally and has to assign workers. You might have a long-term international client who asks you to send a full-time representative to their headquarters. Or the reverse: you want to hire a valued worker from another country and sponsor them to come work at your office. But the legal procedures for securing a visa and paying expenses are only one important part of the equation.
We live in an increasingly mobile, multicultural and multilingual world. Most people don’t realize how different buying food, taking subways, or finding doctors can be elsewhere—until they have to. (Remember: it’s always the thing you don’t account for that will disrupt the whole project of relocating an employee.) Experts in global mobility ease the transition of moving to another country by attending to these often overlooked aspects. For example, see Global Arena’s offerings for a list of items that you and your employee ought to consider. By hiring trusted professionals who tailor services to your needs, you can rest assured that you won’t miss anything.
Language versus Culture
One of the more obvious aspects of relocation is language training for your assignee. Before they leave, providing classes in the language of the country to which they will be relocating is invaluable. A language services provider can also offer lessons to spouses or other family members, addressing the vocabulary they will need. Language teachers also offer cultural insights and expertise that can be helpful to the assignee.
And the importance of acculturation cannot be overstated, especially in the long-term context of relocating an employee. They will have to understand and master new ways of interacting with the world at many different levels. How will they handle a business dinner at a fine restaurant, a parent-teacher conference, a traffic stop, and so on? Each of these requires knowledge of a specific set of communication practices—and that’s complicated enough in your native language. Learning the words and grammar perfectly isn’t enough; learning what linguists call the pragmatics of the situation matters, too.
The global mobility experts you enlist can help assignees internalize this knowledge, in conjunction with or separate from learning languages. They can also outline information about body language, customs, social roles… The list of possibilities is endless, so again, you will benefit from relying on a provider to whittle it down. Ultimately, you want your employee to not only feel at home, but also acclimate to their new social and cultural context. If they make a good impression both in and out of the office abroad, that reflects positively on your company.
Of course, LSPs are also capable of translating birth certificates, driver’s licenses, or other documentation needed for relocation. And even with all the language training possible, a qualified interpreter might still be necessary in certain situations. Be ready for the unexpected by having a provider you know and trust, prepared to help with anything that arises.
When Well-Rounded Employees Come Home
In most cases, your assignee will eventually repatriate, most likely with mixed relief, joy, and sadness. If they’ve been away for a long time, reverse culture shock can be just as jarring upon an assignee’s return home as it was when they arrived to their host country. Any company that offers global mobility services must recognize that they must be applied to relocation in both directions. And you want your employee to continue to feel valued, if they don’t, they are likely to become dissatisfied and seek employment elsewhere. After the effort you’ve invested in their assignment, certainly you’ll want to retain their skills and new level of knowledge. Professionals who have relocated and returned are some of the most valuable for an international business to retain.
Think about the full trajectory of relocation before you begin: what is your final goal in assigning an employee abroad? Global mobility services providers can help you figure out the specifics, but your company has to decide the value. The practical skills are important, but also supplemented by the mobile employee’s impact on workplace culture and breadth of experience. And every move to another country is a unique one, with all involved growing from their role in the process. That inherent benefit, if properly and positively harnessed, will help you achieve your company’s objectives in ways you’d never expect.
Get positive results when using relocation services with Global Arena, contact us