27 Oct What guarantees a successful relocation?
Being posted abroad for a long period or even on a short-term work contract can be challenging for many people and cultural integration often plays a crucial role in the successful relocation of an employee. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, companies may implement a specific plan of action before sending new or local employees abroad. This plan helps employees to cope with the cultural challenge of adapting to a new country with completely different customs from their own. For this, companies – big and small – can also use the specialised, professional support of a relocation consultant, who provide employees with local knowledge and help them to adjust to the customs and characteristics of their new home.
Support where it is needed
Although most companies offer initial support during or shortly after an employee relocates, it is not uncommon for expats to begin to feel isolated after moving into their new home. Expats who have moved to countries with very strict social rules (such as some Arab countries or in countries with totalitarian regimes) have stated that it is “very difficult” to make new friends. As a result, many expats remain in a sort of “bubble” and only integrate with the expat community instead of becoming an active part of local life.
To prevent this from happening, companies could introduce a cultural integration programme in the workplace to help expats connect with local groups in a relaxed atmosphere. Information about social events and a good understanding of the language are very helpful in terms of cultural integration in a new country. It is clear that giving employees a strong support system during their stay in a foreign country pays off.
Social and cultural education
Many relocation companies offer social training programmes that are suitable for singles as well as couples and their families. The content of these courses differs depending on which country the employee is moving to and the programmes are based on workshops that specifically target efficient cultural and social integration.
Communication is crucial to create a climate of mutual trust
Moving to a new country can cause an expat to change their behaviour, such as by becoming more defensive. Expats can also suffer from increased mental stress. It is therefore important that companies regularly provide their employees with detailed information about all the steps of the relocation process.