BordeauxLife believe that this certainly a major contributing factor to the success of transferring employees around the globe.
In many international companies, relocating staff from one country to another has become common practice. The willingness to relocate is often a vehicle for employee career development and existing, proven and trusted members of staff are often preferred over the “unknown quantity” of a local new recruit. This, is especially true, when it comes to crucially important roles in executive positions and subject matter expertise.
However, international relocation does not come cheap. According to the Workforce Mobility Association, the average cost of relocating an existing employee ranges from between 20,000 euros to 90,000 euros depending on their status (ie, existing home-owner, renter, etc). With such a large investment in one member of staff, HR professionals are being put under increasing amounts of pressure to ensure that their new transferee settles in quickly and achieves optimal results during their course of their assignment.
In reality, a high percentage will not.
According to a 2014 study by INSEAD, up to 50% of all overseas transfers fail, with staff being repatriated without achieving their targets, often prior to the end of their contract. This is not a new phenomena - over the past 40 years failure rates for overseas assignments have remained largely the same.
It is likely that the relocating employee has been rigorously assessed for their skills and cultural fit to the new organisation and role, however it is less likely that the impact on the employee’s family has been assessed.
Contrary to popular belief, family does often come before work. Of all the causes of failure to successfully transfer, research shows that family related problems represent 70% of the total.
Moving overseas is a stressful and challenging experience which, in turn, can lead to culture shock, homesickness, difficulties in settling-in and, in some worst case scenarios, family division. These issues can never be completely overcome, but the impact can be significantly reduced by the introduction of a local, experienced and family-oriented relocation agency.
The key is to identify and then remove the primary pressure points associated with the move. A relocation agency can help the new hire, not only with the complexities involved in finding a new home and schooling, but with getting to know the local area and integrating into the community. They can provide support with day-to-day issues, banking, language training, insurances, car purchases and act as a ‘first friend’ to the family.
Moving to a new job, country, school and culture can be one of the most exciting, and at the same time, most difficult, things a family can do. Attention paid to the planning of the move, providing local support on the ground and being proactive in the help families receive through the first few months, vastly improves the chances of a success.
At BordeauxLife we have, collectively, over 60 years of experience in relocating internationally. We have been the trailing spouse, we have been the isolated parent, we have been the supportive friend, we have been the new international hire and we have been the HR support.
We are not a large, faceless mobility company. We put the needs of our clients and, more specifically their families, first and foremost.
Whether you are an HR executive struggling to keep up with your ever increasing workload or an individual moving to the Bordeaux area, contact us to see how we can help.
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