A Report was issued recently by Bookfield Global Relocation Services entitled “Global Relocation Trends”. It is an annual survey and was based on responses from 180 small, medium and large organisations located all over the world.
As an expatriate who has never received much organisational support when relocating abroad I felt the report made encouraging reading. Organisations on the whole are becoming more sophisticated in the way they approach and manage assignments, offering benefits more flexibly so that they better meet individual assignee and family needs and circumstances.
Expatriate employee and family welfare are also understood to be of crucial importance to the success of assignments as this quote illustrates:
“No business assignment can work without proper family adaptation and support”
Encouragingly only 4% of assignments from all respondees ended in failure and an early return home. 96% of assignments were sited as a ‘success’. This led me to question whether participating employees and their families perceive their experiences of relocations abroad in such black and whilte terms i.e. success versus failure?
Success or failure for me represents two ends of a broad spectrum. Perhaps for many people the reality is a spot somewhere inbetween where various aspects of the ‘new life abroad’ can be viewed as successful and others as more disappointing or unsatisfactory.
Adapting to a new life abroad is not necessarily a one off event either. I have found that my adaptation to life in Madeira is a constant thing. Holidays and trips home require re-adaptation and life generally poses different challenges constantly. Some are just a function of life just as they would be if I were living in my country of origin but others are related to living in a culture that is not my own.
Do you think organisations need to recognise that overcoming expatriate challenge is not a one-off event but on-going?
If so what format should support policies take?
Of the failure, 56% were due to spouse/partner dissatisfaction and 48% due to an inability to adapt.
How well adapted do you feel right now? What have been your successes and failures?
I’d love to hear your views!
Post your comments here!