While your employee is busy doing everything from learning a new language to searching for the perfect expat abode, your stateside office has plenty of work to do in preparation for their departure, too. It’s essential that you work with everyone to make the transition as simple and pain-free as possible.
HR managers -- If you’ve never helped your company transition an employee to a new role overseas, don’t worry! Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will ensure a smooth transition for everyone.
Get started early
Don’t wait until your employee is already abroad to start the transition. As soon as they accept the new assignment, reach out to their home office supervisor, introduce yourself and let them know about how you can help them. This will give everyone the time they need to get organized, develop a succession plan and find the right candidate to take over the assignee’s stateside position. Selecting the right person from the get-go can save staff from having to go through the hiring and training process again down the road.
Take some time to review any obligations the assignee has to take care of before leaving. Even if it’s assignments they’re sure they can complete before they leave, make sure they’ve got a timeline to complete all team work and to-dos before they get on the plane. Once they leave, chances are they won’t be able to proofread that final document before it’s sent to a client.
Involve the departing employee in the replacement process
Who knows more about their job requirements than the employee in that role? Schedule a meeting with your assignee and their superior to review the transition plan and get their insights into their role. Especially if their position is complex, the assignee can offer the clearest, most concise overview of the duties the new employee is expected to perform. If the departing employee is leaving well before the replacement arrives, ask if they can work with HR to create a training manual. By making sure that you’re keeping the assignee in the loop in the transition plan, you’re setting their replacement up for success.
Keep the process transparent
Set up meetings for the assignee’s co-workers to go over the transition. Explain to them any changed responsibilities, including who will be responsible for what duties until a replacement hire is found and where they can go for direction and questions. Give them contact information for the assignee abroad, and encourage them to keep in touch. Not only will this transparency help everyone in the home office deal with the transition, but it sets up the assignee to both exit their former position and re-enter their new position as easily as possible.
For companies who are sending a great employee abroad, finding someone new to fill their shoes can be stressful. But if you work smart and involve the departing employee in selecting their replacement, there will be minimal hiccups along the way.
Looking to learn even more about making an assignment abroad as simple and pain-free as possible? Download our HR Manager’s Guide to Global Reassignment—it includes all the essential checklists, resources and wisdom to help you and your assignee succeed.