Congratulations, HR manager! You’ve taken care of all necessary paperwork, helped your assignee secure housing and schooling for their kids, and their bags are packed. It’s T-minus 24 hours until they’re on the plane to their assignment, and you’re ready to relax.
But before you kick back with a Mango smoothie and our Finnish course (try it, we swear it’s very rentouttava) there are still some things you need to take care of before your assignee departs. Here’s our list of what you need to do on the day of their departure.
Double-check all paperwork
You may know that your assignee and their family have completed all their business-related paperwork, but do they have the documentation they need to get into the country? Ask your assignee to double-check that they have their passport, visa (if necessary) and any company forms they need before leaving. Ensure they know how to get home from the airport and where to exchange currency. If they don’t, at least provide them the language-learning skills they need to ask.
Create a check-in schedule
The first days abroad are always scary, so assure your assignee that you’re never more than a call away. Plan to check in at certain times each day to make sure the assignee is starting to settle in. They may have forgotten something at home that you need to know about, or they may need you to reach out to their boss at home to turn in a completed project that slipped their mind. These may be stressful times for you and the assignee, but together, you can work everything out as long as you keep the lines of communication open.
Ensure that you’re ready and able to check in with your assignee. Double-check the time change so that you know you’re calling them at the correct time. Make sure you’ve got the necessary software (Skype is great) and apps (like Kik or WhatsApp) that allow you to easily and cheaply communicate with an assignee halfway around the world.
Make sure the home office is ready
Transitions aren’t just difficult for the assignee: they’re a lot of work for the home office. Introduce yourself to the employees in your assignee’s home office. Both the assignee and their co-workers should understand how you’re working to move the process along. Pass along your contact information: you may be the best way for an assignee’s co-workers to reach them for the first few weeks they’re abroad. Set up meetings for employees with either you or another HR manager to go over the transition. Give them a brief overview of any changed responsibilities, including who employees can go to for direction and questions.
Make sure the assignee and their family are ready for the new language and culture!
It’s almost impossible to fully prepare for your assignee and their family for a new culture before they arrive, but you should make sure they have the background on language and culture needed to navigate their way through their new home in the first few days. Do they have the Mango app on their phones? It’s a lifeline when they need to learn key phrases on the go, and a great way to spend a potentially very long flight. If you want to learn more about how Mango can help an employee with last-minute language and culture-learning before embarking on an assignment, drop us a line: we’d love to work with you to make every assignment a success.
Feeling better about your assignee’s impending assignment, but still in need of some support? Download our HR Manager’s Global Relocation Toolkit, our compendium of advice, checklists and wisdom on how to make assignment as pain-free as possible.