While coordinating global reassignment is a big task for employees leaving your office, global mobility managers need to handle incoming assignments as well. Just like those Americans you’ve sent abroad, expats coming to the United States face a variety of challenges in both culture and language learning that can make or break their time here. It’s up to you to make them feel welcome in their new U.S. office and ensure they’re adjusting accordingly. Read on for few tips on rolling out the American welcome mat.
Encourage office dialogue
When it comes to language learning, practice makes perfect. Encourage your English-speaking employees to chat regularly with the non-native speakers in the office. Whether it’s getting together after work for a quick drink to get acquainted with American football and its accompanying vocabulary, or a weekly meeting to discuss what office vocabulary and customs are tripping up an assignee — getting them into the practice of speaking English is essential. If an English-speaking employee is willing, it may even be helpful to set up your foreign assignee with a dialogue partner. Nothing helps perfect a second language like hearing it straight from the locals!
Recommend movies and TV shows
As you know, understanding the culture of the language your assignee is learning is just as important as grammar or vocabulary. While American pop culture is disseminated around the world and foreign employees will most likely be familiar with the major movies and television shows, they’re often dubbed. Encourage your assignees to watch films they’re already familiar with in their original language—or, if you’re feeling adventurous, help them discover some lesser-known American shows. Just like we do in Mango Premiere, this process gives English learners a chance to hear native speakers conversing normally, all while picking up bits and pieces of cultural understanding along the way. Who knows: The Office just might end up being your assignee’s new favorite show.
Get them started on Mango
From your previous experiences with U.S. employees going abroad, you know how much language and culture training factors into overall assignment success. With your incoming assignees, it’s no different! Language and culture learning are the keys to unlocking a great experience when living abroad, no matter your origin. As soon as you can, offer to set up your new assignee and their family with one of Mango’s 17 English-learning courses. The sooner they get started on learning English, the smoother their U.S. experience will be.
Although English and American culture are more well-known in other countries, assignees coming to the United States will still need some assistance getting adjusted in their new home. Mango, pop culture, and chatting with coworkers can help them learn English faster and enjoy their time in the United States.