Your employee has accepted their job abroad and now it’s time to get down to business! Before all the hullabaloo begins, there are some important conversations you should have with your assignee to get the transition off on the right foot. All the things that need to be accomplished between accepting a job abroad and waving farewell at the airport can feel overwhelming. Whether you have three weeks, or three months, you’ll want to make sure all of your mangoes are in a row, so your assignee and their family members feel confident, prepared and cared for as they begin their exciting journey.
Here are six important things to discuss with your assignee immediately after they accept the job:
Be clear from the get-go on what you plan to provide and how you hope to help your assignee and their family members during the move abroad. Painting a clear picture of your role will help to avoid miscommunication, confusion or frustration. You might even consider creating a checklist that includes all of the things the company will cover and all of the things your employee will be expected to take on, so you can ensure total clarity and lay the groundwork for successful communications moving forward.
First up, determine how many people are making the trip. If your employee is heading to Milan alone or moving a family of five to Hong Kong, your strategy, and likely the support you provide, will change. From there, have a conversation surrounding their priorities in the move. Ask questions such as, do you need a nanny while abroad? Will your dog Rufus be making the trip with you? What is your spouse most excited for about the assignment? Getting to know these details will guide you in your strategy for their assignment. It’s imperative to know priorities so you can deliver the best support for your assignee.
New office contact.
After your assignee accepts the job, connect them with their new office as soon as possible. Initiating communication between your assignee and their new colleagues will help them get a sense of the work culture, so they can get familiarized even before their first day in the office. Having a contact abroad also provides your assignee with a resource for any questions that may come up in the transition process. Plus, this new friend will be able to introduce your assignee to other colleagues and get them up to speed with their workplace once abroad.
As we mentioned before, figuring out who will be moving and what their priorities are should be one of the first things you do. If your assignee is moving with their family, make sure they know you are there not only as a resource for them, but also for every member of the family.. Whether that entails helping their spouse get a job or connecting them with an expat group, outline all you intend to do. As we’ve mentioned before, making relocation a family matter will increase the chances it’s a success. It could also be helpful for you to meet with their spouse and/or family in order to best understand everyone’s wants and needs.
Provide your assignee with a detailed timeline of what needs to happen between now and the move to ensure every detail is covered off. A calendar accompanied by a spreadsheet outlining necessary tasks will help keep everyone on track so they can get things done in a timely and efficient manner. Make sure the timeline includes everything from applying for their visa to packing up their office. This will alleviate stress and concerns for many of your assignees, and ultimately make the move more seamless.
Language and culture learning.
If your assignee is headed to a non-English speaking country, provide them with the necessary resources to adjust to the new culture through language learning. Mango Languages provides engaging language and culture learning courses the entire family can use; in the car, on the plane or anywhere they may be online or off. The program will help build confidence in their communication leading to a more successful assignment, which is ultimately what you want!
And just like that, you’ve begun the process. Need help moving families abroad? Download our white paper on family relocation and read up on how to best support not only your assignee, but everyone making the move!