Expat Life: 3 Expert Tips to Overcome Challenges

It’s not the major moving parts that weigh on Expatriates – it’s the small day-to-day frustrations that add up over time. While your company likely addresses the big pieces of the puzzle during their global relocation, do you provide services that help with day-to-day expat life challenges?

Here are 3 ways to ensure expats overcome daily challenges that threaten their global relocation success – especially in a post-Brexit market:

1. Prioritize cultural training programs.

We encourage you to require expats to complete cultural training. This service addresses a wide range of questions and issues critical to personal and professional success, and both are vital to a rewarding expat life during the global assignments. Areas to explore include:

  • The values, attitudes, and behaviors in the new country.
  • How to make friends and develop good relationships with colleagues.
  • Workplace traditions and principles.
  • How to overcome culture shock and manage feelings of unease effectively.

When cultural training isn’t required, companies see an influx of expats asking for it months after they relocated. When this happens, it becomes a corrective service to fix challenges verses a preventative service to guide the integration process.

2. Establish a mentor program.

Match the expat with an experienced employee in the office. This provides the person with a defined co-worker to talk to when questions arise. The issues might seem minor in the beginning and not worth troubling their boss with. This makes having a set mentor a great resource for answers on expat life. As the two develop a relationship, the expat will be more comfortable asking questions and gaining insights on office culture, as well as your company culture.

Mentorship programs will achieve greater success if a designated person tracks how expats are matched with a mentor and provides them with talking points and resources to get the relationship off on the right foot. Consider tapping your HR team to help manage the mentor program if you do not have a key internal team member to oversee the program.

3. Extend expat life support beyond the practical pieces of a relocation.

The practical items are necessary for every relocation, but these items don’t guarantee the expat’s transition will be a smooth one. It’s vital to address both short- and long-term needs. This is accomplished through:

  • DSP providers to help with house-hunting trips and urgent needs in the first few days after the family arrives.
  • Integration support to help the family find the resources they need to build a new life in the new country.
  • Job search support or career continuation assistance for the working spouse/partner.
  • Cultural training to increase the individual’s awareness of cultural norms.

The expat life is a challenging one without proper resources. Ensure your transferees have comprehensive support to overcome their day-to-day challenges and build a thriving life and career in their new country. Discover how we can empower greater assignment success together!