Career development have always appeared to
be a major reason for employees to accept an assignment in another country
although people at the home office find it difficult to imagine that returning
expats need help readjusting after just a few years away.
Furthermore, most of the companies only pay
attention to their expats when something goes wrong during the assignment, they
don’t really see the returning home of the employees as an issue.
But the repatriation, professionally and
personally, can sometimes be a huge disruption for a large part of the people.
Companies that recognize this fact help their returning people by providing
them with career guidance and enabling them to put their international
experience to work.
We’ll firstly review a bunch of the things
that a company can make sure that the expatriate can take full advantage of a
satisfying returning home.
Obviously, all of this applies if
everything before and after the assignment was correctly done. For example,
that the employee was matching with the job he was offered in the other
First of all, it is clear that the company
has to recognize the challenge that the expatriation was for the employee. In
order to do so, this person should be correctly rewarded after the assignment.
The reward can take many forms but must be
felt by the employee.
An example could be a raise or this person.
As a matter of fact, it’s not like the employee stayed in the same company doing
the same job during years, he went to another country and acquired new
knowledge and new skills. It is ridiculous to pay the same salary to a person
that is more skilled in its day to day tasks.
Also, a good way to reward the expatriate
would be to increase his managerial responsibilities. It doesn’t even matter I
he had no actual managerial responsibilities before the assignment because the
company might be able to consider upgrading the employee to a manager position.
On the other hand, if they already had a position as a manager the company
should consider upgrading the size of the team they are managing or the
position (regional, departmental…).
Clip Industries is applying a bunch of
processes to help the expatriates to re-integrate the company and actually
enjoy a real career development.
For example, the managers of the employees
spend some time at the end of the assignment writing them an email in order to
inform them about what happened in Clip Industries during the assignment.
Furthermore, they assess all the skills and
knowledge that the expatriate has earned during their experience a few months
before so that they can review potential job offering within the company that
could better fit the employee. On the other side, the expatriate also assesses
himself and writes a report including career goals. On the returning home, the
expatriate and Clip Industries meet and decide I it’s beneficial to offer this
person a new position in the company according to its needs.
From what Clip Industries told us, they
would like to integrate another process (more about “other support services”)
which would consist in offering the expatriates and their families a daylong
debriefing upon the returning home. During that day they would be shown videos
of other expatriates after their assignment sharing their experience and this
could help them make their own choices.
Also, some meetings could be organized with
those previous expatriates so they could be able to discuss the returning home.