Pre-Departure Training. Pre-departure training provides a framework that enhances expatriate performance. With the advent of globaliza…
Develop a 3–4 page (plus the cover page and reference page) outline of pre-departure training with a thorough description and explanation of the training programs that you suggest for improving expatriate performance.
Your assignment must address the following:
- Articulate the training needs of new expatriate employees and the components of pre-departure training that will address those needs.
- Determine the areas of emphasis and the details of the training.
- Describe how the training will improve the expatriate experience for the new assignment.
Pre-departure training provides a framework that enhances expatriate performance. With the advent of globalization, expatriates help companies play the critical role of transferring strategy, knowledge, and skills to business branches and partners overseas. Expatriates enhance local market knowledge, instill a company’s culture, transfer knowledge, increase local control, and develop talent management(Linton, 2017).
However, besides the geographical change, expatrites face the challenges of living in a new culture, workplace and adopting new lifestyles. Companies can mitigate these challenges by adopting pre-departure training programs for the expatriates and the families before relocating to their new stations overseas (Jochems, 2019).
Pre-departure training programs help expatriates and their families transition by equipping them with knowledge and skills such as cultural sensitivity and social skills to interact with people of different cultures. In addition, expatriate training programs acclimate a company’s employees to living and working in another country, helping them adjust to the new way of life effectively and administer their roles fully.
The quicker an expatriate adapts to the new norms in a new working environment, the more likely they will succeed in their projects. The expatriate training programs seek to address expatriates cultural, language, integration, and family needs (Jochems, 2019).
They take expatriates and their families through formal pre-departure training to reshape their behaviors and lifestyles to match and fit the new experience’s reality. An expatriate training program should incorporate the tenets of skills, knowledge, and awareness to address expatriates’ needs effectively.
Intercultural training enhances self-awareness as it exposes them to critical knowledge that develops them as individuals (Widayanti & Sartika, 2020). Expatriate training programs should also have culturally sensitive tools that enable the expatriates and their families to evaluate their tendencies against cultural tendencies in the new country. These competencies make the transition as seamless as possible.
Pre-departure training includes cultural awareness training, information regarding the host country, language training, project alignment meetings, and overseas support. Cross-cultural understanding is vital for expatriate success (Widayanti & Sartika, 2020). Cultural intelligence is more essential than language fluency concerning the successful assignment.
Expatriate training should be tailored to the country an employee is moving to. A cross-cultural training program should seek to identify cultural similarities and differences in the host country, demonstrate ways of adjusting to the new culture, and provide verbal and non-verbal behavior recommendations based on situations.
The sensitivity training minimizes culture shock, especially among ex-pats in their first assignment (Widayanti & Sartika, 2020). Pre-departure training includes information on the new country’s politics, tax and insurance, medical treatment, the place to reside, traffic rules, childcare and education, and nuances. The information is critical in the successful transition and completion of the assignment.
Understanding the language of the new country is fundamental. Expatriate training should help ex-pats develop language skills to build relationships and rapport with new people (Jochems, 2019). Ex-pats, especially senior managers serving as expatriates, experience the biggest language challenge because they interact with people more often and in high positions.
Some companies require people to acquire language skills on their own. About 37% of expatriate programs offer language skills which should be a fundamental component. Lack of language skills limits transitioning ability of most employees working abroad. Employees that can communicate with colleagues in another country report more job satisfaction and achievement of organizational goals.
Project alignment sessions should also be part of the project. The company’s goals and cultural differences can impend successful completion of the international assignment. These sessions should cover timeliness, milestones, reporting, and expectations that differ from one country to another. The pre-departure training should reassure consistent support of the ex-pats in their overseas assignments.
The training programs should highlight the support ex-pats will receive abroad depending on an individual’s needs and roles (Bayraktar, 2019). Support includes logistical assistance, spouse and children support, mentoring, connecting with other ex-pats, staying connected with the family at home, healthcare, and admin assistance in their new home. These components of the training programs prepare ex-pats for what lies ahead.
The pre-departure training helps improve the expatriate experience for the new assignment. A holistic approach to the training allows ex-pats to have a clear understanding of their roles. Employees should be sent abroad for the right reasons. The program should lay down the assignment’s primary goals to help the ex-pats meet expectations efficiently.
The training ensures better integration. Many ex-pats return home when they cannot successfully settle in their new country. The training programs provide a comprehensive overview of cultural similarities and differences between home and the new country (Jochems, 2019). They help ex-pats develop emotional flexibility and accept unfamiliar behaviors and values to be effective in their assignments.
Ex-pats also develop respect and appreciation of the new culture and norms and adapt in a culturally sensitive manner. The training programs also ensure happy families. Family concerns such as difficulties relating to spouses settling in, children’s education, support, and overall quality of life can lead to failure (Bayraktar, 2019).
The pre-assignment training should consider the ex-pats’ family. The programs should highlight in-country coaching the ex-pats should expect to improve their success throughout their time of working abroad. Pre-departure training is essential for the business and the expatriates.
Bayraktar, S. (2019). A diary study of expatriate adjustment: Collaborative mechanisms of social support. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 19(1), 47-70.
Jochems, L. (2019). The influence of cross-cultural training on the different forms of expatriates’ adjustment: a literature review.
Linton, I. (2017). The importance of expatriates in organizations. Bizfluent. https://bizfluent.com/info-12072421-importance-expatriates-organizations.html
Widayanti, W., & Sartika, D. (2020). Pre-Departure Training and Personal Resources: How it Affects Acculturative Stress?. EKONOMI, 19(1), 31-40.