Even the Small Ones need Support

Even the Small Ones need Support

Frequently, in small and medium-sized companies, professional preparation of employees and their families for foreign assignments is out of the question, due to costs. This is cost-cutting at a high cost.

Multinational corporations employ intercultural specialists to prepare employees and their families for expat assignments. However, the situation is often quite different in medium-sized companies: Many mid-sized firms can often only find a few or sometimes even only one employee willing to go abroad. You would expect the respective candidate to be provided preparation assistance and fussed over. Instead, professional expat preparation is frequently out of the question, since training costs are seen as separate from the consequential costs of a failed foreign assignment, or appear too high in relation to the personnel budget. However: Not preparing expatriates for the special circumstances in their new culture is saving at the wrong end.

What selection criteria play a role?

First of all, it is especially important to select the right person for a foreign assignment. Frequently, professional expertise and language skills, as well as a willingness to leave the country for extended periods, are seen as the most important criteria for employees to be sent abroad. However, these three factors alone are not enough, and repeatedly receive too much emphasis. Additional factors crucial to a specific situation can, for instance, be brought to light through intercultural training courses.

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