Cross Cultural Training for Relocation

Matthew MacLachlan

3 Mar 2010

Cultural Awareness training is extremely important for employees being relocated to another country. Intercultural training programmes for relocation provide the cultural preparation and strategies without which international assignees and their family members could struggle when adapting to life and work in the target country.

The intense cultural transition that follows being relocated to a foreign country can, without adequate preparation, result in significant culture shock. Instead of hitting the ground running, employees may struggle to integrate into their new environment and be unable to effectively cope with their new international assignment. This leads to potentially huge costs for the organisation and a negative impact both on the employee’s emotional resilience and ability to perform well in the future.

In the 2008 Global Relocation Trends Survey Report conducted by GMAC respondents rated cross cultural training for relocation as the third most important initiative to increase ROI of international assignments, claiming that “cross-cultural preparation has a direct impact on the financial success of a relocation/assignment”.

Cross-cultural training for relocation programme such as Living and Working in Japan can significantly reduce the risk of international assignments by providing international assignees with the intercultural knowledge and skills required to be successful when working across cultures.

Despite this, many companies still fail to make cross-cultural training for relocation programmes mandatory and therefore risk huge financial loss from early returns or damage to relationships with international counterparts through cultural faux-pas and misunderstandings.

 



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