A well-traveled employee is a lucrative one. Apart from career history, education and personality, some employers are also focusing on a candidate’s travel experience when they consider them for a position.
And it’s with good reason. Global employees tend to be adaptable, versatile, confident self-starters. Not to mention friendly and easy to get on with.
So, if you’re considering sending an employee abroad, to boost their skills set and, of course, improve your company, what should you think about? Here are 8 tips for sending an employee overseas:
1. Enact a sleep-on-it clause
Given the riches presented by, say, a 6-month sojourn to New York or a year-long posting to Hong Kong, it’d be easy for an employee to jump at the chance without giving it much thought. You want your worker to be absolutely 100%, so make sure they have time to think about it properly before giving you a definitive answer.
2. Sort out the red tape
A frustrating yet essential part of managing an employee’s move abroad. Depending on where they’re going, you might need to sort out temporary visas and/or work permits. There are also lots of health and safety rules, especially in the UK, which can see employers liable if an employee is injured. Make sure you’re fully aware of what your responsibilities are.
3. Set some goals
What’s the point of this assignment? What do you want to get out of it? You don’t want your worker to treat it like a holiday and, while it’s unlikely they will, setting them some goals and aims is a good way to provide some structure to the posting. Give them clear goals to achieve and ask them to keep you updated on progress, perhaps by a weekly email or a catch-up Skype call.
4. Check the contract
It’s a good idea to change your employee’s contract ahead of them going overseas, because it’s likely it’ll need to be changed, albeit temporarily. Set out what’s expected of the employee, who they’ll be reporting to, what their job title is, how long they’ll be out there for, whether their salary will change, whether their disciplinary procedure is affected, etc.
5. Medical care
As an employer, you have a duty of care for your employee, so ensure you’ve factored medical care into your plans. If you worker gets sick while on an overseas assignment, who’s going to deal with it? Make sure you have a proper medical plan in place – whether it’s for routine illnesses or unexpected emergencies.
6. Manage cultural change
Different countries have different cultures, in both the professional and personal spheres. It’s important that you prepare your employee for any cultural change they might face. This could be in the form of working hours – in some countries it’s normal to work long hours. In Spain, for example, most workers have an afternoon siesta but then go back to work til 7 or 8pm. Then there are cultural norms – customs in China, for example, are generally agreed to be different from those in the US.
7. Organize a buddy scheme
Your employee can have all the confidence in the world, but once they actually get to their new home they might feel lonely and vulnerable. Away from family, friends and colleagues, even the steeliest worker could crack. Buddy-up your worker with someone in their new office, so they’ve got a friendly face to speak to the moment they walk in the door.
8. Improve skills gaps
While your employee is going abroad for, among other things, self-development, you can help them on their way by identifying any skills gaps they have, as recommended by payday loan experts Wizzcash in their infographic about launching a career abroad. Agree on some training goals prior to the move and support your employee in getting up to speed on any areas they might be lagging on:
What do you think employers should consider when sending an employee abroad?
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