Returning from International Assignments
Coming home can be nearly as tricky as moving abroad.
Assignees returning from their relocations abroad need as much attention and care as they received during their ‘outgoing’ moves.
There are key signs that someone is ready to return home according to Expat Explorer, including:
• Thinking in two languages
• Having a two page list of snacks that visitors from home are asked to bring
• Expertise in juggling international and local social lives
• Becoming the font of advice for ‘newbies’ starting their own international assignment
• Calling the assignment location ‘home’
Sometimes, coming home can be harder than leaving!
Individuals tend to be prepared for their move abroad – from learning the language to researching where and how to live. Coming home, however, involves little or no planning beyond the practicalities of the physical move. Individuals expect everything to be the same as when they left. This is rarely the case.
Assignees returning ‘home’ often experience:
• Isolation – having been part of a small expat community, individuals are now lost in a sea of people just like them.
• Feeling homesick for their host country
• A lack of support from their employer in helping them to adjust to coming home
According to research by Brookfield Global Relocation Services, 12 percent of employees leave the company within a few years of repatriation. This is worrying as employers have invested in relocating and developing assignees who have become valuable assets.
“It’s important to ensure that every move is as stress-free as possible, whether it is at the start or the end of a global assignment” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International.
He adds: “Careful preparation, planning and implementation will always be required, plus employers should consider the psychological support that returning employees and their families will need when they arrive home.”
Are you involved in repatriating global assignees?
Would you welcome an initial discussion about your operation and requirements?
Contact Kevin via