Globalization has created opportunities for employers to find the skilled professionals they desire whether they be in their own national market or elsewhere. These professionals that are being recruited from other nations are called expatriates, and they are chosen to live in another country either temporarily or permanently. There has been an increase of expatriates starting at the end of the 20th century due to the variety employers are now capable of finding. Now, expatriates are recruited based on desired skill and income level.. Companies tend to require training for this role in order to ease the transition of both the employee and the family members involved. This training tends to be quite extensive as this is a great undertaking for everyone involved in the move. Though some employees are chosen directly by management to go and others simply volunteer, much is at stake emotionally and mentally. Our group chose to cover the topic of expatriate training because it is becoming more and more widespread throughout the world and the chances we will encounter this in our future is very high. We will discuss the various problems that are encountered by uprooting the lives of the employees and moving to another country, and more importantly another culture. The largest transitional issue encountered is culture shock. Other concerns include missing family and friends back home, losing out on other employment opportunities, not completing projects due to distractions, and some employees even have to leave their immediate family home, further creating lack of focus. There is an assortment of solutions to these dilemmas, which is why the training programs are so extensive. Training topics include family adjustment, cultural/language, daily life, city specifics, and business life. The training programs will be customized accordingly for the family members that will be joining the expatriate, if that is an option. Bringing family along will also provide another solution to help keep the expatriate focused on the task at hand. Other solutions include monetary bonuses; accommodations, both with housing and with communication to family and friends back home; acclamation period, in which expatriates arrive one week before starting to become adjusted to daily life; and bonding with other expatriates in your company. The amount of solutions to the main concerns revolving around expatriate training is vast and will always cater to the professionals that seek this opportunity.
Statement of the Problem
A clear understanding about the issues surrounding expatriates and the importance of solving these issues is a topic that needs attention. As previously stated, some of the issues surrounding expatriates include: culture shock, family issues, loss of employment opportunities, and stress. In this section a more in-depth look at the issues that expatriates face and the benefits to solving these problems will be addressed.
Culture shock is inevitable when moving to a new country. “Expatriates can lead a high-pressure lifestyle. Stress, a poor work-life-balance and being away from their home comforts can cause all manner of health problems.” (Barrett, 2009) The effects of culture shock may range from mild uneasiness or temporary homesickness, unhappiness or even, in extreme case; panic, irritability, hypersensitivity and loss of perspective are common symptoms. When one feels the effects of culture shock it is bound to be apparent in the way they perform at their job. This issue needs to be addressed so that companies can take preventative measures to help their employees adapt to the new country they are living in. Companies need to realize that there is a need for culture training and ways to acclimate to their new surroundings before they leave.
The way one’s family copes with either the new country they are living in, or with the long distance relationship they are now getting used to, is also a problem that