Global Mobility in 2016: Career Development & Family

Our final post on the key trends in global mobility in 2016, focuses on career development and family.

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Career Development

Whilst international assignments are a way to attract and retain talent, there is also an ever growing need to follow up on an assignment once completed and the employee has returned home.

There is an increasing need to align global mobility with the business and its talent strategy.

Employees need to understand the purpose of the assignment, its contribution to their career and development. Deloitte argues that employees need to develop and utilise their global mind set, understand its importance both now and in the future, and understand how it will fit into their broader learning and development plan.

In a survey conducted by Brookfield, 61% of respondents said their company communicated the importance of international assignments to their career. However, despite how important these assignments are for the business and an employee’s development and promotion, 73% of companies do not maintain a candidate pool for future international assignments. Furthermore, only 23% of businesses surveyed have a specific process for career planning from assignment acceptance.

Despite companies promoting the importance of international assignments as a pathway to success and leadership, it can become a hollow promise if companies do not have the right career management practices in place that support this. On returning to their home country, employees need to receive this validation.

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An ever increasing problem among international assignees and their families is adapting to new locations. According to Brookfield, nearly 20% of global assignees on average experience notable difficulty overcoming cultural barriers.

Assignments are most likely to fail for family reasons. Settling in and spousal support is key as it helps the family make the transition as smoothly as possible.

However with the new cost conscious approach, language, cross cultural training and settling in services are the first to be cut. However, these are not easily sacrificed anymore as without them an assignment could ultimately fail which is the least cost effective thing for the company.

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To conclude, it is becoming apparent that global mobility teams are having to offer more than ever before in order to adapt to the new types of international assignee and assignment, whilst at the same time maintaining the tight budget constraints. Flexibility and affordability are key going forward.

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