Managing Your Expatriate Investment
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With global mobility driving businesses today, moving your workforce worldwide strategically to build competitive advantage has become crucial. However, you should be able to manage your expatriates effectively to make the most of your global workforce.

Here are some factors to be considered for the successful management of your expatriate investment.

• Recruiting the right people: Apart from judging a candidate’s technical competence, his/her environmental variables, personality traits or relational abilities, and family situations should also be taken into account before making the final selection.

• Pre-departure and re-entry training: Pre-departure training is crucial to ensure the expatriate’s success and effectiveness abroad. It usually includes simulations, area briefings and imparting knowledge of critical incidents, cultural assimilator training, case studies, role playing, career counseling for the spouse, language training, stress reduction training etc. Having an international career development plan to retain expatriates on their return, offering solutions for their career development etc form part of re-entry training. Most expatriates expect to get a pay hike, or being entrusted with higher responsibility with/without promotion, failing which they often switch jobs. So, it becomes important to reassign the returned expatriates to a mutually acceptable or comparable position in order to retain them.

• Integration and Appraisal: When a company sends its expatriates overseas, it should help them adjust in the foreign country, and integrate them with the new work culture so that the international assignment is a success. Regular appraisal of work, providing feedback and tools etc needed for the work should also form an integral part of managing your expatriate investment.

• Compensations and Rewards: Several companies offer their expatriates location-specific premiums in order to compensate them for unfavorable conditions connected with the assignment. Moreover, such financial incentives also motivate employees to take up a foreign assignment location, which would not have been a preferred option otherwise. Designing innovative reward structures and expatriate share plans, along with expatriate pensions are other aspects that could help you to manage and retain your expatriates.

It can be said that a company should devise programs and policies, which can address the problems and needs of expatriates and also support strategic company goals. Thus, the key is to keep your expatriates satisfied and motivated by using some leading edge solutions and thought leadership so that they continue to evolve as the global business scenario changes. Remember - there is no magic formula to manage your expatriate environment. Rather, you need to foresee situations, use relevant data and research findings, and plan accordingly to optimize your globally mobile workforce. 

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