Employees moving abroad (expats) will experience a predictable Cycle of Adaptation and challenges specific to the expat experience. These create risks of negative impact on the employee and their family that may precipitate a failed assignment and subsequent repercussions for the employer. It is crucial, then, that organizations take all the necessary measures to protect one of their most valuable assets – the employee living abroad. Evidence shows that by implementing five essential support services, expats will have an increased probability of success, both personally and professionally, and the employer will realize their business objectives:
- Selection and preparation service
The success of an organization’s global endeavours depends almost entirely on having the right employee for the right job, so prior to assigning an employee to work abroad, organizations are advised to implement this screening and assessment tool.…
Clearly, being an expat who works overseas presents a multitude of opportunities, challenges and risks. And since any of these may be experienced at the individual, couple, family or organizational level, the risks need to be managed appropriately to ensure successful completion of the assignment.
9 factors that influence successful international assignment
We have identified 9 broad categories of factors that can contribute to or inhibit the successful completion of an international assignment. These categories are based on existing research regarding successful adaptation and resiliency traits and behaviours, and have been proven to be valid and reliable predictors of assignment success.…
The experience of moving abroad and working overseas, i.e. becoming an expat, is not a single event in time. A Cycle of Adaptation commences prior to an employee`s deployment and ends following repatriation. In between, there are a number of important milestones: the 9 Adjustment Stages that are co-related to the emotional reactions and energy levels experienced by employees and their family members. They can transpire from the time they are selected for an assignment in a foreign country, to their move abroad and then to their return back home.
These Adjustment Stages are connected to specific emotional reactions and challenges in each of the 5 phases of the expat experience.…
We all know how important it is to eat well and exercise, but we aren’t always aware of the importance of fitness in our lives. According to a study by the World Health Organization, physical activity can reduce your risk of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer by 25%. Other research has also shown that daily physical activity alleviates symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. But how do employees transfer undefined hopes of increasing activity and fitness into concrete action? Activity trackers offer the promise of a healthier lifestyle, but it’s important to note that a recent study has shown that they work best in conjunction with a coaching program like Shepell’s Fitness Coach Connects.…
Elite coaches are constantly walking the line between an environment where high performance will flourish and one that will, quite literally, break their young charges. There is narrow space between demanding 100% and setting impossible standards that lead to burnout or depression. Good coaches consciously work to find that balance.
How, then, do your organization’s leaders reconcile what it takes to succeed (high performance under pressure) with the growing conversation on mental health?
First, realize that pressure is not just inevitable—but actually essential—in an environment where high performance is expected.…
Resiliency is often described as your ability to bounce back from adversity and in today’s landscape, that’s a welcome attribute. Recognized as one of the most vital coping skills for surviving the workplace, resiliency enables you to be more flexible and able to bend to change. Someone who is more resilient is better equipped to face life’s challenges head-on, even in times of uncertainty.
Everyone is born with a natural resilience, but often we lose sight of this innate ability amongst all the hustle and bustle of life. The good news is that resiliency can be learned and fostered with training and practice.…
The ROIs of Employee and Family Assistance Programs: invest in the health and well-being of your people for a better bottom line
In 2011, the average full-time Canadian worker was absent for 9.3 days. While many employees were legitimately unwell, others took days off because they were stressed, depressed, exhausted, had personal errands to run or had a child or an elder care issue to handle. As employees pay the burnout price, employers are paying a hefty financial one. Absences cost the economy approximately $16.6 billion, based on salary cost for the days lost. This figure does not include the cost for replacement workers.
When employees feel overworked, stressed from corporate changes, distracted by personal issues, disengaged due to conflicts, or unfocussed because of physical or mental health concerns, it is simply not good for business.…
Organizations that want to help employees overcome challenges to develop critical skills often turn to coaching for one-on-one career development assistance. Coaching can be effective for leadership development, conflict resolution, and other critical management skills. However, in order to be successful, a coaching program requires a three-way collaborative alliance between the coach, the employee (or “coachee”) and the organization. First, you and the coach should establish clear objectives and goals for the coaching initiative. Then a separate goal-setting meeting with the coachee should take place in alignment with the initiative’s objectives and goals.
What can your employees expect from coaching?…
Culture impacts everything we do, at work, and at home. While cultural values, beliefs, and norms are invisible, they fundamentally influence our behaviour – in many ways we do not realize!
With the growing diversity and mobility of today’s workforce, cross-cultural challenges and opportunities are present in every work environment; you no longer have to be an international organization to experience what have previously been deemed global challenges.
World Day of Cultural Diversity (May 21) provides us with a perfect opportunity to deepen our understanding of the influence of culture by uncovering five important basics that every business leader should know about cross-cultural competency and learning.…
By Sue-Ann Maislin, Senior Consultant, Workplace Learning Solutions.
A respectful workplace creates productive and engaged employees. On the other hand, workplaces where employees feel disrespected experience high levels of turnover, conflict, grievances, and low levels of engagement, attendance and productivity.
The Human Resources Director for one of our clients approached us seeking a solution to the following:
An employee alleged that two colleagues (one of them her supervisor) often made demeaning comments and joked about her appearance, ethnicity and gender. She asked them to stop but was ignored. One morning, she found an offensive cartoon affixed to her locker; her coworkers and supervisors stood nearby laughing.…