The Challenges Of Expats. #NewToHR

The Challenges Of Expats

In modern business, there is no area of the earth that is off limits.

Businesses are always looking to expand into new markets, or take advantage of others. For this reason many people working in human resources can expect to be dealign with employees as expatriates in foreign countries.

There is an importance placed on the People Team to train up employees who are expected to work as an expat. This can throw up many challenges, all of which can vary depending on which particular country you are relocating to. This does not simply fall into the category of business; aspects such as cultures, lifestyle and technology can all play and important factor when working in HR abroad.

Learning the Culture
Going to work as in expat will be a very important decision to whoever is tasked with the job. Uprooting their lives to move abroad is a large proposition, and one that they should be well trained in. Many will be relocating with their families, so there is an important responsibility for the HR department to fully disclose the culture of the country.

Many countries have different social interactions that what the employee will be accustomed to. It is important for them to fully understand local customs, any potential taboos (religious or cultural) and general tips on how to conduct themselves in the country. This is very important not only for their day to day lives, but when trying to work or manage a HR department, as it involves a lot of time spent working with other people.

Training to Work in a New Culture
With a new culture and country come many changes how a people department will work. Expats will need to understand specific laws in relation to labour and hiring. More importantly, training will be needed to showcase what constitutes as leadership qualities in this new country.

Not everything will be the same, what is deemed good leadership qualities can vary from country to country, and understanding this will help prevent any potential issues working with people of a different culture.

There are many aspects of business that can lead to challenges for the expat, so the duty comes with the department. Some responsibilities will of course go towards the expat themselves, who will need to know what they are expected to learn, and how it could affect them going forward.

Continued Training
Many expats may find that they are unsure of the next direction to take in their department. Many things can change whilst they are there, so they will need to be constant communication from both sides (incountry and home country). The company may need to just update them on procedures or want detailed feedback from the expat, there must be always time to improve and train further.

Videoconferencing and online training are all ways in which training can continue for an expat. It will help to ensure less problems are likely to arise, and can further help them integrate new policies for the business.

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