Cross Cultural social training
companies don’t engage in special efforts for their expats. People at the home office find it difficult to imagine that expats need help adjusting. Of course, a lot of companies engage in serious efforts to make international assignments beneficial both for the expatriates and the organization. More often than not, such companies cosign the responsibility of expat selection, training, and support to the human resources department. According to a study, only 11 percent of HR managers have little understanding of a global assignment’s set of personal and professional challenges. Many don’t see why people who’ve been given international assignments should be getting special attention particularly when something goes horribly wrong.
The companies that manage their expatriates effectively follow the below mentioned general practices: The HR department in your company must be prepared to offer cross cultural training for an employee going abroad on an assignment. The trainer must familiarize the expat and their family with local customs, general taboos and expectations for social interactions. This includes everything, from serving meals for dinner guests to gift-giving etiquette in the country where the expatriate is expected to work.
For instance, when a colleague first moved to Japan she went to a colleague’s funeral and wore a black suit. She noticed several attendees at the funeral pointing at her. She discovered that black signifies joy in Japanese culture, while white is the appropriate color for mourning. She was embarrassed and mortified that she had offended the deceased’s family.