TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
How important is expatriate training to you?
Today’s global economy may require even small businesses to send professionals abroad. It has become a competitive necessity. For instance, nearly 80 percent of midsize and large companies currently assign employees to work in foreign countries – and 45 percent plan to increase the number they have on assignment. International assignments, however, don’t come cheap. On an average, expatriates cost three to four times what they would in an equivalent position back home. A fully loaded expatriate package including benefits required by law and cost-ofadjustments costs anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million annually. The single largest expenditure most companies make on any one individual except for the C-suite.
In a study of expatriates at about 500 U.S., Japanese and European companies, it was found that managers don’t find their tenure worthwhile. Managers sent on international assignments returned early because of job dissatisfaction or difficulties in adjusting to a foreign location. In addition, nearly two-third did not perform up to the expectations of their bosses. The most problematic of all – nearly one-fourth of expats who finished an assignment with their company only to join a competitor, within a year of their repatriation.
If companies are spending so much money on expats, why do so many companies get it wrong? The main reason seems to be that many