6 ways to improve an international corporate relocation

Follow these tips for easing an employee’s relocation to an overseas destination.

When moving an employee internationally, there are many variables that affect a successful relocation. It’s important to follow these tips to make the move as stress-free as possible.
 

1. Know the type of relocation assignment

Each type of move has corporate relocation guidelines for how personal goods are handled, depending on the new location and the duration of the assignment. Be sure the employee has these guidelines and, more importantly, understands them. Suggest the employee explore the tax implications of the corporate relocation with a tax consultant.
 

2. Know the type of international corporate relocation

 
  • One-way international: This is a long-term overseas assignment with no guarantee or deadline of the assignment end date. Goods may be moved using ocean freight with one small air shipment allowed. Many policies limit large items like appliances, cars and other items that might not be used in the host country.
  • Two-way international: A short-term overseas assignment is where the transferee (relocating employee) plans to return, typically within two years. Goods are usually limited to one small air shipment with the remaining goods stored at the origin.
 

3. Prepare the family

Include the family in the process. When researching the destination, think about children, their ages, their interests and other factors that might make a location more enticing for each particular family.
 

4. Provide cultural and emotional support

It’s important to prepare the family for upcoming significant cultural differences, from different food and customs to expectations of polite behavior. Offer good reference material and suggest language training.
 

5. Use social media

Our world seems smaller and more accessible with social media. Use it to learn about the destination, but also highlight how it can help the family stay in touch with friends and family during and after the relocation.
 

6. Start repatriation programs early

Upon return, employees need to know what’s changed, from technology to corporate policy updates to acquisitions and mergers. Counseling on available career paths can ease the transition to stateside.