How can organizations maximize the likelihood of success of expatriate (of a different country and culture) employees?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since the recruitment and hire of an expatriate is a significant expenditure, organizations should have a plan of action that would maximize the likelihood of an expatriate's success.  One part of this would involve extensive cultural transitioning programs so that the expatriate can have enough opportunity to understand the contours of success in a new country.  For the expatriate worker, the definition of success and what it resembles might be different than previous expectations.  There should be a transition process in which the expatriate is able to understand what success is supposed to resemble in both process and product in their new setting.

Additionally, organizations have to develop a culture of inclusivity and tolerance that does not demonize the expatriate.  If an expatriate makes a mistake, organizations would be able to maximize the success of the expatriate by not demonizing them when a mistake is made.  Embracing the mistake and transforming into a teachable moment can ease the transition process for the expatriate.  This can pay long term dividends in potentially maximizing their success.  The expatriate is more likely to contribute freely and in greater amount if they know that the organization's culture embraces freedom in all of its forms and does not demonize for one error.

Mentoring is another avenue that organizations can use to maximize the likelihood of an expatriate's success.  If someone in the organization is from the home country of the expatriate, it can go very far in removing the feelings of cultural isolation and forlornness that might be experienced.  Being able to use a mentor, ideally within the organization, that shares cultural backgrounds with the expatriate can help to form solidarity and thus increase the potential for an expatriate's success within an organization.