Develop a 3–4 page (plus the cover page and reference page) outline of pre-departure training with a thorough description and explanation of the training programs that you suggest for improving expatriate performance.
Your assignment must address the following:
Articulate the training needs of new expatriate employees and the components of pre-departure training that will address those needs.
Determine the areas of emphasis and the details of the training.
Describe how the training will improve the expatriate experience for the new assignment.
Provide citations and references from the textbook and a minimum of two sources found on the Strayer databases at the Basic Search: Strayer University Online Library.
Globalization and growth have increased the need for businesses and franchises to expand their operations and appoint expatriate employees in foreign countries. McDonald’s is one of the largest leading quick-service restaurants, with over 39,000 locations in over 119 markets in 2020 (Kee et al., 2021). The franchise has most of its stores in the United States. However, the rapid growth rate has necessitated its expansion to more markets globally. This expansion requires the addition of more employees to these countries to facilitate effective management in new locations. The failure of expatriate employees once they depart is a major concern for most companies and can lead to losses and franchise or enterprise failure (Kostal et al., 2017).
Moreover, expatriation presents numerous challenges to the international assignee. They are faced with challenges of adapting to a new work environment, unfamiliarity with the host country’s language, customs, and norms, the pressure created by increased professional responsibility for managerial expatriates, and isolation from friends and family at home (Kostal et al., 2017). These challenges, combined with the inadequate knowledge on how to behave per the host country’s guidelines, may hamper expatriate adjustment. Thus, enhanced training interventions can serve as one way to provide expatriate employees with critical knowledge, skills, and abilities before they depart to enhance their performance.
Expatriates play a crucial role in organizations and are expected to demonstrate performances. Thus, to curb the failure of expatriate employees in international countries, companies and training managers should understand their training needs. Firstly, employees expect to identify and understand their roles and duties in the host country. The employees will be sent abroad to accomplish specific assignments to which they should be aware and aligned. Failure to understand their roles will reduce their efficiency and performance (Kostal et al., 2017). Secondly, the employees need to be capable of adapting and learning new languages. The English language may not always be the language used by a host country. Therefore, expatriate employees need to learn the local language to enhance healthy relationships and the organization’s success.
Thirdly, new expatriate employees need to be more flexible and easily integrate with the new system. The new employee should be able to quickly adjust to the culture and norms of the host country and integrate them with home cultures to enhance output. Moreover, they should focus on newly inhabited emotions and behavior and respect and adhere to the new country’s laws and regulations. Furthermore, new expatriate employees require in-country coaching, which entails being enlightened on what to expect. This is because expecting more than what is actually offered will lead to dissatisfaction and reduce productivity. Lastly, new expatriate employees leave their families behind when going for international assignments. This may hinder their productivity as they become worried and concerned about their family’s well-being while in the new country (Kostal et al., 2017). Thus, the family should be cared for and supported with spousal support and children’s education to reduce the employees’ worries and concerns when working in the new country.
Components of Pre-departure Training and how it will Improve Expatriate Experience
To address these needs of new expatriate employees, training components such as preliminary visits, language instruction and teaching, cross-cultural awareness, and daily assistance before departure to work are vital (Kostal et al., 2017). Training will support the employees’ adjustment and on-assignment performance. Preliminary visits will help the employee experience the new country rather than just researching about it. This will also enhance the employees’ familiarity and cultural awareness of the laws and procedures of the new country. Moreover, the employees can effectively estimate the cost of living and demand efficient compensation and allowances. Language teaching and instructions are crucial for new expatriate employees as they will help prevent language barriers (Kostal et al., 2017). Many countries have English as their first or second language, but their pronunciations and accents vary. Training instructors should educate the employees on the basics and differences in language to expect in the new country. Cross-cultural awareness enables the employees to understand and familiarize themselves with the new country’s cultures and norms (Tahir, 2018). Training is crucial to help the employees adapt to these new rules without many barriers, thus reducing work stress and enhancing productivity. The organization should provide daily support before, during, and after their international assignment to make them feel appreciated and enhance job security and productivity throughout their assignment. This will also enhance teamwork between employers and employees in the enterprise or business.
Areas of Emphasis
This training will emphasize cultural assimilation, factual information about the new country like the climate and geography, field experience training, and sensitivity training. In cultural assimilation, different countries have different cultures, which the employees should be aware of to avoid feeling out of place (Tahir, 2018). For instance, some countries use chopsticks and forks, and knives to eat while others use their fingers or bare hands to eat. Field experience training entails allowing other expatriate employees to share their experiences to help new employees understand their working environment and conditions more. Sensitivity training is crucial as it will help the new expatriate employee learn to control their attitude and behaviors when entering the new country to work. They should be able to understand circumstances, however hard, to enhance a conducive working environment. This training and development program is crucial and should be adopted as it will help the new expatriate employees reduce stress and integrate with the new environment. Moreover, it will create a conducive working environment, understand the characteristics of the country and its citizens, and reduce clashes with the new country’s rules and regulations.