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Global Employees Need to Feel a Sense of Belonging Abroad

The lack of a personal support network is one of the primary contributors to the unhappiness of global employees and their relocating spouses. This is one of the findings from the Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition, a report based on the Expat Insider survey with 18,135 respondents. 

Malte Zeeck, Founder and Co-CEO of InterNations, the world’s largest global expat network, says: ‘’Employers need to remember that they are not just relocating employees, but people — with families, feelings, and emotions — who need a sense of belonging within their local community’’.

But in a world where more people are moving further and more frequently than ever before, how can companies provide localized information and tailored support to facilitate the social integration of global employees and their families? While such assistance is a fundamental expectation of global mobility teams sending foreign assignees abroad and HR teams recruiting internationally, standardized processes and a one-size-fits-all approach leave gaps in relocation support. 

Zeeck believes the answer lies in peer-to-peer support. He says: ‘’Support to integrate and feel at home in the local culture cannot be effectively provided on a global scale, and can only be successfully delivered locally. While local case-by-case management is costly to the time and resources of companies at best, and completely unrealistic at worst, some of these more innovative aspects of relocation assistance can be achieved through social support from other expats and locals within the local community’’. 

Employers should focus on providing global employees and their families with local socializing and networking opportunities, presenting global employees and their families with valuable opportunities for peer-to-peer support. Such support can help these expats to integrate into the local culture, have authentic experiences, and be happy and well settled abroad, while also taking some of the weight off the shoulders of the employer. This, in turn, has a direct impact on business goals and workplace productivity, resulting in more successful foreign assignments and improved retention of international hires.


Read the full In My Opinion article by Malte Zeeck, about why taking a globally local approach is crucial for employers who hire internationally and send employees abroad, and how this concept has provided the key to success for InterNations.

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Expat Insider 2018 | Business Edition

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