How to Avoid Assignment Failure (and Achieve Assignment Success)

Despite the intensifying global war for talent, and the resulting fluid talent landscape, many companies continue to struggle with failed assignments.

When looking at how companies can combat failure and facilitate successful assignments, Dinesh Jangra, Head of Global Mobility at Crowe UK, believes that one of the biggest issues is how a failed assignment is defined. He says: ‘’A failed assignment is more than just an assignment that didn’t deliver the business case, or one that was terminated early. Companies need to define the expected outcomes of an assignment — both quantitative and qualitative ­­— and determine how these can be measured. It is only then that they can understand whether an assignment can be considered a success or a failure’’.

Where assignments do fail, Jangra identifies the following common contributing factors:

  • The lack of a clearly articulated business case for the assignment and buy-in from the home and host locations
  • The inability of the foreign assignee to integrate into the host location's business culture and ways of working
  • An unhappy spouse or family impacting on the happiness and productivity of the assignee  

When putting together comprehensive relocation packages, employers need to have a good understanding of the challenges that foreign assignees and their families face, as they are taken from their familiar surroundings, personal support network, and daily routine. ‘’This can take a toll on even the most experienced foreign assignees, and employers need to ensure that they provide the necessary support. Wellness aspects — such as socializing opportunities, exercise activities, and leisure time — need to be provided for'', says Jangra.

If these personal challenges go unaddressed they can have a detrimental impact on both the employee and the company, and put the assignment at risk of failure.  Providing the required support to overcome these obstacles, on the other hand, can produce happier and better integrated assignees, and ultimately facilitate successful foreign assignments. 

Read Dinesh Jangra’s full Ask the Expert interview about the challenges employers face when managing a global workforce, and the critical aspects of support that foreign assignees require in order to carry out successful global assignments.

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