Empower Expat Employees Through Peer-to-Peer Support

Peer-to-peer support, meaning support from individuals sharing their knowledge, experiences, and advice, is an important tool for global mobility and HR professionals managing a global workforce. It addresses the core challenges that expats employees face and reduces the global mobility and HR workload — turning it into a true win-win-solution for employers, expats, and their partners.

InterNations Business Solutions Expat Peer-to-Peer Empowerment

The concept of peer-to-peer translates into interactions, exchanges, and connections with a network of individuals and it is fast becoming more commonly known and used. Peer-to-peer is already used as a powerful means in the form of learning communities and within the healthcare industry — through the exchange of information, experiences, and advice, as well as offering support to others in similar circumstances. Peer-to-peer support can, therefore, be very effective in global talent mobility — if acknowledged and utilized by employers — making it easier for global employees and their families to settle in and feel at home abroad.


The Dimensions of Peer-to-Peer Support

Expat peer-to-peer support can be divided into two key areas: The emotional, feel-good support and the practical, logistical support.

The feel-good support relates to interactions with other individuals, such as networking and socializing in the new location — leading to happiness and improved social integration abroad. The practical support refers to day-to-day help, such as concrete answers to questions like what the preferred bank for expats is and where to find English-speaking doctors — leading to an easier transition abroad. These forms of expat support can reduce the risk of assignment failure and improve international talent retention.

Peer-to-Peer Support: A Win-Win Solution for Expats and Employers

Peer-to-peer support creates a sense of community for expats and is an important tool for global mobility and HR teams. Read more...


Addressing Key Expat Challenges

Some of the main challenges that expats face when moving abroad for work are administrative tasks, a different work environment, onboarding, and cultural differences. Global employees also need access to information, to establish new social and personal support networks, as well as a daily routine outside of work. Those in relationships and with families also need to ensure that their partner and kids are happy.

Findings from the Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition indicate that the lack of a personal support network and socializing opportunities are core reasons for the unhappiness of foreign assignees, international hires, and relocating spouses. Peer-to-peer support can address these types of expat challenges by providing personal and emotional support, as well as personalized and localized information.

Lack of Personal Support Causes Unhappiness of Global Employees

Findings from the InterNations Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition on aspects impacting expat happiness. Read more...


The Power of an Expat Community

Most aspects of life are about having a sense of community and belonging — whether it is by means of a sport group, colleagues, online chats, professional networking, or connecting with other parents. Global employees and relocating spouses need to rebuild their sense of community when abroad and peer-to-peer support empowers them to do so.

Through a localized and personalized approach, peer-to-peer support helps these expats to integrate into the local culture, have authentic experiences, feel like they are part of a community, and escape a potential expat bubble. This allows them to grow personally and make the most of their time abroad.

Relocation Support: Striking the Right Balance Between Standardizing and Localizing

Malte Zeeck, Founder and Co-CEO of InterNations, explains why a globally local approach is crucial for expat employers. Read more...


A Self-Service Solution for Employers

Many employers buy expensive services to support their foreign assignees and international hires with aspects such as opening a bank account, area orientation, and referrals for important contacts. This can easily and happily be supported by a peer-to-peer community and be considered as a self-service solution that expats can use when, where, and how they want.

By meeting some of the crucial personal and practical support needs of global employees and their families, peer-to-peer support can effectively reduce the workload of global mobility and HR teams. It can be a powerful tool that can even replace other relocation services — at a much lower cost.


Different Peer-to-Peer Support Networks

Peer-to-peer support can have different purposes in different contexts, but at its core remains the personal aspect — people (peers) offering relevant support, empathy, information, and advice. In the work context, employees help their colleagues with aspects such as settling into their job and managing their work-life balance and well-being, while in the medical context, people with similar health conditions or circumstances provide advice and encouragement — online, via telephone, or in person.

In the expat context, for example within the InterNations Community, expats and volunteers (called Consuls and Ambassadors) within the 420 communities support other expats with their social integration and feeling at home abroad — through online and face-to-face interaction and exchange.

Peer-to-Peer Support: A Win-Win Solution for Expats and Employers

A Functioning peer-to-peer network needs the right setup and a supportive framework to create a solid community. Read more...

Need more information?

Get in touch to discover the missing link to successful expat onboarding and integration.

Contact Us