Effective HR support help families to adjust better

By Ximena Reyes

For over the last 20 years, research has shown that a key factor for international assignment’s failure is generated by spouse’s dissatisfaction. In this specific point it is extremely relevant that attention and support is given to the accompanying partner, mainly because during an international relocation the success is reached by working as a team where each part tackles the different challenges and things to get done.

Most trainings and workshops are considered for the person with the international assignment as this is clear and most times the accompanying partner is perceived as a passive almost ornamental element in the equation. While one side can have clear goals and achievements the other part is left with the sensation that time just passes by and that their time is spent on irrelevant daily tasks.

As Yvonne Mc Nulty mentions in her book “The Trailing spouse survey” expatriation is “a gain and losses event for the trailing spouse” mainly because this part of the process has been less documented and it has been given less attention.

However with coaching and training it is possible to understand that resilience and ability to manage complexity are key skills for a successful international assignment.

The objective of these workshops is to gain awareness of the skills gained, of the real process behind the daily life routines and to develop a clear understanding of the process of cultural shock and how this will impact the relations and roles within a family.

More and more Human Resources are investing in providing adequate expat spouse support beyond the logistics of house hunting, the ongoing Post – Arrival support, coaching sessions, psychology and support groups are now giving an extended frame in order to cope with the balancing act of moving, adapting, accepting, integrating and most of all to have a successful, meaningful international relocation.

If you want to know more about this, contact [email protected]

Ximena Reyes is the Partner and Director for Intercultural Consulting