Establishing a foreign office? You may have prepared by educating yourself about that country’s tax structures and employment laws, but have you prepared your staff?
As many as two in five managers fail in their overseas assignments, according to a recent survey by Right Management. According to the 202 CEOs and senior HR professionals surveyed, 42% of managers fail when they’re sent abroad.
“This has to be one of the most disappointing findings of our survey on global leadership development,” said Right Management’s Bram Lowsky, who noted that the failure rate is more or less a constant whether it’s Asian, European or North American managers.
An average of 16% of companies globally give minimal to no preparation at all, and for North American employers it’s 22% that do virtually nothing. No wonder so many managers don’t perform well outside their home country.”
What should companies be doing to help prepare an emlpoyee to work in a foreign office? According to Lowsky, you have to start by assessing whether that employee is even suited to working abroad.
In terms of preparing a manager for that kind of change, there are a variety of areas to cover, including language training and cultural-awareness training. According to the survey, only 14% of companies globally provide in-depth cultural training before sending a manager to a foreign office.