There are many reasons why companies train their international staff. However, the main reason why organizations train their employees before assigning them international duties is to minimize failures. Globalization has brought stiff competitions between organizations. This means organizations must ensure that their expatriate staffs are competent with the international strategies that can enable them successfully navigate the intense global market place competition. The other reason for trainings comes from the need by organizations to widen their market in the world. In this regard, the employees must be trained on strategies of accessing new markets or making international mergers and acquisitions.
There are various components of pre-departure trainings that organizations will take their employees through before taking them on international duties. Perhaps the most important component is the cultural awareness programs. Given that most employees will be working in cultures that are different from their own, it is important that they are trained on how to live with people from different cultures, most of which will be completely new to them (Fatima Oliveira, 2013). The main aim of cultural awareness training is to help the employees appreciate the cultures of their host country (Fatima Oliveira, 2013). This means the trainings will be tailored according to the cultures of the host countries in which the employees are supposed to work. Besides, the training might take into consideration the purpose of the transfer, the duration of the stay and the service provides of t he programs. Thus the contents of the cultural awareness programs will include cultural orientations and environmental briefings; cultural assimilation; cultural sensitivity; and language training (Fatima Oliveira, 2013).
The second component of pre-departure training is language training. Given the role of English in the international business, the importance of language training has been downplayed by many employers in the English-speaking nations. However, there is need for expatriate employees to be trained on the language skills of their host nations and how they can adjust to the differences in the language and communications characteristics (Fatima Oliveira, 2013). Usually, the trainings will emphasize that the ability of the expatriate employees to speak a foreign language enhances the negotiation abilities and skills of the employees. Most importantly, the employees will be trained on corporate language. It important that the expatriate employees are trained on the most effective way of handling business language in the international front. Modern organizations have come to the realization that the recognition that effective communication is not only a norm, but an economic necessity. Besides, given the diverse composition of modern workplaces, the need for intercultural communication has become important. In the case that employees perceive an organizational culture to be less agreeable with their cultures, they simply move to other organizations. This presents an economic burden to the companies because of the increased turnover.
The other component of training is the need to provide the employees with practical training. Expatriate employees must be provided with information that will assist them in successful relocating to their destination. Such trainings make an important contribution towards helping the expatriates and their families adapt to their new home. In the course of such trainings, employees will be provided with links to specialists who will provide them with assistance on how to navigate their ways internationally. Such specialists may include language trainers, individuals providing orientation and those who provide any important information that will help the expatriates during the transition process.
The last component of training is the preliminary visits to the duty country. Preliminary visit is important in providing the employees with a preview of what to expect. Such visits allow the expatriates to assess the suitability and their interests in the assignment area. Besides, they serve to introduce the employees to the business contest of their new locations. This means the expatriates will be allowed to make informed pre-departure preparation.
There are many alternatives that organizations can use to assess the performance of their expatriate employees. One of the most commonly use method of performance appraisal in this situation is to use consultants. Holding a well-informed and well-trained outside entity brings the much-required objectivity in appraising international employees. This idea tends to nullify the biasness aspect of employee assessment (Leung et al, 2005) and may also provide clear picture of employee performance and counteract criticism. But consultants do not get involved in the day-to-day running of an organization, and may be unfamiliar with the foibles that affect the performance of employees. Additionally, it is difficult for an outside entity to curry out performance appraisal on continuous basis, which is the main concern in the case of this company. Considerations must also be made for cost of consultation.
The most common method used means of assessing performance is through is through self assessments. This might involve employees answering questionnaires and going through face-to-face interviews with the managers of supervisors. For expatriate employees, this will involve managers from the parent company traveling to the Since performance assessment is intended to be a means of sharing and discovering information about the performance of employees, the process should be designed to enhance communication, although there is limited recognition of this important fact in the human resource management fraternity.
The other means of carrying out performance appraisal might be through electronic means, such as emails and video conferencing. The most important consideration for electronic performance monitoring is to ensure that during the appraisal interview, respondents should receive both oral and written interview to provide greater opportunities to get feedback (Leung et al, 2005). Upon the completion of the evaluation, both parties must meet and discuss the interview. In addition, the respondents must be given an opportunity to offer insights and reaction to the evaluation process. The system should able to aid the managers in implementing and designing development and training programs that reflect the developmental need of the entire appraisal process. In this regard, the system should be able to deliver results faster, and that which the management can adopt faster given the changing needs of the company.
Most organizations hold the belief that interviews are the best and most effective means of testing the social and cognitive abilities of new employees. Besides, organizations perceive interviews as a way of satisfying their human resource control and power. However, research has consistently indicated that the use of interviews in selecting employees is unreliable. Although interviews are conducted with the aim of ensuring that the most qualified candidate gets the job, this objective is never realized in most case. Too often, recruiters miss the chance of employing the most qualified candidates by asking questions that are not aimed at getting the right information out of the prospective employee. However, for international employees the best way of recruitment is to select the employees using the interview process and have them work in their home country before being deployed abroad. This way, the company will be able to identify employees with certain qualities that are considered desirable for international posting.
There are many options of staffing that organizations can use for their international employees. The first option is the ethnocentric staffing method where individuals from the parent country and sent to work in a foreign country without employees any person from the host country. The other method of staffing is the global staffing approach in which employees are employed in the company regardless of their country of origin. This is the best approach of employment for international organizations because it allows the locals to feel as if they are part of the organization. Fro0m a marketing perspective, this form of staffing will be effective in developing brands and positive attitudes towards the products of the company.
Employee mentoring is also good for the success of the organization since as they develop their skills in the required areas, as well as consistently learning approaches and improving ability to solve problems and eventually this cumulatively will benefit the organization because it will have a better outlook than the its former self with increased enthusiasm and vigor to perform even better (Gordon & Stewart, 2009). Some of the benefits of employee mentoring to the individual are; there is increased satisfaction in the job with improved morale in an employee and he will be able to love the job and work with more determination since he has more experience and more knowledge on articulation of duties at the workplace. The employee is also motivated and will exhibit more vigor with high self-esteem to perform and achieve the desired goals and objectives that the organization has set.
The best way for an organization plan to measure return on investment is through regular employee evaluation. Employee valuation is a clearly structured and formal interaction between the supervisor and the subordinate, which takes place in the form of regular, but periodic interviews (semi-annually or annually). During these interviews, the work performance of the subordinate get discussed and examined with the view of getting strengths and weaknesses in addition to the opportunity for skills development and improvement. In most places of employment, employee evaluation results are used indirectly or directly, to help in rewarding outcomes or in helping to make decisions on job promotions. In other words, results from employee evaluation get used to identify best performing employees to be rewarded by promotions, bonuses or pay increases.
Fatima Oliveira, M. (2013) Multicultural Environments and Their Challenges to Crisis Communication. Journal of Business Communication, 50(3), 253-277.
Gordon E. & Stewart L. (2009). Conversing about performance. Rutgers. The State University of New Jersey.
Leung et al. (2005). Culture and international business: recent advances and their implications for future research, Journal of International Business Studies, 36, 357-78