Here in the U.S., recent political events in the midst of a pandemic have us consuming ever more information on our screens. It has made us all hungry for good information. By good information, I mean information that is well-researched, fact-based, and clearly written. Good information in business improves decision making, enhances efficiency and provides an advantage to the organization or individual who is better informed than the competitor.
For instance, teams working virtually can benefit from good, solid cultural and social country-specific information. Many virtual teams are comprised of individuals who are not from the same country but are now working virtually to move the business forward. And if this is a global mobility team from different business units and different countries, it’s even more important to understand the background, cultural similarities and differences to be able to communicate effectively.
Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and spend a little time doing a team building exercise. This can be simply sharing communication styles for each nationality and discussing ways to present ideas that can be understood by the whole team. This has done wonders to build stronger teams and stronger teams are more effective in reaching their goals.
Even though international relocations have slowed, companies are still moving employees globally. If assignments have been identified and accepted, now is the time for employees to learn about the host country. Even as more people take the COVID-19 vaccine and are more comfortable with moving, relocating overseas has always been a complicated, life-changing process. Learning everything there is to know about a foreign location is a huge undertaking.
Employees who are more prepared before they travel are better equipped to step confidently into the new business role, have more positive attitudes, and less fear of the unknown. Offering them vetted destination information that they can peruse at their leisure is one of the best ways for them to learn about the new location.
Stated by one expat on InterNations:
“I researched just about everything, the climate, the public transportation system, various neighborhoods,” Neema (32) explains. When she moved from Lebanon to a mid-sized town in Oregon, USA, it helped her to know all about the new place before relocating overseas.
“It was not as confusing as I feared it would be. Of course, the situation is still pretty new, and it’s taken me a while to adjust. But it was good to know stuff like that I’d be going to a laidback university town with a diverse population, or that I could ride a bike to get to the office.”
When your assignee needs to know how to conduct a business meeting in Singapore, what the grocery options are like, or the nearest international school, well-organized content is a must. While you may be tempted to rely on open-ended searching to find this information, many hours may be wasted chasing the right details and guessing which sources to trust.
The world is complicated. The good news is that everyday tasks, housing solutions, school questions and social customs can be made less overwhelming. Good information is also essential for effective operation and decision making at all levels, from global teams to expats. While global mobility managers are making sure employees move safely, providing good information anticipates their needs, bolsters their well-being, and optimizes success.
Written by Cathy Heyne, GMS-T, Managing Director