Still a New Concept to Some, but Assignee Experience will Gain Popularity

It has been said that data is the new oil of the information age; making clear sense of the incalculable amounts of facts, figures, and statistics that enter the organization. Leveraging it to guide your business insights has been compared to digging unfathomable levels of oil deep below the surface. A highly significant close second is experience. Next to data, having the requisite experience is probably the most powerful and sought-after concept believed to lead to tremendous business success.

Experience has come to mean the positive or negative feelings and encounters that an employee undergoes in an organization. The more positive the experience, the greater their motivation, productivity, and long-term loyalty. The more negative the experience, the more they feel devalued, demoralized, and disengaged; if this stagnation is not stopped, it would only be a matter of time before they start looking for other opportunities. InterNations calls it employee experience.

Close on the heels of employee experience is assignee experience. It is not yet a popular term, but is becoming a reality in global mobility sectors. The same principle underlying employee experience defines it: an assignee who has a positive experience working with their foreign colleagues in a new country or city of employment will stay for the long haul. They might even continually ask for more postings once the present contract is done. On the other hand, a negative assignee experience can cause the foreign talent to underperform;  once the contract is over, they might not even renew, depending on the level of anxiety, fear, and other insecurities that overwhelmed them.

Now for the good news: the global mobility manager can proactively lay the groundwork to make an assignee’s experience a positive one. Here are a few tips they can follow as soon as the assignee gets on board:

Give the assignee a road map to follow

Everything in the career trajectory should be clear to the assignee from the beginning, from professional and corporate goals, company vision, deliverables and performance metrics, to the kind of cultural adjustment they would be required to undergo. 

The challenges that they will inevitably face should be laid out in order to prepare them; at the same time, the global mobility manager should provide solutions or a support network that can empower them. 

As Learnlight puts it, a road map will prevent the assignee from feeling lost. During the most discouraging moments, they can use it as a map to backtrack their steps, find out where they made a mistake, and reverse course in the right direction.

Always be the coach in their corner

This does not mean micro-managing them or looking over their shoulder at all times. The assignee must feel that you and their immediate manager trust them to get the job done. They know they can turn to you if things become unclear or if the project hits a snag. If they need resources that can improve their situation, such as a change in home interior design which a company like California Corporate Housing can provide, they are confident you will be there for them. The assignee relocated thousands of miles to a new city or country in order to succeed. They will do everything to prevent failure or defeat — and look up to you as the coach in their corner.

Make it a fun journey

Targets are sacred, and challenges can be tough. It’s the happiness they encounter along the way that makes them want to jump over their hurdles. Small bursts of joy that happen in the workplace can inspire them to do better, and relieve them of all that accumulated stress. As the global mobility manager, help your assignee enjoy their life in their new country, especially during the first few months. 

Tours around the city or country during the weekend can open their intellectual horizons. Festivals and clubs that indulge their own hobbies or past-times can lift their spirits. Most important of all, in your own discrete way, connect them with a compatible colleague in the office who can be their comrade-in-arms, confidante, and fun-loving buddy (or friend) all rolled into one.