first-time global mobility specialist

First-time Global Mobility Managers Need This Assignee Checklist 101  

Checklists are non-negotiable, especially at a time when numbers, contracts, and all sorts of information flow through our smart device screens. The amount of data that courses through that device into our brain just might cause it to stand still.

One way to counter that while making sure you keep tabs on your current project or assignment is the good old-fashioned checklist. You don’t have to print it on hard copy, and a digital checklist on your phone notes is equally useful.

What matters is that you do have it and tick off the boxes once each assignment is done. This holds true especially for global mobility managers who are new to the job, and are about to deploy their first batch of assignees.

It can be a wonderful experience. After months of looking for the right assignees, and then courting them to join the brave new world that is your organization, you have finally signed them onboard.

In just a few weeks or days, they will begin their new adventure in their new country of employment. The future looks bright, exciting, and possibly disorienting in a very good way. Amidst all that thrill, though, it is your job to see to it that nothing falls between the cracks. That’s why we go back to the checklist.

Relocate Magazine does a thorough job of summarizing the salient points in that list or us:

Compliance. Have the company and assignee alike fulfilled all the requirements of the government and industry bodies, on both sides of the globe?  Look over everything carefully, as compliance covers a wide range of fields, from immigration to tax breaks.

Relocation costs. Don’t assume that the process of transferring the assignee’s possessions to their new home will be uneventful and easy, although modern transportation has made the journey fast and efficient.

Again don’t overlook the details. Finalize with the assignee all the items they want to bring over. Double-check if bringing them over is feasible and practical. Is insurance covered? How will current events — like a brewing storm or the massive layoff of seafarers — affect that journey?

The accommodation experience. Settling down your assignee and their family (more on that later) is something that can be done haphazardly. You do have to make your assignee feel like a VIP once they are ushered into their new home.

Regardless of their position, feeling valued from day one can boost his confidence, which in turn will positively influence their productivity. Is the accommodation designed and furnished according to their expectation?

Do the interior design and accessories give a touch of his old home?  Will your assignee feel like the master of their own castle once you give them the keys to their new accommodations?  To make sure that everything is up to speed, it is best to consult with experienced service providers in the industry, like California Corporate Housing.

Recurring expenses: Living in a foreign country can have unforeseen expenses, regardless of how many times you’ve done the math. You’ve probably accounted for major cost-of-living expenses like car lease, fire insurance, association dues — but do not assume that the cost of gas will remain.

If part of the assignee’s job is to travel overseas, their traveling expenses can also increase, should the company send him to more destinations where rent, cab fare, and even the wining and dining of clients are a bit higher.

Family status: Your assignee will remain motivated and happy insofar as their family is happy. Spouses and kids (if they have them) must treated the same as the assignee.

Without being intrusive, see to it that contact and interrelations between the assignee and their family are strong and continuous. If the family moved in with them, then invite them to company-sponsored family days or take them on a tour of the city. Extend a hand to make the kids feel welcome; suggest courses that can help their English fluency or accompany them to the arts and dance festivals that you know they love.

On the other hand, if the family stayed in the assignee’s home country, take it upon yourself to ensure that technology keep them properly connected. Avoid scheduling out-of-office virtual meetings that interrupt their Skype sessions with the kids back home. Investing in a faster-than-usual 5G bandwidth and other apps that can facilitate communication will pay off in the long run.

This basic checklist is basic but it does cover the main points that any global mobility newbie has to master. Just keep in mind that the list will eventually lengthen, as the assignee starts expanding their wings and exploring their new terrain.