How to Handle the Days Leading to the Assignees’ Exit

The last few weeks leading to an assignees’ exit from their country or company of employment back to their homeland can very well be an emotional one for the global mobility manager who had partnered with them in their professional journey. Global mobility managers often work closely with their assignees to ensure not just their productivity and performance but also their well-being. Friendships and professional relationships based on a lot of trust and respect are built over the years. Many of them have watched each others’ back on a lot of important issues from project collaboration, office intrigue, even to romantic or marital relations.

That’s why it’s important for the global mobility manager to see to it that the exit is a smooth one which ties up loose ends and resolves all issues. While a going-away party and some gift-giving are par for the course, a safe journey, a proper welcome back home, and the processing of all pertinent documents will serve the assignee much more in the long run.

Here are the things that global mobility managers should pay special attention to in handling the exit of their assignees:

The next office or homebase they are to report to must be prepared to receive them: According to Slice of Mango, global mobility managers should not assume that everything is set in place just because the assignee is going back to his country or city of origin. All it takes is a few phone calls to check if the assignee will have a job waiting for him or  will be asked to take a supposed much-needed break.

If the global mobility manager has established a working rapport with their counterpart in the other region, they can also learn discreetly the other conditions that the assignee will face in returning. Without breaking any code of confidentiality, the global mobility manager can subtly give indicators to the assignee if only to prepare them and manage expectations.

All commitments made with and for the assignee and the family with certain vendors and stakeholders must be terminated according to contract and in a peaceable and harmonious manner. These commitments go beyond the work of the assignee for the company.

As described by The Employer Report, they may mean pulling their children from the local school a few weeks before graduation, or doing a proper turnover of the leased apartment to the property developer or landlord. The global mobility manager must seek the help of partners like school authorities or housing owners like California Corporate Housing in this area.

The exit, transfer, or return of the assignee must comply with the concerned existing labor laws, whether these are the home country’s or the country of employment. Conflicts, minor and major, arise from the assignee’s perception of how these laws apply to them, regardless of what may be specified in the country.

The Society for Human Resource Management points out that assignees in particular might interpret claims differently. For example, before they do their exit, they might ask for an extra month’s pay if these are regular benefits enjoyed by expatriates in the country of employment are given in compliance with the local laws, although their assignee contract signed by the American office home office does not give the same kind of compensation.

Finally, global mobility managers should always be a phone call or chat message away. The assignee might experience their own bit of culture shock in readjusting to their former home life.

They might have more questions about expatriate assignments after being exposed to international work practices in top companies like the tech giants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bringing these concerns to the global mobility manager they have trusted for years has become a second habit. Until they regain their stability, the global mobility manager must always make himself available to give their usual sage advice or virtual shoulder to lean on.