How To Help your Assignees Talk to their Family About Relocation

At first, it all seems to be a great adventure to your assignee and their family when it comes to relocating to another region or country of employment. Would-be immigrants who are looking at the long term still consister the United States of America as a land of immense opportunity. Northern California and its tech hubs are another preferred region for relocation.

Still, after all the buzz has died down and the family is finally buckling into their new home, the cracks begin to show. It might just be a small child having too many temper tantrums. Or your assignee’s baby waking up crying in the middle of the night way too often. Or worse, your assignee’s spouse suddenly starts talking about their former home and neighborhood, and how they can’t seem to fit into what was once the land of promise.

It is vital that global mobility managers address these issues ASAP and not wait for them to escalate and drag down the assignee’s performance. Without intruding on the assignee’s privacy, they can give them guidelines on how to navigate their loved ones through this initial difficult adjustment period.

Tip 1: The assignee should acknowledge the sacrifices made by their spouse and kids.

While this could have been a great career move on the part of the assignee, the support given by their loved ones should be acknowledged. The spouse could have left their own promising career in their home country just to join him. And while the kids may not appreciate the long-term advantages, they do feel the loss that comes with being separated from friends, cousins, and teachers whom they had relied on as  a second family for a long time. Having the assignee acknowledge this invaluable contribution can make their spouse and kids feel highly appreciated. With that appreciation will come the satisfaction of knowing that their sacrifices had not gone unnoticed. Pretty soon, morale just might pick up.

Tip 2: Create or continue family routines for the kids.

The children’s fear of the unknown, or insecurities at being unable to integrate into their new neighborhood, can be assuaged by creating family routines that bring them a sense of security and familiarity. As per the advice of Parents, maintain the rituals or traditions that the assignee and their family did in their former home. From 7 p.m. family dinners, book-reading before going to bed, church services every Sunday, or long walks in the park Saturday — even if done in another country or region, doing them at all continuously makes the kids, especially the younger ones, feel that certain things have not changed. Their family and identity are still intact. And that sense of continuity can go a long way in helping them adjust.

Tip 3: Show the family the bigger picture.

To stop making the family feel alone and isolated, the assignee, with the help of the global mobility manager, can show them the stronger and bigger support network that will help them adjust to their new home. Associations that celebrate their ethnic communities, local church groups belonging to their particular religion, family-oriented groups within the company itself, and friendly providers like California Corporate Housing — all these must be introduced to the family no later than week one. These are not just nameless, faceless entities but real human beings who actually care for them and want to ensure that the assignee and the family’s integration into the community be a successful and happy one.