Pre-departure – setting the stage for success
An overseas assignment is an exciting step in an individual’s career. It is also filled with many potential pitfalls, both professionally and personally. Our pre-departure sessions prepare expatriates for the cultural challenges they will face in adapting to life and work in a new country, and give them tools for decoding the cultural aspects of the situations they will encounter.
Clients outside of Japan often request pre-departure training for one expatriate. In these cases we offer sessions tailored to the destination country and the role the expatriate will be playing there. Clients in Japan typically request pre-departure training as group sessions, either for a team of people being transferred to one location, or for a group of people being sent to a variety of locations. In the former situation, we deliver a session tailored to the destination, while in the latter, we provide information applicable to dealing with multiple cultural differences.
In Japan, we also offer training to spouses of employees who are scheduled to transfer overseas. Spouses often bear much of the burden for ensuring the smooth transition of their family to overseas life and thus play a crucial role in a successful outcome. They typically approach the move with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, focused on issues such as schooling for the children, health care, the language barrier, and cultural differences. This seminar helps to allay those concerns, and enables the participants to approach their overseas experience in a positive frame of mind. The specifics covered in the session will vary according to the participants’ destination(s). The session is intended to help them feel positive and confident about their upcoming relocation. We encourage companies not to overlook the needs of this key group.
Post-arrival – getting up to speed quickly
We believe that whenever possible, cross-cultural training for international assignees should be delivered as a set: One session pre-departure, and another session 6-8 weeks after arrival in the new country. With this approach, the pre-departure training assures that the expatriate will get off on the right foot and is prepared for the adjustments that need to be made immediately when arriving in a new culture. Then, after the expatriate has had time to experience some of the new culture’s more challenging aspects, a post-arrival session allows for a more in-depth exploration of how to be successful within it. This timing is also helpful for addressing questions that have arisen in the expatriate’s mind, but before too many frustrations have built up.