Repatriation: how a personal development plan can help

What can be done to ensure that the challenges of repatriation are successfully overcome and equally profitable for both employee and company? Why are HR managers of internationally experienced companies devoting their time intensively to the subject of reintegrating expatriates, even during the current crisis? Daniel Auwermann, partner at German company ICUnet.AG, explains.

What can be done to ensure that the challenges of repatriation are successfully overcome and equally profitable for both employee and company? Why are HR managers of internationally experienced companies devoting their time intensively to the subject of reintegrating expatriates, even during the current crisis? Daniel Auwermann, partner at German company ICUnet.AG, explains.Many expatriates return home with doubts regarding their future career at the company. Most companies don’t have plans for reintegration, and the expected promotion fails to materialise.“A personal development plan makes sense,” according to one repatriate.Many changes associated with returning home and the position employees hold afterwards cannot be predicted in the long term from a company’s point of view. “It is not possible to offer job guarantees; the environment changes too much in two years,” according to a HR manager.Internet portals: job vacancies and news from the head office“Surveys reveal what we already know and follow from experience. Reintegration already begins before the foreign assignment,” observes Carolin Grellner, head of the assignment management team here at ICUnet.AG.“From the very beginning, internet portals make expats aware of potential problems when returning home, promote extensive and continuous exchange, and motivate employees to go after the future position in the company as early as possible.“Current job vacancies, news from the head office, and important tips and information for accompanying partners and children can also be included here.”False expectation of expatriates“Life in Germany has become quite foreign to me,” is how one repatriate described his experience.In the first few weeks after returning home, Germans are often seen as notorious complainers, unfriendly to children, aggressive or inflexible. Is it possible to get used to that, and, more to the point, is there even a desire to do so?With all its professional and private challenges, returning home can be even more difficult than the foreign assignment itself. The key issue here is the false expectation expatriates have regarding the old, familiar-seeming home country. As part of individual coaching for returnees, repatriates can become aware of the changed values, attitudes, experiences and behaviour patterns as well as the current reality of everyday working life in the home country.For further information, go to www.icunet.ag/en

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