Ihrm assignment

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Ihrm assignment

  1. 1. Table of Contents1.0 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................... 12.0 REASONS FOR PREMATURE RETURN AND POOR RETENTION OF EXPATRIATES .................................... 2 2.1 FAILED ASSIGNMENTS DUE TO PREMATURE RETURN OF EXPATRIATES ............................................ 3 2.1.1 ERROR IN SELECTION ....................................................................................................................... 4 2.2 THE RETENTION OF RETURN EXPATRIATES ........................................................................................ 4 2.2.1 CAUSES OF POOR RETENTION OF REPATRIATES.......................................................................... 53.0 POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THESE CRISES ................................................................................................... 7 3.1 PRE-EXPATRIATION ............................................................................................................................. 8 3.1.1 PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING .......................................................................................................... 8 3.1.2 AN IN-DEPTH REVIEW .................................................................................................................. 8 3.2 EXPATRIATION..................................................................................................................................... 9 3.2.1 HOLIDAY ....................................................................................................................................... 9 3.2.2 DISCUSSION OF CONCRETE JOB PROSPECTS ............................................................................... 9 3.3 REPATRIATION .................................................................................................................................. 10 3.3.1 ORIENTATION PROGRAM........................................................................................................... 10 3.3.2 SUPPORT .................................................................................................................................... 104.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION............................................................................................... 115.0 REFERENCES ............................................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.1.0 INTRODUCTIONThe world has become a global world, boarders have disappeared, and organisationshave gone global. This has increased the needs for expatriates to handle organisations
  2. 2. international assignments abroad which require expert hands (Downes and Thomas,1999). Expatriates are used by Multi-national corporations (MNCs) in order to get experthands into the new market the companies are penetrating or to give training to theirstaffs in the new market. Moreover, some of the MNCs prefer their expertises to handletheir managerial positions, in order for them to remain competitive in the market due totheir experts’ competencies in the field (Forster, 2000).However, Hiltrop (1999) revealed that Human Resource Management (HRM) crisestend to be compound complex when it comes to the international realm. The studyfurther established that MNCs success or failure in the international business can bedetermined by the management of their international human resources. For MNCs,inability to communicate, control and organise their activities in the internationalbusiness environment can lead the companies into a more complex crisis. Some of themajor crises that are facing MNCs consist of: premature return of expatriates due tofailure in their assignments and the poor retention of returnee expatriates due to poorrepatriation.2.0 REASONS FOR PREMATURE RETURN AND POOR RETENTION OFEXPATRIATESMNCs have been having one problem or the other regarding their internationalassignments. Some of the major problems are premature return and poor retention ofexpatriates. This report will examine the causes for premature and poor retention ofexpatriates and suggest possible solutions to these problems.
  3. 3. 2.1 FAILED ASSIGNMENTS DUE TO PREMATURERETURN OF EXPATRIATESIn international human resource, failed assignments due to premature return ofexpatriates are famous among the MNCs (Riusala, 2000). This issue has become aninternational crisis, and a number of studies have recognized the causes of this failure.In case of premature return of expatriates, Riusala (2000) identified that the causescould be as a result lack of cross-cultural adjustment by the expatriates, their spouse orfamily. Another study by Grant and Heijltjes (2000) added that this problem can resultfrom poor performance of the expatriates. Furthermore, in a study by Black andGregersen (1997), the study established that 10% to 20% of Americans expatriatesoverseas come back prematurely as a result of lack of pleasure from their jobs whicharise due to cultural differences. Moreso, the study further stated that one-third of theexpatriates that stayed for longer period did not carry out the job satisfactorily as to theexpectations of their companies.However, when an international assignment is yet to be completed, MNCs have anobligatory duty to resend another batch of expatriates to finish the assignment (Pucikand Saba, 1998), this process required both direct and indirect costs which is at theexpense of the MNCs. The following are some of the costs involved in the process ofresending another batch of expatriates to finish the assignment:DIRECT COSTSThese include costs such as salary, training costs, travel, and relocation expenses.These costs are incurred directly by the MNC that sent them for the assignment. Allthese costs are at the expense of the MNC and since the assignment is not complete,
  4. 4. this is a loss to the company. The company need to incur another cost to make sure theassignment is done. The company have to rearrange, reselect and resend anotherbatch of expatriates to complete the assignment.INDIRECT COSTSThese are costs that are not in monetary form. It includes cost such as loss of marketshare, having problem with the host country and demands by the host country that theirnationals should replace parent country nationals (Forster, 2000). Though, these costsmight sound irrelevant but the impact affects the overall profitability performance of theMNC.2.1.1 ERROR IN SELECTIONAnother major cause of expatriates’ failure is due to selection problem (Harvey andNoviceivic, 2001). Traditionally, expatriates are been select based on their technicalexpertise, whereas other imperative interpersonal factors of the expatriates are beenneglected (Suutari and Brewster, 1998).For example, according to Clarke and Hammer (1995) stated that interpersonalcompetence support in the cultural adaptation of the expatriates and their family alsomake them to feel at home which need to be given consideration.2.2 THE RETENTION OF RETURN EXPATRIATESAnother crises faced by MNCs is their inability to retain expatriates upon their arrival totheir home country (Downes and Thomas, 1999). A number of researches have shownthat 25% of expatriates who complete their foreign assignments prefer to depart their
  5. 5. company upon their return (Solomon, 1998; Hammer et al, 1998). Meanwhile, studieshave shown that it cost more than $1.2 million in losing one repatriate employee(Forster, 2000). However, MNCs that are investing in international career developmentpolicies for the benefit of their expatriates are more likely to have lower rates ofrepatriate turnover compared to MNCs without such policies.Repatriation programs assist in the development of company’s policy and jobdescription for repatriates together with financial and career development and familyorientation are programs that can assist as part of the overall process of careerdevelopment and international human resource management (Hauser, 1999). Thisproblem needs to be resolved in order to guide against disenchantment and highrepatriates turnover (Haines and Saba, 1999).2.2.1 CAUSES OF POOR RETENTION OF REPATRIATESREVERSE CULTURE SHOCKFor a number of years in the host country, most of the expatriates experience what onerepatriate called a “Transforming procedure” as reported by Jan Nelson (employeebenefit News, November, 2005). At first, when expatriates are deployed to differentcountries, they absorb different cultures that are different from their home countryculture. They learn these cultures and abide by it to enjoy their stay abroad. Some ofthem even forget their own culture to enjoy their stay while abroad. However, this has agreat effect on them when they get back to their home country. To the extent that someof the repatriates cannot cover the cultural differences between them and the peoplethey share similar culture with back home.
  6. 6. MISLEADING MEMORIESAnother problem why most repatriates find it difficult to stay with their companies is theissue of memories misleading. While on the assignment abroad, most of the expatriatesmiss their home, so much so that, with time their memory develops its natural banalcertainty. Homesick expatriates have in their mind everything concerning the generalenvironment and the tradition of their home country, not can be equate to what is in theirminds (Andreason and Kinneer, 2004). When they get back home, the pleasanttraditions and sharp memories quickly surrender to the natural facts. The certainty theyhave come across is not equivalent to the traditions their mind has experienced. Whentheir Ideology is defeated by certainty, expatriates can feel miserable and diminished.CHANGE HAPPENSChanges are about to happened. People change, so does the society. This is one of thefactors that affect repatriates to stay at the home country office. Since they left forforeign land a lot of changes have occurred and this might be totally different from howthey left the company. It is not just the new buildings around the offices, newlyconstructed roads, the new machines the company just acquired. It is about the people.The office will be totally strange to the repatriates. Some of their old friends are nolonger working with the same company and the company has replaced them with newstaffs. The repatriates will find the office uncomfortable as the new faces in the officeare strange, so they will prefer to leave for another company than to stay with the formalemployer.
  7. 7. UNWELCOME LIFESTYLE CHANGESIn reality, changing one lifestyle may be necessitated by current situation. Mostexpatriates while on foreign assignment with their family were able to live in a semi-luxury apartment that they cannot afford in their home country. For instance, a repatriateafter seven years of staying abroad, returned back to the United States and make aconfession that, the most difficult thing for her to adjust to after her resettlement back inthe US was the lack of house help. The lifestyle most of the expatriates enjoyed whileabroad is so enormous and they find it difficult to adjust to their normal life when theyreturn. Their employers are not ready to pay them that kind of money for them to beable to continue with the luxurious lifestyleLONELINESSFinally, even when expatriates decide to stay with their employers when they returnfrom foreign assignment, they complain about loneliness. This affects their performancebecause the motivation is more over there. So they prefer to leave the company for anew company that perhaps they can start afresh making new friends and getacclimatize.3.0 POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THESE CRISESGoes the popular saying that for every problem there must be a solution, using criticalthinking to find solution to the entire problems, one can see that the causes of theproblems are straightforward and there solution must be straightforward. MNCs need toclose the gap between probability and certainty. Expatriates are considered to be
  8. 8. successful when they return back to their home country, they gain access to a job whichidentifies all the recent gained international skills, experiences minimal cross-culturereadjustment difficulties and reports low turnover intentions (Sullivan, 2002). WhereasMNCs can achieve expatriate that are willing to finish foreign assignments and at sametime prefer to stay after they return from oversea assignment, only if MNCs canimplement just a little plan for the expatriates.The suggested solutions to the above crises are categories into three stages, which arepre-expatriation, Expatriation and the Repatriation.3.1 PRE-EXPATRIATION3.1.1 PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFINGMNCs should organize talk and meeting with all the expatriates before they depart forthe assignment. The company should allow the expatriate to bring their family that isaccompanying them on the trip. The meeting should focus more on the issues that arerelating to the expatriate experience while on assignment abroad. The issue ofexpatriates returning home without completing the assignment should be seriouslyfocused on. This talk and meeting will prepare them (expatriates) ahead thosechallenges and while they occur the expatriate will know how to handle it.3.1.2 AN IN-DEPTH REVIEWA comprehensive examination of the expatriate’s goals and responsibilities irrespectiveof where they are deployed to should include establishing written procedures in whichexpatriates performance and progress are monitored. Meanwhile, care must be taken
  9. 9. not to obstruct assessment functions of the host country office. However, host countryoffices do not always have people suitable to manage expatriates and give them jobdescriptions and expectations. This guide is supposed to spell out how expatriates willbe evaluated based on their performance and this process will assist expatriates tomaintain cordial relationship and connect with their home country management,because the evaluation will be sent back to their home country office.This review will establish communication between expatriates and their home officemanagement, and the more the communication, the easier for the expatriates to returnto their home country and still mingle.3.2 EXPATRIATIONThis is the second stage plan to find solution to the crises between the MNCs and theirexpatriates. Assuming that in the pre-expatriation stage, good plans have already beenlaid down. While on the assignment, the activities will be carried out as planned.3.2.1 HOLIDAYIt has been established that the more contact with home country the better and easierfor expatriate to perform as expected. Therefore, it will be a better idea to allow theexpatriates to visit their home country with their family often. This will make them to stillget use to their home country cultural traditions.3.2.2 DISCUSSION OF CONCRETE JOB PROSPECTSShortly before the expatriates return back to their home country, MNCs should makearrangement for relevant and a suitable job for the expatriates before they return where
  10. 10. their skills will be relevant. This will motivate them and they will like to continue workingwith the company.3.3 REPATRIATIONIf the above two stages have been properly established, then there should be nounpleasant experiences. However, companies must make preparation to welcome themand re-orientate them. The following are some of the step to be taken that will makethem feel at home:3.3.1 ORIENTATION PROGRAMMNCs should make sure that shortly after the arrival of the expatriates; they should beinvited for orientation program together with their family. The program should includetalk on expatriate experience while abroad, their feeling as repatriate, they should begiven permission to share their experience, lecture should be given to them about howto adapt back to their home country culture and they should be encouraged.3.3.2 SUPPORTOne of the major complaints of the repatriates are issue concerning the talent and skillthey acquired while on the assignment abroad that is not put into use when they return.MNCs should give them support to make sure that repatriate feel valued andopportunities is given to them to discharge their talents and skills.
  11. 11. 4.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONMNCs can overcome these crises if proper planning is set to rectify these problems.The solutions will save MNCs a lot costs both direct and indirect costs and theirexpertises will return back to their company. Those problems occur because there is noplan to tackle their existence.This report will conclude that there is no problem without a solution and these problemscan be rectified with little effort planning. MNCs should start from selection ofemployees that will go for foreign assignment, proper screening should be carried out toensure that not only technical competence is considered, other factors such as year ofexperience, how long has the employee stayed offshore before, can the employeeadapt to other people’s culture and so on. These are some of the other factors to be putinto consideration during employee selection for foreign assignment.Finally, if other suggested solutions can be adhered to there is possibility that thesecrises will be totally overcome.

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