Employee relocations, especially international ones, are pivotal moments for businesses seeking to expand their global footprint. It’s a crucial career moment for the relocating employee, too.
Despite the claims that full-time in-office work is dead, nearly 60% of the companies polled by Atlas Van Lines expect their relocation budgets to increase in 2023, proving that relocation is here to stay.
Post-pandemic, 29% of global workforce mobility moves are international, according to data by Atlas.
In a recent relocation survey by Graebel, they reported that over 94% of international relocating employees said they would have done something differently or asked their employer to do something differently if they ever relocated again. What was on the wish list? 31% of those respondents said they would have liked to receive language and culture training pre- and post-departure.
Language proficiency is frequently mandatory for anyone relocating to a new country, so language tutoring isn’t just nice to have but necessary before the relocating employee (and their family) can live in their new location long-term.
Many countries have introduced language proficiency tests as a prerequisite for visa applications, aiming to ensure successful integration into work and social life. While some tests only require a basic understanding of the native language, others require cultural testing, too. The last thing a relocating company wants is for a relo to hang in the balance of a language test, which is why tutoring is critical during pre- and post-departure.
The level of proficiency varies by country, as well as by visa type. Here are some of the countries that require language proficiency to apply for a visa:
Regarding language and culture training, the pre-assignment assessment can help identify the employee's proficiency in the host country's language and familiarity with its culture. Based on this assessment, a customized language and culture training plan can be developed to bridge any gaps and ensure a smoother integration into the new environment. The last thing you want is to spend time, money, and human resources moving an employee across the world only to find out they can’t assimilate into their new culture.
Offer language courses that focus on the specific needs of the employee's role and the nuances of the host country's language. Cultural sensitivity training should cover customs, etiquette, and business practices to prepare employees for the new work environment. Global LT offers live, interactive cultural experiences focusing on real-world outcomes like water cooler talk for the relocating employee and even how to understand American football (and everything in between).
Continue language and culture training after the employee has arrived in the host country. Encourage participation in local activities, provide cross-cultural coaching, and offer ongoing language support to ensure a smoother integration into the local community and workplace. Often, an employee’s language teacher is the only consistency they have during their move, and their relationship becomes a lifeline to their new culture. Global LT’s mobility culture training is provided to a relocating family for a full calendar year, ensuring a successful integration.