3 Reasons for International Relocation Failure

Avoiding Global Relocation Horror. International assignments involve a lot of hard work from the very start. Theres planning and preparation, then the actual move and, finally, integrating assignees into their new role and country. Of course, theres the monetary investment too. The average investment for each overseas assignment is 90,000.


With such value attached to global relocations, it’s important that they are implemented as smoothly and successfully as possible. In reality, 40% of all global moves involve early repatriation of assignees. How can organisations avoid counting the cost of failed relocations?

3 Reasons for International Relocation Failure:

  1. Family Issues

HR News reports that 70% of failed assignments are due to unhappy families. Whilst the focus is naturally upon assignees and their new roles, organisations must remember that families are hugely affected too. Sometimes entire families also move to a new life in a new country. AT BTR International, we recognise the huge stress that a new location, culture and language can create upon spouses and families. We therefore offer specialist bespoke services to:

  • Understand the requirements of assignees and their families.
  • Introduce assignees’ families to expatriate groups, helping them to start socialising and find other local groups and clubs of their interest.
  • Help the family members prepare for job interviews and seek employment opportunities.
  • Assist the relocating families in settling into their new home and location.

2. Language and Cultural Barriers

Poor communication is seen as a barrier to global mobility success by 90% of recruiters.

It’s essential that assignees feel at home in their new location and productive within their new role as soon as possible. Communication is key. This involves languagecultural issues, plus business etiquette in the host country. The right support boosts assignees’ confidence as well as their work performance, helping the assignment to be successful.

3. Fail to Prepare…

As Benjamin Franklin said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

“When it comes to preparation of assignees, though, the majority of businesses are guilty of a lax attitude towards the process, “reports HR News. “Only 25% offer full cultural and language support, with as many as 16% of brands providing nothing in the way of pre-move prep at all. Given the problems faced and the lack of support, it may even be considered remarkable that the rate of failure isn’t higher.”

Louise Chilcott is a Global Move Specialist at BTR International. Louise says: “We work hard to ensure that all moves are as stress-free as possible. That involves bespoke and thorough planning so that the right support is provided to assignees and their families. Organisations should be aware of the nature and depth of support required and proactively ensure that this is available, giving every chance of success to the individuals and the organisation.”

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