If you are sending a new employee overseas for your business, whether the employee has traveled overseas or not, it is always a good idea to do your best to prepare him for the upcoming job. After all, a well-prepared employee will likely perform better on the job when he understands the ins and outs of his new job location.
There are 5 important topics that you will want to review and discuss with your new hire before he leaves:
1. Assignment Specifics
Who wants to travel to a strange place with little to no details regarding exact job expectations or point of contact information? Travel alone is stressful in itself, let alone traveling across different time zones and to a place you are unfamiliar with.
Before your new employee travels, be sure to provide him all of the necessary assignment details. Review and discuss job requirements, hours of work, and point of contact. Make sure that your employee has an address and phone number for his accommodations, along with a map of the location. Also, insure that if something should go wrong with his travel or accommodation reservations that he has a phone number of who to contact for assistance.
2. Transportation Options
Many overseas locations will have some form of public transportation. Even if you are providing your new hire with a rental car, ensure that your employee understands the easiest form of transportation. Remember, your new employee will not be working 24/7. His time overseas will be more enjoyable if he understands the cheapest and easiest way to travel to local restaurants, market, and shopping areas.
3. Communication Options
Do not assume that working overseas is easy for your new hire, even if he is a frequent traveler. It is difficult working so many miles away from family and friends. Being able to communicate with people back home is essential to your employee’s well being while abroad.
Make sure that your new employee understands that there are many affordable communication options while overseas.
- Purchasing a SIM card upon arrival (if mobile phone is unlocked)
- Purchasing a cheap prepaid cell phone upon arrival
- Setting up a Skype account (Skype to Skype calls are free and offer the option of video calls)
- If using Apple products FaceTime is a good option
- WhatsApp is a good texting solution which uses internet data on a mobile phone
- Other services such as Magic Jack are also affordable options.
4. Cultural Research
Always recommend that your new employee research cultural information on the country he is traveling to. You would be surprised at the cultural differences between America and other countries, even when it comes to simple things such as business etiquette, greetings, eating etiquette, etc.
Help your new hire by having a general idea of the cultural differences and providing website links to helpful information.
5. Learning Language Basics
If you are sending your new employee to a country with a different language, please advise your employee to learn some of the basics of the mother language. There are many free websites that offer basic instruction in various languages. I have had the best luck with duolingo, but there are other sites offering similar services online.
You will have a much more successful and less stressed employee when he understands how to order a meal, ask for directions, and say thank you and please in the local language.
What are some other ways that you prepare your new hire for an overseas job? Please share your tips in the comments below.