It is the part of human nature to progress and grow in every facet of life from the time they complete their education and enter into the world of commerce. The key driving aspect for an individual is to provide their families with all the comfort and lavish lifestyle so that they can enjoy the life to the fullest. In this search of growth and prosperity, one of the widespread actions that have been observed is relocation. People relocate and move to other places from their country of origin so that they can give a financially better and secure future to their families (Marquardt, 2013).
However, the fact cannot be ignored that when an individual relocate, he/she stands under the showers of changes at once. The changes usually reflect the culture, background, values, and various other aspects which become difficult to adapt. Pertaining to this issue of adaptation to the new environment, expatriate orientation programs have been widely developed. The key mission of the orientation programs for expatriates is to create awareness together with acquainting them with the culture, background, and language of the country to which they are relocated (Randhawa, 2007).
Human beings are born with immense capabilities to learn, understand, and adapt the values of other cultures and backgrounds, therefore, orientation programs are initiated that can facilitate the expatriates to work effectively and interact harmoniously with the new surroundings. Indeed, specialized firms and community organizations have been established that conduct orientation programs for expats with the objective to provide the individuals with knowledge and assistance that can promote cross-cultural understanding. These programs are not only designed for expatriates, but their families are also benefitted through these plans (Randhawa, 2007).
Successful transition from one culture to another culture is enabled for expatriates and their families by means of such program initiatives. This is particularly due to the reason that these programs are designed to develop an understanding and educate on various concepts that include culture and intercultural communication, philosophy of national differences, organizational culture diversity, cross-cultural transition processes, and country-specific knowledge. The tools and techniques of the program aid the expatriate employees and their families to provide an enjoyable and pleasant experience so that they can function productively in their new surroundings (De Bono & Van Der Heijden, 2011).
This dissertation is based on several components. The literature review section provides comprehensive information on how the expatriate orientation program works and what are the things to consider when delivering the information to them. However, it cannot be ignored that when expatriates relocate to other countries they face various issues. These issues have been highlighted and discussed, and based on it, a new orientation program had been developed that would prove to be effective and useful for the individuals. The orientation program is developed for the employees of ABC Corporation (a fake enterprise) who are relocating to the other branch of the company located in Indonesia.
Statement of the problem
Travelling to another country for a short span looks like an amazing experience for an individual and his/her family. Nevertheless, when it comes to relocation where the individual and his family have to shift and settle in a new place, it changes the entire picture and is considered a gargantuan issue for the entire family. The issue appears because many things that impact the daily lives of the individuals changes dramatically. This clearly signifies the fact that not only the life of an employee is affected but his entire family has to undergo a new experience as a result of international assignment.
The relocation generally becomes a factor of concern because the entire family then has to face uncertainty that is associated with the replacement to a new place. In fact, every step of relocation brings confusion and fear to these people, which curtails the positive attitude towards the new environment. Indeed, this fear brings a negative impact due to which the employee is not able to settle down in a new work environment, and hence, his productivity is eventually affected (Adekola & Sergi, 2012).
Even though a thorough orientation program aids reducing the disruption through educating the expatriates and their families on various aspects, yet, the issues prominently exists that comes with relocation. Following are the most common issues that have come to the forefront as an outcome of relocation (Singh, 2007):
Tax and financial issues
Although the expatriate orientation programs are helpful to a great extent, the major problems faced by the employee and his family are not completely eliminated. This is usually because the orientation program is for a limited time duration, which cannot completely resolve the issues of expatriates and his family. Moreover, the orientation programs are well able to deal with the confidence level and fear of expatriates and his/her family; yet, the issues like culture and language differences cannot be catered to effectively overnight. This is because the participants have been practicing their culture and communicating in their native language since a very long time, therefore, it takes a long time to make them adaptable to the new culture (Adekola & Sergi, 2012).
Expatriate orientation program is not a new concept; rather, these kinds of tools have been implemented since a long time. However, one can say that the increasing number of relocations of expatriates from all over the world has elevated the need of such programs to a great extent. Studies have brought the fact into limelight that institutions across the globe are increasing, which conduct cross-cultural orientation programs for the expatriates and their families (Fechter, 2007).
These tools and programs are a significant source that helps the expats and their families to develop an understanding about various concepts. These notions particularly include cross-cultural values, recognition of cultural differences, differences in organizational cultures, recognition of the motivation that can lead to successful experience, ways to respond to cultural shock, strategies that can result in effective intercultural communication, and other country-specific knowledge (Fechter, 2007).
With respect to the length of these orientation programs records have revealed the fact that these orientation programs can be based on one day sessions and can also last up to several days. In fact, the orientation programs are even custom-designed, which caters to the particular needs of the clients. For custom-designed programs, the specialist performs a need assessment with not only the international human resources consultant who requests for the training program but also with the participants. This need assessment is usually performed by means of telephone, which assists in addressing particular issues of the participants/clients. Moreover, specialist firms make appropriate modifications in the program (Ferraro, 2002).
Past records regarding custom-designed programs have also highlighted the information that various constructive approaches have been used when making custom-designed orientation programs. These typically include special programs for children, special emphasis on cross-cultural management, and so forth. These initiatives enable the expatriates and their families to have a much better understanding through real life scenarios and situations. The trainers have also been observed making visits to the expats and their families in order to create a more comfortable environment (Ferraro, 2002).
Numerous sources of information have accentuated the fact that an employee as well as his family undoubtedly receives some sort of help and support that facilitates them in moving when they are sent abroad for an assignment. The expats and their family members are provided with support and assistance in their new posting in the form of orientation program. However, the question that has been raised, discussed, and argued is related to the extent of support that the organization is willing to give to its employees, since mammoth capital is needed to be spent for these program (Adekola & Sergi, 2007).
According to some schools of thought, the best interest of the companies is to provide adequate support and help to the employees in their relocation process, which can ensure that the process results in successful transition. Successful transition to the new place is imperative for the organizations due to the reason that it involves profound financial investments by the enterprises, as it requires transporting the family and their belonging, supporting in home setup, schooling, and so on. Besides, the cost of orientation programs for the employees and their families is an addition to the overall cost of relocation (Adekola & Sergi, 2007).
Other studies draw one's attention to the verity that the people or institutions that provide the expatriate training also takes care of other multiple aspects regarding the settlement of expat and his family in the new location. Coupled to helping the relocated employee and his family with getting a suitable house, the responsible personnel also make sure that the employee's children get good education from an…