Managing Expatriate Assignments Creatively
By Jack Keogh, Managing Director, Keogh & Associates Consulting, LLC
We are consulting with a very large domestic firm about to send its first expatriates to China. As we discussed compensation, taxation, destination services, educational policy, cross-cultural training and the other elements that affect the ROI of an assignment, I found myself reexamining some of the truisms that I had learnt during my career as an expat and as a relocation professional.
One of the most powerful tools that we have is the ability to transform relocation policies to reduce the costs of benefits provided by restructuring our approach to assignment management.
With our client, who is new to international relocation, I found myself starting from scratch rather than merely adjusting existing policies. When given the choice between what might be considered a fairly modest relocation package and not having the opportunity to gain foreign experience, I realized that the senior-level key personnel were inclined to accept the assignment package, without some of the traditional bells and whistles. This inclination, of course, presupposes an appreciation of the benefits of an international assignment coupled with the trust that the experience will be valued and rewarded during the employee’s career…