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Derek Whitefield

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Orientation and training for internationals


What are the most essential orientation topics for your foreign/English-learning employees?

2 Responses

  1. Hi Derek, just to make sure,
    Hi Derek, just to make sure, is this for permanent employees who do not have English as a native speakers, or more for visitors/temporary workers?

  2. Hi Derek, we just had this
    Hi Derek, we just had this example shared with us by one of our readers if it helps?

    “Pre departure: Our pre-departure training starts at the recruitment stage. We manage expectations from the start outlining the difficulties of living is such countries.The discussions are always open and we are also fully aware of the candidates family situation so we can factor that into relocation. We send the candidate a pack which includes an e-book called “Moving to XXX”.

    After the candidate has had time to read through it we normally have a informal Skype and discuss all of their fears, anxieties and questions about the move, at this stage I also discuss culture and the skills and characteristics needed to have a successful working relationship with a local team. Onsite: The cultural training takes place during the induction week and is a formal training on local culture, history, customs, workplaces norms. It is run by the HR manager as part of the overall induction.

    The HR manager normally briefs the new starts of the expectations for the initial interaction. We also offer language lessons to new starts ( we run them at lunch time with a tutor). We find this is successful as local people are delighted if you make the effort to speak to them in their own language and it also creates rapport between expats and the local team.

    Our probation period is three months, during this period employees do go through several stages of culture shock which can be quite emotional after the initial euphoria of the move has passed. What we do is check in on them and offer support continuously during these three months. Then we do a formal review at the end of the three months where we again revisit culture and customs.

    We are small enough that we can do this for all our offices, something quite personalized, larger corporations I’m sure do things differently but we have found over the last four years that if you constantly check in and offer support at the different stages of their transition then turnover decreases.”


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