One of the major causes of expatriate failure is unhappy and uncomfortable immediate family especially the spouse and children. Most companies expatriating their employees rarely have a broad-based plan that includes the family members. Because such narrow-approach support programs primarily focus on the expatriates, it leads to isolation of the wife or husband and the children. Ultimately, conflicts arise in the relationships which unsettle the expatriate consequently leading to failure overseas. In addition, some companies do not provide proper motivation, monetary and nonmonetary, to the expatriates who are sent to serve overseas. In some, cases they lack proper cross-cultural training. They therefore find it difficult to acclimatize to the new environment including culturally and socially because they are inflexible (Onley n.pag; (Haile and Jones n.pag).
Because the success of overseas assignment primarily relies on the flexibility, motivational levels, and mental status of the expatriate, it is imperative that the spouse is included in the training program. They should be appraised on cultural differences while also counseled on the psychological implications of overseas assignment. They should be trained on coping and communication skills in order to reduce chances of feeling isolated and frustrations.
One of the most common challenges faced by expatriates is cultural differences or cultural shock. Cross-cultural training (CCT) will enable the expatriates to be more accommodative of the cultural diversities. They will be equipped with basic cultural practices that can allow them acclimatize easily overseas by empowering them to socialize and communicate with the locals better. Equally, spousal conflict is a frequent hitch among expatriates. CCT can equip expatriates and their family with coping, communication, and interpersonal skills in addition to counseling. This will reduce disagreements, apprehensions, and dissatisfaction. Language barrier is also a regular challenge. With training, expatriates will be well equipped with intermediary skills on the local languages as well as have a reliable interpreter to help them navigate the local social and economic scene (Haile and Jones n.pag).
Onley, Dawn S. Avert Assignment Failure: Support Spouses in Overseas Relocations. Society for Human Resource Management, 2014. Available at: https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/global/articles/pages/spouses-overseas-relocations.aspx
Haile, Semere and Jones, Marcus D. What constitute the success or failure of expatriates? An exploratory study. European Journal of Management 9.4 (2009). Available at: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/European-Journal-Management/260874456.html