An abundance of time and money has been invested into researching the importance of cross-cultural training in regards to relocation. These studies have established a strong correlation between the success of a transfer and the level of cross-cultural training provided. The need for this aspect of relocation seems quite obvious. As we discussed in I don’t understand. Je ne comprends pas. No entiendo. Δεν καταλαβαίνω. Ich weiss nicht. this training will help the transferee cope with differences they are likely to face. It will close the gap between what they’re used to and what they will encounter. Training will minimize breakdowns in communication and potentially costly misunderstanding. Culturally savvy employees are more effective and productive in the workplace and in dealings outside the confines of the office setting.
Why is it that many companies choose not to include this in their relocation packages?
The most common reason companies have reduced support for cross-cultural training is financially motivated. Due to the economic decline cuts have to be made somewhere. Since there is no obvious way to measure the financial benefit of cross-cultural training, this has been the first to go. However, this is an extremely flawed way of thinking.
Although there is truth in the fact that it is difficult to measure the immediate benefits of cross-cultural training; it is more of a long-term investment in your employees and your company. What is mind boggling is that a huge amount of money is invested in the physical aspects of relocation, such as airline tickets, housing budgets, settling-in costs, but cross-cultural training is left out. In the grand scheme of a transferee’s relocation budget this training is small in comparison. The amount that needs to be invested initially will have a long-term pay off. The most common reasons relocations fail is that the transferee or their family are not culturally prepared for the move. If the transferee is not able to settle in to their new environment, they are likely to return home. This makes the transfer a complete a waste of time and money, as you’ve not only had to invest in the relocation, but will now have to repeat the entire process to return them home. Where is the benefit in that?