Global assignments that are mismanaged result in higher costs that could be avoided and also could result in an unsuccessful assignment if the employee is not able to focus on the goals of their assignment. A well-managed assignment includes pre-assignment discussions with the employee that align with expectations of both the employee (and accompanying family) and the business.
If employees feel unsupported and/or incur financial losses, their dissatisfaction could carry over in both their professional performance and job satisfaction. Sometimes that's a temporary situation that improves over time; with other times, it causes key talent to leave an organization. Either way, the consequences can be costly:
- Loss of Productivity – Whether an employee temporarily underperforms due to challenging circumstances or a key position becomes vacant because top talent leaves, productivity suffers, and you run the risk of missed returns.
- Loss of Human and Intellectual Assets – When employees leave the organization, either voluntarily or involuntarily, they take their knowledge with them. If not restricted by non-competition clauses, they could take that knowledge to a new job with a competitor.
- Negative Public Relations – When high-profile employees leave a company, it can become news. Depending on how much information is made public about the situation, there's always a chance of speculation and negative attention.
- Cost of Recruitment – Recruiting, hiring and training key talent is expensive and time consuming. When that compromises business operations on a larger scale, the potential cost to the company increases.
A successful global assignment is more likely to result in a high-performing, productive employee who remains loyal to his or her employer. Combined with good assignment cost management, this is exactly what companies should strive for to maximize the return on their investment.