The company you work for recently acquired several international locations. You were informed that multiple positions will be moving overseas over the course of the next few years. Your manager has asked you to provide a comprehensive cultural information report to help employees make the transition to overseas employment.
Select a country where a specific job will be stationed. You may select from the United Nations’ list of developed economies (Table A, page 169) in World Economic Situation and Prospects [PDF]. For your convenience, here is the doc:
Make sure the county of choice is logical for the company you are using.
Develop a 6–8 page cultural information report that will help an employee better understand how to make the transition overseas.
Include the following:
Write an Executive Summary that explains the organizational strategy for expanding company operations to this particular country.
What is the company strategy for working in this country?
What are the expectations of leadership (ROI)?
Please concentrate on the “why” and rationale portion of these questions – focus on the company’s purpose for entering a foreign market. Use the company you currently work for or a previous employer – but make sure it is a real company, AND that they do not already operate in the country you have selected. When discussing strategy for expanding focus on the plan to expand – will it be a phased-in move, or will they use an acquisition method (take over an existing company’s presence) or other approach. Also, discuss the expected results [expectations] of leadership with regard to HRM process in the expansion).
Prepare an overview of the critical information an American would need to know to live and work in the selected country.
a. Language(s) spoken.
b. Currency, economy, political climate.
c. Housing, cost of living, transportation.
d. Health care.
- Language(s) spoken: Disclose the primary language spoken and any dialects your employees might also encounter.
- Currency, economy, political climate; Discuss what the monetary system is like including currency, discuss also anything pertinent about the economy your employees might need to know [for example are certain shops closed on certain days etc.], and discuss the national and even local political structure.
t* ransportation availability, cover available transportation options both locally and across the country. Trains, airports, local busses, taxi service and always provide an emergency transportation medium like a phone number employees can call to have a taxi or other transportation means come to them.
- housing costs, cover how housing will be taken care of, for example will there be corporate housing, or will the employee need to find suitable reimbursable housing on their own – sometimes this is a very cost-effective strategy for many smaller companies.
- union influence – if any; provide union contact info, if any, and also union expectations.
- work week; Here cover the day-to-day and week-to-week work flow for employees, include work day schedule if different than 8a-5p – for example in some countries the work day lasts past 5:00pm and in other countries it ends before 5:00pm. Cover when lunch is typically taken and also when breaks, if any, can be taken.
- Health Care: Provide information on how health care will be handed – will a different medical insurance plan be needed for these employees? If so, provide information on local health providers – in short make your employees both knowledgeable and comfortable with their health cover as they work abroad.
- Recreation activities & typical vacation time; here cover vacation expectations especially if it is different than normal – that is, cover if vacation is earned at a different rate – for example if employee will earn vacation hours or credit diffident than normally. Also, discuss if there are any recreation limitations your employees should be aware of due to laws, or cultural. Also offer a trusted vacation travel agent phone number in order to facilitate employee’s safety as they might want to travel.
anything specific to the country we would not experience in the US; here try to focus on work customs and laws that might be different than normal in the U.S. Offer a Hotline phone number employee can call with questions regarding work place expectations.
- In short, write about day-to-day things like local transportation (the bus or metro system) currency needs, where the local grocery store is located, where the nearest in-network clinic or hospital is located, and who to call if anything happens.
Develop a list of advice on successfully assimilating into the selected country and culture.
Local customs, values, and traditions.
- write about any local customs from the region you will sending employees – customs can include language, holidays, traditions of the area, celebrated festivals etc. Also, write about the actual experience from what to expect on day 1 – though to day-to-day routines, try to be specific here with realistic expectations.
Determine the type of immigration laws or visa requirements needed to work in the selected country.
- write about the documents your employees might need, visas, passports, copy of birth certificate, government ID, consulate or Embassy documents, and important contact info from the company).
Discuss three ways company leadership can provide human and material resources to support employees in foreign locations.
What will help these employees succeed before, during, and after the transition period?
1) try to send employees to their destination country for a week and then have them return, just to give them a few days to become familiar with a few realties of their move. This type of pre-move visit often settles many anxieties employees might have and it gives them an opportunity to create familiarization before they actually move.
2) provide pre-move cultural training as much as possible.
3) provide a mentor in the new country – either a local person or an establish employee, please discuss three ways of your own or truly expand on the three I have listed.
Overall, treat this assignment as an HR written ‘travel abroad manual’ for a staff level employee.
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