International Assignments Require Finesse
David Croft: Overcoming Resistance And Security Issues
Q: What are the most
effective steps that employers
can take to overcoming
employee and family
resistance to an international assignment?
A: With security and family issues
high on the list of concerns and
the number of dual career families
increasing significantly, the most important
step is to provide a comprehensive
policy and support that policy
with the right
in the right way.
accept an assignment
to demonstrate the
global relocation; how it's not just
moving employees to distant locations,
but a means of developing the
next generation of company leaders.
Conveying this value and career advancement
means as offering a comprehensive
repatriation program—is one way to
build an extensive list of willing applicants.
Convincing the employee's family
requires early counseling and cultural
training; as a rule, the better you
prepare them before the move, the
better the results will likely be. Performing
a detailed needs assessment
will help you to gauge each family's
unique concerns and develop a customized
solution that makes relocation
more attractive, while offering
personalized, on-the-ground assistance
and orientation tours in the new
location will help them feel at ease
with the decision.
Complementing your core settling-
in program with a wide range of
family transition services—from spouse
job counseling to school finding—can
make a big difference, increasing your
chances of a successful assignment.
Q: How are companies addressing
the security issues that are inherent
in global relocation today?
A: For your global assignees,
security begins with cultural training
and emergency preparedness. Assignees
who are thoroughly versed in
the practices, lifestyles and people of
their destination country will be more
comfortable with their decision. They'll
have a keener eye for potentially dangerous
situations, how to avoid them,
and how to react when faced with
them. Some companies are also establishing
contingency plans for any
unexpected problems and issues that
Further, we're seeing an increased
need among today's managers to
know precisely where their global
assignees are at any given time. That's
where essential "on assignment"
services make a difference, not only
by providing a lifeline to assignees,
but also allowing home country managers
to access online status reports
and run instant "roll calls" for all of
Relocation Resources International
(RRI) provides complete,
customized solutions to a wide range
of corporations throughout Canada,
the United States, and across the
world. RRI has built its reputation as
the industry quality leader by partnering
with clients to develop and administer
the best total solution to their
employee relocation needs; solutions
specifically tailored to meet each
client's culture, objectives and budget.
Through its revolutionary e-service
system, MyRRIworld, RRI provides
its clients with state-of-the-art relocation
technology and reporting, and
through its Consulting Services division,
RRI provides expert policy benchmarking
and best practices data.
Unique among global relocation
companies, RRI is independent and
employee-owned, with over a quarter
century of experience and Operations
Centers in Calgary, Boston, New
York, London and Denver. Visit
www.rriworld.com for more info.
More From David Croft Of RRI:
Q: At what stage of a global assignment should
repatriation planning begin?
A global relocation can be a sizable investment, but unless your
company maintains an effective repatriation plan, you may never
realize the maximum return. This means that even before an assignment
begins, planning for its conclusion should be underway.
Start by fostering an understanding of the "expatriate experience"
among your home country management. One of the primary
reasons cited for assignee turnover is a perceived lack of appreciation
and/or outlet for the international business skills and cultural insight
they've acquired. Even while your employees are on assignment,
their managers back home should be thinking of the best ways to put
their expertise to work.
Once a candidate is selected, have a comprehensive discussion
of their career path, explaining how the skills that he or she acquires
will be put to use upon return. The last thing you want to see is your
valued assignee heading off to a competitor, armed with years of
international business knowledge for which you've footed the bill.
Keeping your assignees "plugged in" throughout the assignment not
only helps relieve one of their most common fears—being "out of
sight and out of mind"—but can also provide direction for the reentry
Don't forget that repatriation can carry as many cultural and
logistical issues as the initial move itself—assignees often have to
buy a new home, get children settled into a new school, and address
a spouse or partner's career continuation. In some cases, particularly
after long assignments, reverse culture shock can occur. Methods to
ease this transition—such as cultural reorientation programs—should
be addressed during the initial planning stages.
Why Should I Consider Outsourcing Payroll?
Stewart Juelich: Focus On The Resources That Matter
Probably the most important
reason to outsource payroll is
that it allows you and your
internal human resources team to
focus on your core business.
Allowing an external organization
to manage the administration
involved with payroll frees you up to
redeploy your internal resources to
perform those critical tasks that add
to your bottom line. Outsourcing also
better utilizes your internal talent rather
than using their time to deal with
highly administrative payroll functions.
This frees your team up to be
much more effective and proactive in
other areas of business. Companies
may find that they do not have the
payroll talent or expertise within the
organization. Rather than hire this
talent with all the associated costs, it
makes sense to outsource.
Payroll is a constantly evolving
field where legislative and compliance
matters change frequently. Through
outsourcing, the pressure for your
internal staff to keep abreast of every
change is removed, although it does
not eliminate the need for them to
understand the impact of major changes.
A good payroll outsourcing company
will keep their clients up to date on
Other advantages to payroll outsourcing
· The ability to budget more
accurately for payroll with the knowledge
that the payroll management
costs will be a specific amount per
year is valuable.
· The elimination of computer
hardware costs and computer upgrades
and the ability to handle workload
· The elimination of staffing concerns
in the payroll department.
· The elimination of potential
risk of penalties being levied against
the company if remittance deadlines
are not met if the payroll professional
is away for a lengthy absence.
· The assurance that payroll records
are accurate, reconciled and structured
in accordance with audit requirements.
· The payroll company with whom
you have partnered can supply your
management team with payroll information
that can be used as a valuable
Outsourcing is a great solution,
especially for smaller companies. The
need for high quality payroll resources
to ensure legislative compliance is
met as well as the accurate management
of the payroll which is crucial.
Small companies may not have the
financial resources to hire such an
individual, making payroll outsourcing
an effective solution.
In larger organizations responsibility
for the payroll function falls
either to Human Resources or Finance.
Through effectively outsourcing
the administrative functions associated
with the payroll, your team is
better able to focus on more strategic
aspects of their roles adding to the
company's efficiency and effectiveness.
With the payroll function fully
outsourced, companies no longer need
to worry about benefit costs associated
with employee head count; downsizing
departments; government remittances;
sickness or knowledgeable backup
coverage for vacations or leaves.
Stewart Juelich, CHRP, is Vice-President,
PSI (Payroll Services) Inc. located in
Mississauga, Ontario and he can be contacted
at 905-607-8181 Fax: 905-607-1628
Getting Employees Across The U.S. Border
Mark L. Barie: Birth Certificates And Passports Are A Must For Canadians
Q. Our company regularly
sends employees into the
United States for sales calls
and for service calls. Lately, they have
encountered problems at the Border.
What can we do to prevent this?
A. Since 9/11, the U.S. Immigration
& Naturalization Service
(INS) has implemented a series of
new rules and regulations, which
could delay or even prevent your
employees' visits to the United States.
Herewith, five easy-to-remember rules:
1. If your employee is NOT a
Canadian citizen and even if he/she
is a landed immigrant in Canada,
chances are a visit to the nearest U.S.
Consulate will be necessary BEFORE
applying for admission to the
U.S. at a border crossing or airport.
There are some exceptions, check
with your immigration expert for details.
2. If your employee goes to the
U.S. to sell or market your company's
goods or services, he/she MUST
be working on behalf of the Canadian
company and selling non-U.S.
made products. Selling U.S. products
or working on behalf of a U.S.
company is beyond the scope of normal
business visitor status and will
most likely require a formal work visa.
3. If your employee is tasked with
after-sale warranty, repair, or training
activities, be prepared to document
the nature of his/her visit. The employee
should have on his/her person,
evidence that they work for the Canadian
company (a recent pay stub),
evidence that your product was sold
to the U.S.-based commercial customer
(bill of sale, purchase order,
etc.) and evidence that said sale/
transfer obligated the Canadian company
to install its product, fix it if it
breaks, or train the U.S. customer in
its use (warranty or after-sale service
4.Remind your employees that
any criminal convictions, even if "pardoned"
by Canadian authorities,
could jeopardize their application for
admission to the U.S. They should
call an immigration expert or the
Immigration and Naturalization Service
in advance of their arrival at the
5. Almost everyone who wishes
to visit the U.S. must now have a
passport and even Canadians must
have a government issued birth certificate
and photo identification if
they do not have a passport. People
born in specified countries (the list
now includes 21, mostly Middle
Eastern nations) should expect to be
fingerprinted and have their photo
taken when they arrive at the border
crossing or airport.
Mark L. Barie is founder and president
of Crossborder Development
Corporation, an (U.S.) immigration
consulting company established
in 1981. Mr. Barie can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org