Survey Says Many Employers Fail To Support Expatriate Employees

Compiled By Jill Jusko Employers spend huge sums of money when they send workers across national borders for temporary work assignments. Yet results of a recent survey indicate that many expatriates believe their employers are failing to provide adequate support and preparation for the international job assignments. For example, nearly one-half of the expatriates surveyed (45%) say companies do a poor job of facilitating a transition back home. Some 42% say support from their firm's human resources department was worse than expected. And while 63% of employers say they do a good to excellent job of meeting their expatriates' needs, just 32% of expatriates give the same high rating. The No. 1 concern of expatriates upon returning from assignment is uncertainty about what job awaits them. "We see companies investing heavily, particularly in expatriation, to capture global markets," says Virginia Hollis, vice president of CIGNA International Expatriate Benefits, Philadelphia, one of the study's sponsors. "But as this survey demonstrates, employers are not protecting their investment." The National Foreign Trade Council, Washington, and WorldatWork (formerly the American Compensation Assn.), Scottsdale, Ariz., are additional study sponsors.

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