Despite the fact the assignments are very expensive, only about 5% of companies even claim to have figured out a good methodology for calculating ROI on an individual expatriate. In fact, ROI is often referred to as the "Holy Grail" of global mobility because most companies are just not sure how to measure it. Businesses that have a strong global compensation collection program are very good at understanding what the "I" (investment) is on each assignment, but the struggle remains around how to evaluate and rate the "R" (return). While many companies define assignment objectives, few are consistently tracking and monitoring the progress on those objectives, and it is not clear whether these are consistently (or ever) communicated to the assignee.
Here are 5 tips to help pump up the "R" portion and increase the values of an international assignment for both the employee and the company.
Sending talented employees overseas can be a promising way to leverage the benefits of a global economy. But expatriate assignments can be extremely expensive: up to three times the cost of a person’s typical annual salary, according to some statistics. And despite the investment, many organizations lack the know-how for optimizing the potential benefits, leaving them disappointed with the results. The unfortunate reality is that even companies providing well-crafted relocation packages (including the all-important cultural training) may not have the talent management mechanisms in place to truly leverage the valuable skills expatriate employees gain during their assignments. We spoke with seven different executives and consultants with deep experience managing the expat process, asking what they’ve learned over the years about how to maximize the value of these critical assignments.