Preventing homesickness in expat employees

Hiring foreign employees has a lot of pros, but there are additional duties that come with being an expat employer. Your expat employees have changed their whole lifestyle to work for you and it’s likely they may suffer from homesickness. Here are some ways to make them feel more at home in your company – and make you a contender for World’s Best Boss!

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Have a supportive HR department

Once you have recruited your future expat, it is important to prepare them for the big move. HR should give them all the necessary information before they arrive, to make the transition as stress free as possible. This could include preparing your employee for any possible culture shock they might experience in their first few days. They can focus on work much more easily if they’re not still wondering why that person in the street was staring so much…

First impressions are key

It is likely that your employee will be stressed on their first day at work. Don’t make it worse by messing up your first impression! You should welcome them warmly, introduce them to everybody in the office, and let them ask as many questions as they want! Moreover, think about assigning an office buddy who could help them with everything until they get settled. Even knowing where to get a glass of water could make their first day go a lot easier!

Sharing is caring

It is likely that your expat employee won’t have any friends at first, so they may start suffering from homesickness quite soon. To prevent this a good idea is to organise a dinner or an evening out where all workers can spend free time together and welcome their new team member to their country. Sharing experiences and having casual conversations with others will make them feel secure and accepted in their new home. And everybody else will have fun too!

Keep it cultural

Learning about their new country is a major factor in helping someone become connected with a place. If your new expat employee has some local tips to help them out, they’ll feel less like an outsider when figuring things out. Think about providing language and cultural courses to your employee. This will show them that not only do you care about their comfort, but also that you welcome them to your country. Another plus is that courses like this are perfect for meeting new people and fellow expats. There’s safety in numbers!

Help with the scary stuff

Administrative papers, permits and the never ending pile of documents that all expats face can scare even the most prepared expats. Add in language barriers and an entirely new bureaucratic system and your expat will definitely appreciate some help! Offering advice, helping with research, and being flexible with legal appointment times will assure your employee that they made the right choice joining your company.

Any golden tips on helping expat employees feel at home? Let us know in the comments!

About Aga Wilkos

Aga WIlkos is a journalism student from Poland who also spent some months in the Netherlands and now she lives in Spain. She is interested in medical health care in different countries and human rights. In her spare times she likes traveling and reading good books.