1. You are a Group HR director for the small company which has begun to use international assignments. You are considering using the external consulting firm to provide pre-departure training to employees, as you don’t have resources to provide this ‘in-house’. What components would you need to be covered? How would you measure the effectiveness of the pre-departure training programme provided by this external consultant?
2. Discuss the main factors associated with appraisal of expatriate managerial performance.
Case: Was Mr. Kapur repatriated well?
With great difficulty Mr. Kapur got admissions for his son and daughter in the reasonably good public school in Delhi. Family moved to Delhi after five years of overseas assignment in London. Adapting back to life in Delhi has not been as easy as Mr. Kapur and his wife Mrs. Sonalika thought. After getting used to living in the large house with the big garden in the countryside for 5 years, their apartment in Delhi seemed much smaller than before. Though they lived in the luxurious condominium complex with facilities like swimming pools, jacuzzis, saunas, gym and tennis courts, they simply missed immensity of the English countryside and lifestyle which they led in England. Mr. Kapur no longer had his fancy cars and drove a Maruti Zen, as he used to do 5 years ago, before he left Delhi. Mrs. Sonalika had to give up her gardening. Children missed their teachers and friends at school. And they all missed their dog terribly. It was impossible to bring it back since it will have been too large for their apartment.
While whole family was having dinner one evening, Mr. Kapur's elder son, Nishant, suddenly busted out, 'I really don't want to go to school anymore! ‘‘Me too!' Karan, the younger one, followed.
Total silence fell upon the dining room. Tears started to trickle down Mrs. Sonalika's face and she began sobbing uncontrollably. She, too, was unhappy. All the tensions and unhappiness which had built up over past 6 months suddenly came out in the open. She can no longer pretend that it was great to move home. She knew that all of them were, in one way or another, unhappy with their new life back in Delhi.
Five months ago, Nishant and Karan went to school on first day with a bright and cheery face, but came back quiet and gloomy. Particularly Nishant: he hadn't been quite his usual chirpy self since then. Except for the weekends, boys were either tired or felt ill every morning, and wanted to skip school. Mr. Kapur and Mrs. Sonalika found out that they did not like going to school as they felt out of place and were unable to make new friends. They said that very often, their teachers and classmates cannot understand what they were saying and neither can they fully understand what their teachers and classmates were saying. Having lived in England since they were 2 and 3 years old, respectively, children grew up speaking English with the clear British accent. So, being in an environment where their new teachers and classmates spoke Hinglish - English with the Indian accent and Indian slang words - communication became a problem. Sometimes, their classmates made fun of their accent by imitating them. They also found Hindi classes tough since they did not have Hindi classes in England and they spoke English at home. Hence, Mrs. Sonalika engaged a private tutor to give the boys extra Hindi classes. Mrs. Sonalika and Mr. Kapur consoled them and told them that they must give school a try and that things obviously did not get better.
Mrs. Sonalika and Mr. Kapur could empathize with their children. Although Mrs. Sonalika was happy to be back in Delhi so that she can take care of her mother. In the beginning, her friends were glad to have her back and listened to her about her life in England with interest. Though, this interest waned and they started switching topics whenever she mentioned England. Soon, Mrs. Sonalika found it difficult to identify with her friends. Sometimes, she could not help feeling that some of them who had always lived in Delhi were rather myopic and uninteresting, whereas at other times, she felt left out when they talked about their jobs and office politics. Another problem was job search. Mrs. Sonalika was keen to start working again, but with economic downturn in Delhi, there were few suitable job openings. The application letters that Mrs. Sonalika sent either had no replies or were rejected.
For Mr. Kapur, he began to regret his decision to accept the job in Delhi. When he accepted the position, he knew that it will be a demotion in rank and the scope of his responsibilities would be less. Though, he did not expect that he will be feeling bored with the job after just a few months.
Mr. Kapur started asking Global vice-President of the division about more senior positions, but was told that such positions were not available at moment and that he must be patient. With the downturn of the global economy, there was no senior management level position available at the moment. Mr. Kapur also got same answer from the other Divisions. After 6 months, Mr. Kapur realized that his 'temporary positions may not be 'temporary' after all, since senior management positions in Delhi will not be available for quite a while. He felt trapped.
The outbursts by his two children and his wife reminded Mr. Kapur of his own frustration with his present job situation and his anger of being not offered the Regional General Manager position in the Specialty Chemicals Division. "This is simply unfair! What's the point of getting international experience when it doesn't get you a decent job back home? he thought, bitterly. ‘How long am I supposed to wait? I've had enough! There should be companies out there which value international experience.
1. What are the re-entry shocks for Mr. Kapur's families?
2. What coping strategies will you suggest as HR specialists to Mr. Kapur and Mrs. Sonalika for quicker adjustment in new situation on repatriation?
3. What are the different career/job related issues confronting Mr. Kapur and what options are available to him?
4. Do you agree with repatriation program/policy of the company, if not suggest suitable repatriation program?