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The process of Repatriation, which
basically defines the return process of an employee from their oversees
assignment to their home country. In IHRM, the process of repatriation is
considered one of the most testing and crucial transition phase of employees in
MNE’s in terms of their global advancement. When the process of repatriation fails,
it results in downfall career of employees and leads to losses of resources in
firms and organizations (Herman & Tetrick, 2009).

Most of the employees working in
MNE’s faces a lot of challenges in the process of repatriation, like for
example, in terms of dealing with the varying levels of stress of the
cross-cultural phase. To overcome the problem of stress, various training
programmes and extended support programmes should be given to expatriates so
that the organisation can take the advantage of maximum retention of employees
and repatriates adjustment.  Therefore, the
concept of successful repatriation is important for the MNE’s for reaping the
outmost benefits of sending the employees on their international assignments
(Herman & Tetrick, 2009).

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The process of repatriation is one of
the biggest problems that is being faced in the U.K companies for 10 years. In
most of the MNE’s, it is seen that two-third of the repatriates are being
promoted even though they are a crucial asset for the organization. This has
critically affected the career developments of this repatriates.  Rather than the expatriate process, the
process of repatriation is more important because the repatriates faces the
challenges of changing personal identity and, social and organizational
environment in which the expatriates are returning. Proper mentoring and
developing repatriates network within the organization will help the
repatriates to cope up the challenges that they will face while entering
unfamiliar surroundings (Shen & Hall, 2009).

The repatriates high turnover rate
returning from their oversees assignment is a main issue which is associated
with sending employees to their international employment. In the MNE, s, most
percentage of the repatriation process of the repatriates winds up in failure
and as a result it has a negative impact on both the organizations and as well
on the repatriates. Most of the repatriates, in a span of two years, from their
return leaves their present organization and the other repatriates who are
continuing in their organizations, critically think of changing their company.
When the process of repatriation fails, the organizations suffers because there
is a huge cost involved in the recruitment and the selection process of the
repatriates representing their firms. Moreover, the MNE’s losses the knowledge
of the international experience of the repatriates and the knowledge the
repatriates have gained abroad. As a result, it is very important for MNE’s to
retain their repatriates to the reduce the overall cost of the organization and
gain a competitive advantage in the global market (Vidal, Valle & Aragon,
2008).

According to Kraimer, Shaffer and
Bolino (2009), the best way to tackle the problem of retention of the repatriates
is to develop a model to analyse the experience of the expatriates and the
repatriates in their international assignment and the factors that are
hampering their career advancement. Moreover, most of the companies fail to
take advantage of the knowledge that is gained by their expatriate employees
while they are deployed to their international assignment. The HR department of
the MNE’s should be more focused on the experiences of the repatriates and it
is a major factor that is linked with the career advancement of the
repatriates. Similarly, Chew and Debowski (2008) observed that there should be
a larger and a stronger focus on the experiences of the repatriates in the
multinational companies. There should be a recognisable policy and programmes
for the expatriates so that the organization can support successful
repatriation and maximum retention.

As the employees global versatility
has expanded internationally, executing successful repatriation is one of the
main issues has is being faced by the Human Resource(HR) department of most of
the MNE’s. Multinational companies pay a big amount of financial source to send
expatriates in their oversees assignment. The total cost which is estimated for
a multi-national company for sending their employees on international
assignment is $1 million per expatriate and total cost of expatriation process
is $75 million per year. As a result of such huge cost involved, most of the
MNE’s expect to reap the benefits of sending their employees on their
international assignment and when they return. Mutually, the employees also
make large capital investments and expect to reap the benefits when they return
from their international assignment. Thus, the process of expatriation and
repatriation is such that both the organization and as well as the employees
have opportunities for mutual gains. For both the employees and the
organization to obtain benefits, human resource practices and programs should
be effective in an organization (Kulkarni, Lengnick-Hall & Valk, 2010).

Many of the MNE’s face challenges in
retaining the repatriates returning from their international assignment.
Moreover, in the global market, women expatriates are less as compared to their
male expatriates. In order for firms to gain competitive advantage in the
global market and in the global economy, they have to develop and maintain an equal
ratio of both male and female expatriates. As there are three different stages
of an expatriate programme such as pre-departure, on-assignment and
repatriation. In each of this stage, women expatriates face a lot more
challenges than their male expatriates. In order to overcome this problem,
MNE’s should be more focussed on proving extended support to the female
expatriates to increase and maintain a growth of women in global market.
Pre-assignment training which is given to male expatriates are superior to
female expatriates and as a result women expatriates faces a lot of challenge
in adjusting to the norms and living in a foreign country (Threatt, 2017).

Recommendations

Puffin Enterprises is considered to
be one of the most successful multinational company in New Zealand and it has
its presence globally. In order to enhance the competitive advantage over local
and international firms, there must be a proper and systematic flow of
information between the expatriates in various geographic location. This share
of knowledge between the various expatriates in different countries will serve as
an archive of knowledge for Puffin Enterprises to analyse the factors that are
hampering the growth of the expatriates and as well as the organization. This
shared knowledge will also help the HR, managerial and the technical team of
Puffin Enterprises to make improvements in subsidiary changes in the global
market. As a result of it will also help Puffin Enterprises to build a strong repatriation
program (Gonzalez & Chakraborty, 2014).

When the expatriates are send for their
oversees assignment, they face a lot of challenges in adjusting in a foreign
country as the culture and the work roles changes in different countries. The
employees also face challenges when they return from their international
assignment like adjusting to complex circumstances, relocation of their family
members, salary negotiation etc. In order to retain maximum repatriates and to
take the full advantage of the knowledge that is acquired by the repatriates,
Puffin Enterprises should develop and implement various pre-assignment
trainings for the expatriates and the repatriates so that they can cope up with
the adjustment changes to the changing environments. The speed of adjustment of
employees in foreign countries is directly proportional to the high turnover
rates of the company. As a result, it will help Puffin Enterprises to build a
strong repatriation programme for their employees (Vidal, Valle, Aragon & Brewster,
2007).

Puffin Enterprises is a successful
MNE and to uphold and adapt to the varying global markets is very challenging.
The selection of the expatriates for the expatriation process should be
properly accessed and analysed by the HR department of Puffin Enterprises.
Employees with functional skills as well as technical skills should be considered
for the expatriation process. Employees that are motivated and are willing to
work abroad should also be considered for the expatriation process since can be
beneficial for the company. Proper training should be provided to the
expatriates to adapt, and adjust to culture, and work roles in foreign
countries. This will help in repatriate’s adjustment. Even pre-repatriation
training should also be provided to repatriates so can adjust to complexities
of returning to the home country. This will help Puffin Enterprises to
implement successful repatriation and retain maximum repatriates. By doing so,
Puffin Enterprises will be able to utilize the knowledge and the experiences of
the repatriates to gain competitive advantage over its rivals (Loes, 2015).

Conducting stress management programs
for the expatriates and the repatriates will be crucial for Puffin Enterprises
to implement successful repatriation. Stress management programs are important
for the expatriates because they go through cross cultural transitions which
effect their growth as well as the organization. Implementing stress management
programs will help expatriates to adapt to the changes of the foreign country
more easily and perform well. More training programs should be developed for
female expatriates as face a lot more obstacles than their male counterparts. Extended
support programs should be developed for the repatriates such as giving
compensation for relocating family members, reintegrating repatriates back to
headquarters etc. This program will help Puffin Enterprises to have successful
repatriation and retain crucial employees for the well-being of the
organizations (Appafram & Sheikh, 2016).  

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