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The latest 2015 Brookfield Global Relocation Trends Survey states that the expatriate population is not diminishing as organizations resort to expatriates to achieve their talent management goals. However, expatriates face many challenges which threaten the success of an international assignment such as:

  • Relationship challenges
  • Spouse unemployment
  • Spouse resistance to the assignment.
  • Difficulty to handle change
  • Intercultural adjustment
  • Interpersonal relationships.
  • Loneliness, depression and despair

The 2015 Brookfield Global Relocation Trends Survey also confirms that there are many factors that lead to the failure of international assignments such as inadequate job performance, other family concerns and spouse/partner dissatisfaction. These three factors lead to the failure of almost 50% of all international assignments. I trust that one area has an impact on other areas. For example, other family concerns and spouse/partner dissatisfaction have an impact on productivity.

International assignment programs risk failure unless the challenges mentioned above are solved in a positive way. It is important for the expatriates to lead a happy life especially with their loved ones in order for them to be productive and perform at a higher level. In the meantime, I believe that expatriates have an opportunity to grow and succeed in different areas. It is therefore of crucial importance to take these challenges seriously and find better ways to solve them in an authentic manner.

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