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High turnover and poor retention rates for expatriate workers employed outside the country are major challenges faced by many organizations. Though foreign assignments allow workers to share experience, they learn new skills that can be useful back home (Shen & Hall, 2009). However, there is no concern about the mechanism of repatriation, which is the final step of the expatriation process. This method is a burden for both the employee and the boss. The problem lies in the poor repatriation process, which leaves few workers to be kept as they return home.
Employees Research has indicated that the repatriation process has not received much if any attention in most of the companies, therefore causing high turnovers. For instance more than 30% of repatriates in India leave their companies within the first two years back home as pointed out by Shen & Hall(2009). Assignees are usually forgotten once they go abroad for their assignments. Therefore when they come back they find it difficult to fit in and adapt to the new environment since it is the same as learning a new culture due to lack of contact (Shen & Hall, 2009). In addition, some of the organizations may fail to leverage the knowledge and experiences of repatriated employees and this makes them fell unrecognized. This is because most organizations focus only on the success of the international assignment. Poor human resource practice is another problem where the management is not aware of the challenges associated with the process.
In order to retain a skilled worker, a company should pay at least twice the amount paid to an average worker. This is because, skilled workers are very valuable to a company and losing them would lead to other consequential demerits as well. In order to determine how much a skilled worker should be paid, a company should consider the cost of losing that employee. For instance, studies such as SHRM calculate that every time a salaried employee is replaced, it costs more than seven months of salary due to training and recruiting costs (Shen & Hall, 2009). Therefore, in order to determine how much a skilled employee should be paid, a company should consider the turnover expenses and calculate whether it is worth it. The cost of screening, advertising, interviewing and hiring of new employees should enable a company to determine the amount of money to keep a skilled worker.
Money is not the only motivation that would prevent a valuable employee from leaving though it is important as well (Johnson & Yang, 2010). Different training to valuable employees reinforces their sense of value to a company. A positive culture is as well an important motivation since it enforces values such as honesty and respect and the employee feels more valued in the organization. Compensation as well as benefits plays a major role when motivating workers. This is because it shows that the employee is important to the company and this would make him/her want to retain the job.
Fostering of trust and confidence in the valued worker as well as others is an important motivation since an employer entrusts him to deliver and inspire positive results to the company (Johnson & Yang, 2010). This makes a valued worker establish a connection with the company, a scenario which improves their relation. Lastly, a work/life balance and lower stress ensures that an employee is healthier when working and the environment is one in which he would come back to at any time. This kind of a work environment enables staff to balance their work as well as life. This may include flextime, telecommuting and work compression.
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Johnson, R. E., & Yang, L. Q. (2010). Commitment and motivation at work: The relevance of employee identity and regulatory focus. Academy of management review, 35(2), 226-245.
Shen, Y., & Hall, D. T. T. (2009). When expatriates explore other options: Retaining talent through greater job embeddedness and repatriation adjustment. Human Resource Management, 48(5), 793-816.
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