Spousal Assistance and Career Support
The Vital Importance of Supporting the Spouse through a Global Relocation
You’ve found the perfect candidate for your high-profile international assignment. They’re excited about the opportunity and ready for a unique challenge in their new environment. But what if the employee’s spouse or partner isn’t keen to relocate?
A recent study of over 200 international assignee couples in 37 countries found that the process of adjusting requires inventing a whole new persona for a spouse – not to mention having to contend with feelings of isolation and homesickness, the loss of a career, and everyday obstacles such as language barriers, certification requirements, and work permits. With all these aspects to factor in it’s no surprise that your employee’s success is closely related to how their partner deals with the changes to their own life.
Partners’ experiences are closely connected to their assignee spouses’ experience at work. It’s been shown that assignee job satisfaction was higher when the accompanying spouse had a better mental health adjustment to the relocation. This affirms the need to establish systems of support and fulfilment in their new international location such as connecting the spouse with clubs and organizations like the Federation of American Women’s Club Overseas (FAWCO) and Schlumberger Spouses Association (SSA) which has more than 100 chapters in more than 50 countries.
It’s easy to forget that even the simplest jobs like washing clothes and grocery shopping can feel overwhelming in a new country. Frustrations can easily build and transfer into personal and professional relationships. Providing spousal support is a small price to pay to ensure that you attract, develop and retain talent to have the right person on the right assignment.
The consequences of failure are massive. Assignments can end early due to a discontented spouse desiring to return home before the assignment is up which can cost the company a fortune.
Saunders 1865 offers a comprehensive Spousal Assistance program designed to help the partner of a relocating employee settle into their new environment and, if required, provide career assistance. We’ve found that many spouses are eager to develop their skills in a new work environment but many don’t know where to begin. Additionally, the spouse will be in need of a single point of contact to act as a confidant for their concerns and advise before, during and after the move. Assisting your employee’s partner to make the most of their time on their assignment is key to the success of the transfer.
At Saunders 1865 we adopt a two stage approach:
- Consult with spouse to ascertain types of work they would like to secure
- Research the local market based on spouse’s qualifications and aspirations
- Report back to spouse with findings and recommendations
- Consult with spouse regarding the direction to be taken
- Provide comprehensive assistance in the process of finding suitable work, based on the outcome of Stage One, via all available sources
Spousal assistance is a great way to ensure that your VIP assignee and their spouse or partner feel valued by your company. In this day in age when many employees move companies regularly, going the extra mile to support your assignees relocation has proven to be a win for both employees and employers.
If you’re interested in learning more about Saunders 1865’s Spousal Assistance Program be sure to use our Contact Form to speak with one of our relocation experts today.
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