Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has become an integral part of today’s workplace. DEI is important for companies to consider, especially those employing diverse people from all over the world.
When expats move to a new country, it can affect them both professionally and personally. They must deal with issues of finding a home, schools and communicating with healthcare professionals in their new country. Cultural differences and nuances can make this process especially daunting. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure your top talent is armed with the right information to help prepare them for their move.
The benefits of employing expats
The benefits of hiring expats usually far outweigh the disadvantages. Expat employees typically bring a unique perspective to the workplace thanks to their exposure to best practices from more than one part of the world.
Talent shortages are among the major issues facing companies currently, with 72 percent of businesses ranking leader and key talent shortages as their top challenge, according to the 2022 Global Leadership Monitor Survey by Russell Reynolds Associates. With this in mind, it becomes more efficient to relocate top talent rather than spend an extended period searching for the right talent locally.
On a more practical level, expat employees can help businesses bridge language gaps, as they are likely to be multilingual. Data has shown that companies that invest in ethnic and cultural diversity are more commercially successful than those who fail to see the benefits of DEI.
A 2019 study by MetLife found that not only were 91 percent of expats surveyed satisfied with their jobs compared to 73 percent of locals, but a similar number were twice as likely to recommend an organisation as a good place to work. This makes expat employees excellent company advocates, which could positively contribute to talent acquisition. Additionally, plenty of studies have concluded that diverse teams are often more innovative while also boasting higher productivity.
How to support diverse expats
Companies seeking to fully reap the benefits of having an expat employee on their staff will need to ensure they provide them with comprehensive support.
Moving to a new country can be a stressful yet exciting experience and to certify that expats settle well into their new home, companies must provide information, pre-departure training, and local as well as ongoing support. It is also essential that those who will be managing expat employees are informed on DEI in each destination and how this may affect the employee's move. Another key factor for businesses to consider is the repatriation process, which can sometimes be equally jarring for expats.
The current business landscape shows that DEI is no longer a luxury or a way to achieve quotas, but the key to maintaining a competitive edge in a globalised market.
Companies must maintain an awareness of the fact that diverse employees should be offered guides to answer their questions and help support their needs and concerns as they plan their move across the world.