Classically, success is measured with targets where one ticks off the box once the target has been reached. Most larger companies have developed a set of criteria to measure the success (“ROI”) of an international assignment including
“assignee experience” and
“repatriate retention rate”.
“Assignee performance” measures how you performed in the host country against your assignment objectives. “Assignee experience” measures your happiness with the services provided throughout the assignment. Assignment targets can also be a part of this happiness. “Repatriate Retention” measures how many assignees stayed with the company in year 1, 2 and 3 after repatriation. Another index would be to find out if your performance improved after repatriation (“repatriate performance”) but I have not seen this in practice.
From my experience one critical issue is that often assignment objectives are not very clear. They are often either just a role description or a high-level idea of what you are supposed to achieve.
For you as the assignee we would like to share these five steps in order to improve your experience:
1) Negotiate clear objectives for the full cycle of your international assignment. Make sure your targets are specific, measurable, appropriate, relevant and terminated. Have yearly targets, not overall targets and limit them to five targets. At least one of them should be a personal development target.
2) Have regular feedback conversations with your sponsor (home line manager) on how you are fulfilling the business and development targets of your assignment.
3) Prepare a repatriation plan before your are leaving for your assignment.
4) Schedule 1:1 meetings when you are on the regular home leave. Update the repatriate plan after every meeting.
5) Ensure that your home company and your sponsor receive your host performance feedback every year.
Having this kind of ongoing dialogue will mean a more rewarding experience, a more realistic view of the target achievements, and improved repatriate retention. If you need support in the process speak to your Global Mobility Specialist and ask for their help.
Please share any experience you have made with following those five steps.