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Expatriate Mentoring: Maximizing the Benefits of Mentoring and Knowledge Transfer Within Global Mobility

The December 2018 report produced by The Res Forum, in association with SIRVA Worldwide Relocation, highlights the pros and cons of home vs. host country mentors and provides insights into mentor selection and pairing.

It’s a well-recognized fact that relocation assignments can fail when an expatriate or his/her family fails to adjust to their host country. The challenges associated with adjusting to a new life are well documented.

One way organizations can ease the transition for newly relocated expatriates is by providing pre-departure inter-cultural training programs or language classes, but another successful way is by providing them with a mentor. A mentor who shares cultural experience with the expatriate can address and alleviate the difficulties international assignees often face abroad from a “human perspective.” It’s been shown that mentoring improves, among other things, the career commitment and job satisfaction of employees. It also improves the relationship between the employee and the company. Effective mentoring generally has a positive impact upon the success of international assignments.

But what’s the best way to implement a mentoring relationship? The study, which examines the experiences of 491 expatriates, highlights the pros and cons of home vs. host country mentors and provides insights into mentor selection and pairing. 

Key concepts explored include: 

• A comparison between home- and host-country mentorships – their varying advantages and disadvantages
• The relationship between the ability to adjust to a new life in one’s assignment location and the success or failure of that assignment 
• Formal vs. informal mentoring relationships
• The role of personality as it relates to mentor/mentee chemistry

Finally, a toolkit is included that provides a step-by-step approach to planning and implementing an effective mentoring program – from defining goals and training volunteers to matching mentors with the right mentees. 

View the infographic here, or download the full report below.