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Repatriation Strategies and Career Management Mary Beth Nitz, CRP, SGMS, GPHR

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Repatriation Strategies and Career Management Mary Beth Nitz, CRP, SGMS, GPHR Director, Global Consulting Services Altair Global Relocation. How does repatriation feel?. And now for the obligatory statistics…. Which of the following services does your organization provide to its assignees? 2.

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Repatriation Strategies and Career Management

Mary Beth Nitz, CRP, SGMS, GPHR

Director, Global Consulting Services

Altair Global Relocation

and now for the obligatory statistics
And now for the obligatory statistics…

Which of the following services does your organization provide to its assignees?2

When an employee goes on assignment, do you consider what their next role will be when they repatriate?1

How far in advance do you begin planning the assignee’s return to the home country?2

1 Res Forum Annual Report 2014

22013 KPMG Global Assignment Policies and Practices

let s begin our journey
Let’s begin our journey….

Meet our international assignee


Aka, “Pack Your Bags”

  • Paques is married and has 2 children, ages 10 and 12.
  • Paques and his family are headed to Zurich, Switzerland from Quebec for a 3-year assignment.
  • Paques and his family have never been on foreign assignment before.
paques assignment begins
Paques’ Assignment Begins

Q. When does the repatriation process begin?

A. Before the assignment even starts!!!

mentor anchor person or both
Mentor, “Anchor Person”, or Both?
  • Mentor
  • Home country based
  • Amiable, approachable, committed
  • Preferably a former international assignee
  • Could be assigned or chosen based on mutual agreement between assignee and mentor
  • Provides link to the home country for the expatriate during the assignment
  • “Anchor Person”
  • Home country based
  • Home country team leader
  • Connects with host manager on annual basis to discuss performance
  • Assigned by the company, based on structure of program

Table # 1

Please flip over your table card!!!


Communication Tools

  • Tools to assist the assignee in maintaining consistent communication with the home country organization.
  • Communication tools include:
  • Communication schedule
  • Communication record
  • Information on what topics should be discussed with home country contacts
  • Communication between assignee and home country mentor and/or “anchor person”.

Communication Record

Allows the assignee to track conversations, either written or verbal, that he/she has with the home country contact and/or mentor. Conversations to be tracked should include those involving assignment objectives, the employee’s assignment experience, and plans for reintegration into the home organization upon repatriation. Conversations related to normal business activity should not be recorded on this form.


Table # 2

Please flip over your table card!!!


On – Assignment Tools

  • Tools for the assignee to track conferences/seminars attended while on assignment, clients met/relationships established while on assignment, and skills developed and/or acquired while on assignment.

Conference Attendance Tracking Form


Table # 3

Please flip over your table card!!!


Table # 4

Please flip over your table card!!!


On – Assignment Tools

Skill Development Tracking Form


Table # 5

  • Please flip over your table card!!!
repatriation timeline
Repatriation Timeline

9-12 Months Prior to Repatriation

6-9 Months Prior to Repatriation Date

Notify home country HR regarding any real estate needs upon return. If renting home country residence, notify tenants of need to vacate residence.

Confirm date of repatriation with home and host supervisors and HR. Inform colleagues, family and friends.

Begin planning for final home leave trip. Schedule exploratory interviews.

Consult with your tax advisor and HR regarding any tax requirements and other compliance issues to be resolved before leaving the host location.

Notify host country landlord and/or HR regarding vacating host country housing and related activities.

6-9 Months Prior to Repatriation Date

1-3 Months Prior to Repatriation Date

3-6 Months Prior to Repatriation Date

Ensure personal profile is completed and all information is updated in the Repatriation Toolkit. Distribute necessary information to home country contact

Notify host country landlord and/or HR regarding vacating host country housing and related activities.

Notify host country schools of departure. Notify home country schools of enrollment needs, etc.

Make arrangements for final return trip to home country. Make temporary living arrangements as needed.

Take final home leave trip. Participate in exploratory interviews during visit to home office.

1-3 Months Prior to Repatriation Date


Ensure banking arrangements are made, including transfer of funds to home country. Ensure mail is forwarded to home location.

Submit to HR a critique of your assignment, highlighting positive aspects and providing constructive feedback for program improvements.

Continue to network within home organization and continue job search activities, if applicable.

Make arrangements for final return trip to home country. Make temporary living arrangements as needed.

Participate in available repatriation counseling and training.

exploratory interviews
Exploratory Interviews
  • Goals
  • Learn more about the particular department or division
  • Assist assignee in making decisions regarding future career path
  • Uncover hidden job leads and networking opportunities
  • Gain information regarding specific positions within a department/division
  • Share assignee experiences, skills, etc. with key constituents
  • Scheduling and Managing
  • Should be scheduled in conjunction with final home leave trip
  • Call or write to identified contacts
  • Educate beforehand regarding the department/division
  • Formulate questions related to important aspects of the particular department/division
  • Share experience, skills, and knowledge
exploratory interviews1
Exploratory Interviews
  • Suggested Contacts
  • Department heads / division leaders from those departments / divisions whose focus and responsibilities interest you
  • Former expatriates within the organization that accepted positions upon repatriation in areas that interest you
  • Sample Questions for Department Heads/Division Leaders
    • Why did you choose your particular field of expertise?
    • What has been your previous experience with the company, i.e. what other positions have you held, in which departments have you worked, etc.?
    • What skills are most sought in employees joining your department/division?
    • What do you enjoy most about your job?
    • What other professionals within the department and/or organization would you suggest that I meet with?
  • Sample Questions for Former Expatriates
    • What was your biggest challenge with regards to locating a suitable position within the company upon repatriation?
    • As a former expatriate, what skills gained as a result of your international assignment do you feel are most significant and critical to success in your current position?
    • What advice can you provide to assist me in ensuring a smooth repatriation and reintegration into the home organization?

Table # 6

  • Please flip over your table card!!!
overview of repatriation training
Overview of Repatriation Training
  • Designed to help employees and their families confront difficulties in readjustment both personally and professionally
  • Provides families with the opportunity to step back and consider their recent overseas experience and put it in perspective
  • Programs are carefully structured to address the unique situations of returning families through written and verbal needs assessment, and are facilitated by professional trainers who are themselves returned expatriates
  • Variety of methods used includes: guided discussions, presentation, critical incidents, role plays, individual self-assessment, group and individual development of action plans, family discussions, and selected readings
  • Training should take place 3-6 weeks after arrival in the home country
  • In addition to the adult programs, youth and teen programs may be provided for the families involved
repatriation cultural training
Repatriation Cultural Training
  • Reflect systematically upon your experiences overseas, and clarify the long-term significance of these experiences for your personal and professional lives.
  • Recognize changes in yourself, your family, your company, and the home country during your time abroad; then anticipate the impact these changes will have upon them during your repatriation.
  • Formulate realistic expectations of yourself, your friends, and colleagues during the readjustment period.
  • Assess new information, insights and skills gained abroad in order to contribute as much as possible to your community and company.
  • Identify the often unexpected difficulties you are likely to encounter during each phase of readjustment; then practice constructive ways of dealing with these difficulties.
  • Plan a practical repatriation strategy in order to ensure a smooth readjustment to your home culture.
  • Recognize the central role and responsibility of each family member in the successful readjustment of the other family members.
reintegration training
Reintegration Training
  • Identify the major events during the overseas and home front experiences, raise awareness of challenges, and share coping strategies;
  • Identify the changes (newly acquired knowledge, skills, attitudes, roles), identify what to keep and what to let go of and develop strategies to re-adapt;
  • Decipher the re-entry experience so far and define strategies for effective re-adaptation;
  • Identify personal and professional priorities and develop a Plan of Action for the next year;
  • Review a model of culture and use decoding tools to analyze a difficult intercultural situation experienced in the field and raise awareness of the underlying cultural context; and
  • Distinguish between satisfaction and effectiveness, identify areas of effectiveness and relative indicators and make recommendations for future missions in fragile states.
The Result? A successful transition from an international assignment back to the home country and home organization.



Random Thoughts??