July 17, 2014

Education Support for International Assignments: Best Practices for Managers

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Education Support for International Assignments: Best Practices for Managers

When employees and families are considering whether to accept an assignment, the quality and availability of education in the destination location, as well as the level of support provided by the company, often plays a deciding role in whether or not the employee accepts the assignment, or if the family will accompany the assignee on assignment.

Companies cannot underestimate how important the well-being of an assignee’s family is in a relocation. We saw evidence of this in the results of our 2014 Global Mobility Policy & Practices survey, in which 76% of respondents cited family or personal circumstances as the main reason why employees turn down an assignment, and 61% of respondents named family adjustment as a primary reason for assignment failure.

Among the recommendations included in our Best Practices for Education Support Mobility Insights are ensuring that you plan ahead and evaluate education assistance elements for each of your policy types.

Best practices for supporting your assignees and helping their families adjust

Take a consultative approach. Although education support is a relatively small proportion of a relocation program, it has the opportunity to deliver a significant return in terms of employee satisfaction and may be a key driver to whether an assignment is accepted in the first place. Many Cartus clients have begun to contract education service providers, who work with assignees at the beginning of the relocation process to discuss specific requirements. Addressing these early will allow the assignee to focus on his or her new employment.

Establish good relationships with local schools. Many Cartus clients get actively involved in local schools in order to form good working relationships with them.

Consider split timing of moves. Consider offering the option of split timing to adhere to school terms, so that assignees relocate when required and their family arrives in time for the beginning of the school year/term.

Look into split family options. If there are no suitable schools in the destination location, think about allowing assignees to look at neighboring cities or countries. This has been particularly effective for companies in emerging market locations, or locations where school availability is low. Consider allowing the assignee to make frequent trips to be with his/her family.

For more information, please see our Best Practices for Education Support Mobility Insights report or email consultingsolutions@cartus.com.

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Posted By

Cindy Madden

About Cindy

Cindy Madden is Director of the Cartus Consulting Solutions practice, which supports clients and prospects in the areas of Global Policy and Program Design, Group Moves, Destination Location Research, and the development of customized mobility websites. Cindy has more than 25 years’ experience in the relocation industry in a variety of roles, including account management and sales.

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