In today’s global marketplace, fostering diversity among assignees is increasingly important.
Diverse perspectives and experiences can give companies a competitive edge in the talent war, and help to better understand and serve diverse customers and partners.
However, managing a diverse assignee talent pool can be particularly challenging when doing business in locations where diversity may not be welcome.
The Challenges of Diversity in Non-Diverse Locations
From practical questions about sending non-married couples to destinations where non-married couples are not tolerated, to serious concerns linked to the ethnicity, nationality, gender, or sexual preferences of the assignees, the risks and potential barriers to mobility are numerous.
Assignees may face discrimination or hostility, and may be unable to find housing or access services due to their identity. In some cases, they may even face physical danger.
Companies have a duty of care to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees, and cannot allow assignees to take unnecessary risks. In addition to the risks and challenges facing individual assignees, there may be organizational challenges as well.
For example, if an assignee is unable to integrate into the local community or work effectively with local colleagues, it could negatively impact productivity, morale, and retention.
Furthermore, companies that are not seen as diverse and inclusive may struggle to attract and retain diverse talent in the long term.
Navigating Diversity in Non-Diverse Locations
Despite the challenges, there are steps that companies can take to navigate diversity in non-diverse locations. One important step is to have open and honest discussions about potential challenges and concerns, both with assignees and with local partners and stakeholders.
By being proactive and transparent about potential barriers and solutions, companies can better anticipate and mitigate risks.
Another key strategy is to provide cultural training and support to assignees, particularly those who may be entering a culture that is significantly different from their own.
Cultural training can help assignees to better understand local customs and norms, and to navigate potential challenges. Companies can also provide support services, such as language classes or mentorship programs, to help assignees integrate into the local community.
In some cases, it may be necessary to modify policies or practices to better support assignee diversity. For example, companies may need to consider alternative housing options or transportation solutions if traditional options are not accessible or safe for certain assignees.
Companies may also need to be more flexible in terms of work arrangements, such as offering remote work or flexible hours, to accommodate assignees with different needs or schedules.
How Relocation Companies Can Help Overcome Diversity Challenges in Non-Diverse Locations
Fortunately, there are ways that relocation companies can help businesses overcome the challenges of diversity in non-diverse locations.
First, it is essential for relocation companies to assess the destination’s cultural norms and practices to anticipate any potential barriers or risks. Relocation companies can provide training and guidance to assignees to help them navigate cultural differences and understand local customs, laws, and practices.
Second, relocation companies can facilitate communication between assignees and local authorities or landlords to clarify expectations and avoid any misunderstandings. This can include securing housing that is accepting of diverse lifestyles or negotiating with landlords to make necessary accommodations.
Third, relocation companies can act as a bridge between assignees and local support networks. They can provide access to communities and resources that can provide support and guidance to assignees in navigating new environments.
Lastly, relocation companies can work with businesses to implement diversity and inclusion policies that support assignees and encourage open communication about any challenges they may face.
By working closely with businesses and assignees, relocation companies can help them overcome diversity challenges and achieve a successful and inclusive international assignment.
Being proactive, transparent, and supportive
Diversity is increasingly important for companies operating in the global marketplace. However, managing a diverse assignee talent pool in non-diverse locations can be challenging.
By being proactive, transparent, and supportive, companies can navigate potential barriers and ensure the safety and well-being of their employees.
Moreover, by fostering a culture of diversity and inclusivity, companies can attract and retain diverse talent in the long term. Ultimately, navigating diversity in non-diverse locations requires a commitment to ongoing learning and improvement, and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances and needs.