I recently joined a new group for coaches in my niche – The Expat Coach Directory and read Robin Pascoe’s reblog of founder Heather Markel’s recent article on the value of an expat coach. So I’ve borrow from Robin this introduction and the rest is from Heather who I will be interviewing in an upcoming blog – WATCH THIS SPACE!

Robin Pascoe, Expat Expert blogged “This is a new initiative started by Heather Markel so that other coaches can reach out (and there are some great ones already on the list), and more importantly, families or spouses in need of one can find them. She also founded the Expat Coach Association so coaches can support each other!”

Heather wrote,
“At the recent FIGT (Families in Global Transition) conference, I was quite surprised at the gap between those that live the expat life, and those that sponsor it. Specifically, when it comes to the difficulties that expats and relocating professionals and trailing spouses experience during the transition process, they all acknowledge the difficulties, yet businesses do not seem to fully embrace, and understand, the need for expat coaching.

The process of selecting a candidate is quite lengthy, and the cost of sending said employee overseas is approximately 10 times that employee’s base salary. So, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions, to send an employee to an overseas work assignment. If that employee doesn’t complete their assignment (often due to family issues, or problems adjusting), the business stands to lose all the money they invested in that employee.

Why, then, don’t all or most businesses take measures to prevent an employee from the potential spiral of disempowerment, homesickness, isolation and depression? All of these areas can be either avoided, or transformed with the help of expat coaching, which, when compared to the expense of losing an investment, is both affordable and highly valuable.

What are your thoughts on this?”

My thoughts (Livelifenowcoaching’s):- When a failed assignment can cost 3 x a base salary for no benefit to the organisation or the loss of experienced personnel who are undervalued or unprepared when they return home can impact on the knowledge in an organisation plus cost in time, money, recruitment lapse, why is it even in these resource restricted times that investment is not being made in the use of a trained professional who can facilitate such change and impact on the bottom line of an assignments Return on Investment (ROI)?

Robin has stated that we Expat Coaches need to go where the money is i.e. the CEO / Chair/ Board to get buy in? I’m sure many of the members of this exclusive club have had their time working abroad and hopefully having learnt a great from it about the world of work, management as well as their selves are not going to sit and say “I did it the hard way” or “no need for such support” as I’m sure these are the same people who have experienced high end, Executive Coaching and realised the benefits of reflecting on their behaviour, their learning, their experiences in life and work and pushing forward and challenging themselves to achieve more in greater balance with their life style, values and goals.

Pass the Baton for a winning team

So Mr, Mrs, Ms CEO here’s a challenge – offer a number of your current and upcoming expatriates the opportunity to experience coaching through their assignment and see what loyalty and ROI you get. Compare that with those who have not been coached on assignment where possible. Is there any quantifiable difference to the business, the team or the individual?