Have a compelling purpose — and the right person.
Before you send anyone abroad, it’s critical to make a business case for the assignment, just like you would for any other important investment or decision. There should be a clear organizational need and a compelling reason that this need can’t be met through a local hire. Everyone we spoke with also emphasized the importance of selecting the right people, for the right reasons. This involves three things: choosing a person who is open-minded and committed enough to adapt to the local culture, thinking about the specific skills that this person will develop as a result of the assignment, and identifying how these new skills will ultimately benefit the organization.
In some companies, for example, international experience is a requirement for moving into leadership positions. In others, there may be a particular need at an overseas office that only a person with a specific skill set can meet. If you can’t think of meaningful ways that the assignment will help both the person and the business move forward, you should probably rethink the assignment.
Assign top-notch home and host sponsors.
As assignees delve into their new roles overseas and companies plug the holes left behind by absent employees, it’s easy for companies to lose touch with people they send abroad. Just as with remote or virtual employees, expats find that keeping up with their email isn’t necessarily the same as having their finger on the pulse of the office, which can be a constant reminder of how different and faraway their former life really is. To prevent your worker from feeling adrift, provide sponsors to oversee the assignee’s experience on both ends — one at the home base and another at the destination. These individuals are the point people and mentors for ensuring the fit from the company perspective, the fit from the assignee’s perspective, and for comanaging the process throughout. In short, they are the people that the assignee can turn to whenever problems emerge.
Source : www.hbr.org