‘Settling In’ services: Why are these important?
Settling In services are often undervalued or mistaken as “a little bit of assistance” during a move into a new property. In reality, however, these crucial services extend far beyond identifying suitable accommodation options and setting up the internet connection and other utilities. Here Executive Relocations provides an overview of ‘Settling In’ and clears up some common misconceptions.
It is important to remain sensitive to the fact that the assignee and their family find themselves in a foreign location with different laws, cultures, infrastructure and “way of life”, to mention but a few challenges. This is in most cases a very daunting situation, and can result in considerable anxiety within the family.
In these situations, this will most likely have a negative affect on the assignee’s work performance and even impact the company’s progress in the foreign locations. In the worst cases, domestic tensions can even result in split families.
The aim of the Settling In services is to have the family unit feel at home and comfortable in their new environment as quickly as possible after their relocation: a simple goal that requires sophisticated planning and support!
Planning for success
In-depth preparation by the service provider and more so for the assignee and family will result in a successful integration of the family into their new society.
There are five general topics relevant to all assignees and family units: financial, medical, shopping, transport and embassy registration. Yes, there are banks and shops and hospitals, but merely stating this is not going to make any foreigner feel completely comfortable. Proper introduction to these facilities and practices will indeed increase that comfort level tenfold.
A popular misconception is that Settling In services are only required once the actual relocation has taken place. While there are some items that can only be attended to once the assignee and family is in their new surroundings, by this time it may already be too late to successfully address and complete other items!
For example, the assignee and family need to be aware of what the requirements are for certain items like drivers’ licenses etc. They might need to obtain documents or an international drivers’ license from their home location, before their arrival in the host country. The sooner this is known, the better they can prepare.
The individuals and family unit should also start thinking of what they would like to pursue or continue with in the host location, well before they relocate. The more they start imagining and asking about what is possible in the host location, the easier the transition will be and the better the outcome is for all the family members to be excited about their new adventure!
Bear in mind that there might be a spouse or partner that now has an excess of time on their hands, as they left a career behind as well as their day-to-day routines and involvements.
The possibilities may be endless for what they would like to get involved with – be that expat societies, volunteer or community work, arts and culture, hobbies, sports, studies, etc. Open these possibilities through proper introductions and delivery of Settling In services … applicable to each member of the family, not just the main assignee.
Executive Relocations’ Vision
We strive to empower the assignee and their family to be completely independent within days of their arrival in their new location, and confident enough to explore options in their new environment.
We want all members of the family to be excited and looking forward to move to their new environment, and once there to hit the ground running and get involved and introduced to their new community and society.
They should have very little to no logistical problems or unrealistic expectations upon arrival and during their stay, as they have been well prepared and settled in.
Ultimately this is captured by a simple formula. Happy child = happy parents + happy spouse = happy and productive employee = successful assignment = satisfied client