Infographic Insights #1: Why some leaders turn down international assignments

Infographic Insights

in a recent blog post, I shared my infographic which presents some of the research around relocation success or failure. The infographic illustrates why organisations relocating staff and their families need to support emotional wellbeing for relocation. In this blog series, I’ll be exploring some of those infographic statistics individually.

Today’s Focus

The data for today’s focus comes from the Harvard Business Review article: ‘A Successful International Assignment Depends on These Factors


My take on the data

I can understand why leaders would turn down an overseas move due to family reasons. Family relocation is a big decision with big consequences and (as per the authors’ recommendation) is preferably a decision which needs to be made as a family. It’s a stressful experience, and one which has the potential to negatively impact children in the long term. Many of the expatriate parents I work with share their concerns over their children growing up as a Third Culture Kid (TCK). While every parent I meet wants to support their child in the best way possible, very few parents are aware of the simple practical strategies that can be engaged to support their family’s emotional wellbeing throughout the relocation process and beyond as they continue their international life.

Impact on organisations

One significant impact on organisations is that they may have spent time, energy and money identifying the leader who best fits the available role. The organisation will undoubtedly have sound reasons for selecting a particular leader for an international assignment. If the organisation’s selected leader turns down the role, the organisation has to potentially then spend additional time, energy and money on identifying an alternative.

My recommendations

It would be amazing to see organisations acknowledging the wider impact of the relocation on the family. An excellent next step would be to take action to support and inform the whole family in their relocation decision-making. In an ideal world, this support might include communicating some expert information on what could be involved, as well as considering the pros and cons of relocating with a family. Receiving this information could swing the balance in favour of the international assignment, saving the organisation’s time, energy and money.

If you’re interested in hearing how I can support your leaders and their families with emotional wellbeing throughout their relocation, do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.