Infographic Insights #2: Family issues are top reason for assignment failure

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 Brookfields’ 2016 Global Mobility Trends Survey.


My take on the data

This data refers to assignment failure as those who leave before their contract comes to an end. I am sure that a percentage of those who leave for family reasons do so due to unexpected and unavoidable reasons. Perhaps parents or in-laws become ill, or the host country lacks specific support for children’s learning challenges. However, in my work I recognise that there are many family issues which are preventable, or at least can be anticipated and reduced with a proactive approach. One example is when children are unhappy at school, perhaps because they are finding it difficult to find their group of friends, or they loved their previous school and are struggling to adjust. Another example is when the partner finds the new location difficult and feels unsettled and unhappy, and is keen to leave.

Impact on organisations

From my conversations with Global Mobility professionals, I know they aren’t typically approached by employees to discuss any family issues. Employees only share that they will leave a contract early, by which point the decision has been made. If the organisation had some insight into the family challenges, they would be in a better position to offer support, which could prevent assignment failure.

While this statistic refers to those who leave their contract early, I also wonder about those who complete their contract but still experience family issues throughout their assignment. It seems reasonable to assume that the family issues would have a negative impact on them. You don’t just leave your negative emotions at home. Feelings like stress, anxiety and guilt inevitably spill over into work. For the individual, this adversely impacts productivity. If that individual is a leader, their feelings might negatively impact their interactions with colleagues or direct reports. We know that emotions are contagious, so even having someone who is stressed in the office is enough to impact others.

My recommendations

My hello/goodbye programme is designed to provide proactive, practical support for families before and after a relocation. If you’re interested in finding out how I can help your family or the families in your organisation, do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.