Effective Expatriate

Effective Expatriate

  • Do your expatriate managers thrive in their international assignments?
  • The failure rate ranges between 10-35% worldwide. The attrition rate for returnees is also quite high: within two years of returning to their home country, over 25% find a position with another company.
  • Furthermore, inability to adapt to another culture remains the second most prevalent reason for failure of an international assignment, the first being family concerns.
  • This failure is not only a painful experience for the leader involved, but costs the employer up to three times the expatriate manager’s salary. Cultural preparation and in-country coaching can prevent such high losses.


Our Effective Expatriate coaching supports managers on international assignment and their families to make a successful transition to living and working in a host country. This proven program gives expatriate managers the tools and feedback to expand their ability to think with a global mindset, learn quickly about different business practices, and to learn readily to turn around any mistakes in order to become an effective bridge person for their organization from one country or world region to another.

Why is the Effective Expatriate program so important to expatriate success?

Our consistent findings indicate three simultaneous challenges in the host country:

  1. Learn to adapt quickly to the different living and new work environment.
  2. Adapt their leadership style to accommodate different cultural realities, for which they are often unprepared.
  3. Ensure their families adapt well to the host country. Lack of family adjustment is the #1 reason for failure of international assignments.

The expatriate’s coaching process often starts with powerful feedback on global leadership competencies from the Polaris® Global Leadership 360° Assessment Survey. Participants develop an action plan to address competency gaps for their role and responsibilities and utilize an online toolkit to increase cultural competence. It includes a self-assessment tool, over 120 country profiles and interactive problem solving exercises, case studies, and business simulations for international management dilemmas.

Target Audience

Expatriate managers and spouses/partners relocating to another country  starting prior to departure and through the first months of their international assignment.

Program Length

Two to four months, with more intense frequency at the outset.


  • Expatriate and family adapt readily to living and working in another country.
  • Expatriate managers discover the impact of their preferred leadership style and the value of other leadership styles applicable to their work environment.
  • Learn concrete ways to bridge culture gaps and improve collaboration with peers, manager, direct reports, clients, and suppliers.
  • Become a more culturally competent leader who is as successful globally as locally.