Posted on May 9th, 2011 by Mike Morabito
When you are moving an with an international assignment company, what are the most important aspects of moving to a new country for you? Do you think about opening an international assignee bank account first? In a recent study by NatWest Global Employee Banking posted on RelocateMagazine.com they share the results of their survey about the needs of employees moving into the UK. While they mention that although international banking is among the lowest priorities they make the argument that it should be the number one priority because other relocation services often rely on a functioning local bank account.
From those surveyed here is what HR and relocation professionals thought were the most important priorities.
View Graph as an Image
Of respondents to the survey 93% indicated that “accommodations” were the most important of services needed to move into the UK. Therefore, it also makes sense that establishing a local bank account might help secure these accommodations because an apartment may need a deposit or key money in a local currency before you can move in. Often times when employees take an international assignment they would use a direct billed temporary housing provider as recommended to them by their relocation management company or by their HR department. When a company is able to establish a direct billed relationship with various temporary housing providers they can often capitalize on relocation cost savings they may ordinarily not be entitled to without these relationships in place. In addition by the company directly providing the housing for the employee on a temporary assignment it allows the employee to setup a bank account once they are in country and settled into their accommodations.
Paragon Relocation develops customized relocation programs that give HR departments all the options necessary to easily execute sophisticated international relocation policies that fit the needs of their employees and their families. From international banking to temporary housing and much more, Paragon Relocation has been providing the full range of relocation services for over 20 years. Let us know if we can be of assistance!
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Posted on May 5th, 2011 by Mike Morabito
Princeton.edu defines culture shock as “a condition of disorientation affecting someone who is suddenly exposed to an unfamiliar culture or way of life or set of attitudes“. It is very common to be exposed to this disorientation when you have been relocated internationally for a new position at your company. At first, living in a new culture often begins with excitement but is eventually peppered with confusion and frustration as a result of living in a culture that has different attitudes and patterns than your own. Finally this stage is typically followed by acceptance after a few months or a year in a new location. In this post we would like to display the typical patterns of culture shock and give you what you can do to overcome culture shock.
How do you deal with the culture shock of living in a different country?
Below you will find a graph that details the typical patterns that people experience regarding living abroad:
What can you do to deal with culture shock?
Here is some helpful advice:
- Enjoy the honeymoon: Typically the first couple of months of living abroad are exciting and new. Use this boost of excitement to really seek out your “favorites” in your new neighborhood, so that when a low point hits you know where you can go to lift your spirits.
- Tour your own town: Use the the opportunity of living abroad to understand the history of your new place. Sign up for guided tours or read about the history of your new place on the internet (wikipedia.org is always a great source of historical information, also tripadvisor.com‘s “Things to Do” points out popular tourist attractions with reviews in many locations around the world.
- Don’t isolate yourself: Join a club, and use the internet to find local expats from your home country. This will help you to get out of the bubble that can be your workplace, home or apartment.
- Learn some language: While learning a new language as an adult may seem to be a daunting task; today there are many avenues that you can use to learn a language. From software packages such as the popular Rosetta Stone to full intensive language immersion courses where you are only allowed to speak the foreign language for a couple of weeks. There are many options that might fit your learning style. (Here is a full list of the leading Language Training suppliers from around the world who offer a full range of learning methods that might fit your needs). Even learning a little bit of the local language can go a long way to making your life abroad a lot more comfortable.
- Embrace the change: The new location where you will be living will be different than where you are moving from. Have the attitude that discovering differences in culture is part of the adventure that should be appreciated rather than criticized.
Because Paragon Relocation is an International Relocation Company we relocate employees of our company’s clients all over the world. Through this experience we have found that often times there are many reasons to go abroad. Many employees want the experience of Going Global to benefit their careers by going on a international assignment or others are simply interested in the experience of living in a different country. Whatever the reason it is our goal to equip each and every person that passes through our company with the tools necessary to overcome many of the challenges that they will face as a result of taking that assignment. As part of that Paragon Relocation offers Cross Cultural and Language Training as part of the greater portfolio services we offer to our clients. Including these elements in an international relocation program design sets up the international assignment for success. If you are in the midst of your move abroad consider researching the resources that are available to you make your time living abroad a great experience.
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Posted on April 21st, 2011 by Mike Morabito
Paragon Relocation, a leading provider of global relocation management services, underscored the company’s commitment to its core value of community involvement through a number of fundraising initiatives at Paragon offices around the globe to benefit Japanese tsunami relief efforts. These fundraising activities included a “Pie-in-the-Face” contest, bake sales and selling homemade recipe books. Employees in Paragon’s Dublin, Ireland office won the interoffice contest by raising more than $50 per employee.
Through these activities, employees raised over $3,500. Coupled with a corporate donation through Paragon’s employee donation matching program, in total Paragon donated $7,029.75 in financial contributions to several organizations across the globe involved in relief efforts, including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
“Paragon employees have always stepped up to help others when the need was there. Once again I am impressed by their level of commitment to help our friends in Japan cope with their current crisis,” said Joseph Morabito, CEO of Paragon.
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Posted on April 5th, 2011 by Mike Morabito
Carol Nichols is congratulated by Paragon’s President and CEO, Joseph Morabito
Carol Nichols, Director of Learning Resources, received the highest honor at Paragon Relocation – the 2010 President’s Award, for her demonstrated commitment to excellence by advancing Paragon’s mission and culture of success. Specifically, Mrs. Nichols was recognized for significant contributions including innovations in Learning Resources and global training, which led to cost savings and improved internal and external customer service across all major functions of the organization.
This recognition includes a monetary award, an additional week of vacation and dinner with Paragon’s senior management.
Congratulations to Carol Nichols for her achievements in 2010!
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Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Mike Morabito
(Left to Right) Paragon’s Elaine Martin, Deborah Graham and Joseph Morabito
Paragon Relocation proudly sponsored and exhibited at the recent Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Summit™, held in Shanghai. Focusing on the significant economic growth projected for Asia-Pacific, Worldwide ERC®’s 9th annual APAC Summit offered delegates the opportunity to listen to subject matter experts discuss and debate a range of mobility topics from legal compliance policies to social and labor relations issues. Over the course of the 2-day summit, delegates had the opportunity to share, network and benchmark with industry peers and suppliers.
Worldwide ERC® is the recognized leader in talent mobility education, research, benchmarking and education. For further information on Worldwide ERC®, please click here.
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Posted on January 13th, 2011 by Mike Morabito
In a recent print edition of The Economist, they cover the new phenomena of Chinese expats being sent to the west for investment opportunities. It has been fairly common in recent years for companies from the west to send their brightest executives to China to explore new markets for their products and services or to find suppliers but today as China’s economic growth continues Chinese companies are increasingly sending their employees abroad as well.
This change of perspective from Chinese firms illustrates how economies continue to globalize:
China’s spectacular growth over the past three decades has prompted hordes of businesspeople to jump onto aeroplanes and move house. Western multinationals have sent many of their most ambitious executives to the country, to find new suppliers, set up factories or sell jet engines and whisky to the Chinese.
In recent years a swelling number of expatriates have also moved the other way. Chinese firms are increasingly global. They scramble for oil and copper in Africa. They scout for investment opportunities in America and Europe. They are starting to set up offices throughout the world. Naturally, they are sending out Chinese executives to run them.
Expatriate Chinese executives are a relatively new phenomenon, and a sign of Chinese strength. Previous waves of emigrants fled China because the country was poor, violent and despotically ruled. They sought a better life elsewhere, and usually found it. They arrived with nothing, prospered through wit and hard work, and often settled permanently abroad.
The new Chinese expatriates are different. They are sent abroad because the Chinese firms they work for are expanding. They arrive on foreign shores with the security of a job and a salary. Their assignments are temporary: they expect to return after a few years.
To read this article in its entirety, please visit theEconomist.com.
Paragon Relocation specializes in corporate relocation in and out of China, and we will be exhibiting at Worldwide ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium in Shanghai this March. Please visit Worldwide ERC for more information.
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Posted on October 27th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
Stop by booth #415 at the ERC Global Workforce Symposium Exhibition Hall for an opportunity to win the $200 value Starbucks gift basket giveaway above!
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Posted on September 14th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
We are excited to share that Paragon’s own Andrew Rees was highlighted in Aperian Global’s August Newsletter. See the article below.
Spotlight on Paragon’s Andrew Rees
Australian-born Andrew Rees recently relocated to Hong Kong, taking a new position as Director of Business Relations Asia Pacific for Paragon Relocation. We had a chance to speak with him about his recent move, including his experience participating in Aperian Global’s cross-cultural training course, Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Andrew is no stranger to the expat world. In addition to his home country, Andrew has lived in Switzerland, USA, Japan, Ireland and now adds Hong Kong to the list. He holds a business and marketing degree from the prestigious RMIT University in Melbourne and, prior to Paragon, worked in telecommunications and market research. Andrew began his career at Paragon three years ago in Dublin, Ireland where he served as Managing Consultant. His responsibilities primarily involved regional client development and program implementation. In his new role in Hong Kong, Andrew’s primary responsibilities include working with CAT and further developing Paragon’s presence within the region, with emphasis on China and other emerging markets.
As part of their transition to Hong Kong, Andrew and his spouse Chloe recently participated in Aperian Global’s cross-cultural training program we asked him for his feedback on the session. As the Rees’ have already been in Hong Kong for a couple of months, the agenda was tailored to meet their specific needs which were primarily business focused. Customization of programs is a standard practice at Aperian. Despite their vast international experience, they found the program to be of real benefit in understanding business-level interactions in Hong Kong. The training also helped them to articulate things that they had been thinking about and experiencing in their new culture. It was also beneficial in helping them to understand where they are at currently in the process of adjustment and to help plan for the future.
For Andrew’s spouse, who is starting a new position, the session helped her to understand the cultural differences she will experience when she begins working, and also gave her the opportunity to discuss the experiences she has already had during the search process.
Andrew’s personal interests include Travel, Sports (including rowing), and good food – which he notes has been particularly enjoyable in Hong Kong with all of its tasty cuisine.
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Posted on August 26th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
Worldwide ERC® CEO, Peggy Smith, has spoken to many workforce mobility and HR professionals and she has shared their desire to expand the Worldwide ERC® community. We support Peggy’s belief that a bigger community of employer members actively participating and sharing their experience raises the bar on everyone’s performance and success. Increased corporate attendance and engagement broadens the knowledge and capabilities of our entire industry, and that benefits everyone.
On behalf of Paragon Relocation Resources, Inc. and Worldwide ERC® we are excited to offer you a free registration to attend the Worldwide ERC® 2010 Global Workforce Symposium, which will be held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle October 27-29, 2010. This free registration is available to any corporate HR professional who has not attended the Global Workforce Symposium in three years or more and who signs up to attend. If you are eligible to take advantage of this outstanding offer, simply complete the registration form, starting with the section for first-time corporate HR Attendees. And please feel free to extend this offer to your co-workers! There are a limited number of spaces, so your early response is critical.
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Posted on March 19th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
China is on the move.
If you are originally from the West, you might think moving to China is a little bit too exotic for you. But perhaps once you arrived to one of China’s major metropolises you might actually find that it has many of the things which you would find at home to make you feel comfortable, including an English speaking expatriate community to form a support system. However, this may not be the case for China Tier 2 or China Tier 3 cities as specified by the Chinese government which are determined by population size and economic growth potential.
Click here to continue reading.
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Posted on February 24th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
Pulse Points 2010: Trends and Best Practices for Global Mobility Programmes
As relocation volume stabilises and shows signs of a slow, but steady recovery, early indicators suggest 2010 will be a year of programme recalibration. The U.S. housing market continues to struggle. Many practices highlighted in 2009’s Trends and Best Practices report still apply. Strict Home Marketing parameters, use of buyer incentives, and formal loss on sale and negative equity provisions remain. While these benefits will underscore most U.S. domestic programmes, Paragon is choosing to focus on some new themes this year as the impact of “The New Normal” is poised to take center stage.
Pulse Point 1: Due Diligence
As companies and transferees become risk adverse in the “New Normal” environment, Paragon predicts a bias towards more focused due diligence as the initial step in domestic transfers and international assignments.
To continue reading this White Paper, please click here.
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Posted on February 11th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
Paragon Relocation’s article on Managing Home Leave was recently featured in The Forum for Expatriate Management report on Managing Expatriate Reward. Managing Home Leave is a critical issue for companies planning and implementing global assignments.
Is there a connection between Home Leave and employee attrition/retention? Home Leave was intended to helpminimise the effects of the culture shock of an international assignment. It allows assignees tomaintain family ties and stay current with home business contacts and associates; and keep connected with their community and culture. Still, attrition rates upon completion of assignments remain high. Is there a disconnect between the philosophy of the home leave provision and its actual impact to assignment satisfaction?
Click here to continue reading …
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Posted on January 29th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
Consolidation in the relocation industry was an inevitable part of the “New Normal”, which, as predicted by leading economists, sets a new paradigm for doing business after the recent financial crisis. Companies are re-inventing themselves to stay afloat and to ensure future growth. The recent acquisition of Primacy by CARTUS is an indication of this trend.
Clearly, all relocation management companies can handle significantly more relocation volume than is now taking place even considering a modest uptick in volume since last October. This extra capacity in the relocation industry, coupled with the above mentioned acquisition will likely result in more layoffs and office closures over time, as a result of inevitable redundancies., In the long run however, it will ultimately lead to a stronger relocation industry.
When the dust settles in the next 12 to 24 months, there will likely be five or six major, global relocation companies which will serve as a funnel for all supplier services and will likely manage 99% of the world’s relocation and assignment business. As a result, it could be difficult for smaller relocation companies that lack a global footprint to compete because, in the New Normal, most corporate clients will require global relocation services and account management to have a presence in-region, and in the same time zone.
The relocation industry is obviously changing. What made sense for relocation five or ten years ago, may not make sense today because of the New Normal.
In the New Normal, you should consider going out to bid for a new relocation provider, as relocation companies such as Paragon Relocation are offering a growing list of services and new incentives.
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Posted on January 19th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
Over the years, many corporations have developed domestic and international relocation programs in isolation of one another. Often, these were inconsistent, disjointed programs that were often managed by different company functions and/or managers in numerous countries responding to various human resource requirements. As corporations become more integrated related to business units and the talent to support them, it is now clear that this approach may cause compliance issues and many inconsistencies in service and policy applications.
In response to this, Paragon Relocation offers a ‘One World Global Relocation Program’ to assist corporations with the development and implementation of a truly integrated, global mobility program built upon common objectives and a foundation of strong mobility principles.
The result is an integrated strategy that builds upon key elements for both Domestic and International Relocation.
Building all plans based on a comprehensive, corporate-wide mobility philosophy is the best way to ensure consistent policy application and proper administrative procedures are implemented in accordance with legal and tax compliance issues. A well–written and all-inclusive Global Relocation Program, when combined with centralized administration, and supported by regional service centers, whether internal or outsourced, will allow the corporation to implement a global mobility strategy with significant cost savings.
The ‘One World Global Relocation Program’ recognizes that over the course of a career, an employee may be asked to move multiple times either within country and/or across borders. As such, from a talent management standpoint, the employee and family will experience similar service and benefits around the world ,consistent with overall global corporate benefits philosophy. Global companies seeking to grow depend on their talent and streamlined corporate mobility is fundamental to talent retention.
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Posted on January 4th, 2010 by Mike Morabito
Global moves in all shapes and sizes
People move to different destinations around the world for specific periods of time for specific purposes; therefore they need different benefits to fit their needs. Most often these benefits would be determined by the duration of the time the employee would need to be in a specific international destination. Typically these move types are divided into 3 segments: Short Term Assignments, Long Term Assignments and Global Permanent moves. In this month’s Paragon Pulse the survey respondents have indicated the elements of their international program design for each of these 3 segments by responding on a survey for each segment.
1. Short Term Assignments
When companies need to send an employee to another location for a short period of time that is longer than an extended business trip they send them on a Short Term Assignment. The Paragon Pulse survey results typically defined a short term assignment as a work related trip that would last 6-12 months…
For further reading and survey results, please click here.
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