The training needs of new expatriate employees and the components of pre-departure training
Employees for a training program have not only job-related skills but also communication, emotional intelligence, and empathy. It is essential to recognize that an expatriate must possess sufficient job experience and technical competence, yet these factors alone are not enough for a successful expansion (Wilkinson et al., 2019). Training must include an extensive selection of communication skills courses, especially considering the importance of managerial positions at McDonald’s.
McDonald’s presents a challenging case for expatriate training, as its market is heavily influenced by local producers and the cultural specifics of potential customers. Cross-cultural training will lie at the center of such preparation. Pre-deployment courses must include such topics as cultural sensitivity, work ethics, and many other situational factors (Tung, 2018). Expatriates must be taught how to integrate into a local community themselves and help their company do the same.
Language skills, being an inseparable part of a country’s culture, must also be developed alongside cultural training. A standalone course for pre-assignment training can serve as a boost for employees’ morale later. A local McDonald’s chain must adapt its common advertisement techniques to specifics of the language to avoid releasing inappropriate content.
A pre-deployment program should address supply chain management with local producers and logistics services. Global companies may rely on global supply chains, yet the industry in which McDonald’s operates requires selecting local raw products for its restaurants. Therefore, the firm’s expatriates must be trained to uphold diplomatic relationships with the most optimal sources of products for processing and transportation companies with the optimal quality of service.
Local governments play a critical role in global companies’ efforts to expand, as their regulations and taxation policies can either support or prevent the entrance to local markets (Wilkinson et al., 2019). McDonald’s needs to keep stable and positive relationships with governmental organizations through expatriates’ efforts to conform to their requirements.
The areas of emphasis and the details of the training based on the organization
Most importantly, customer relations must be assessed adequately, and several marketing strategies must be proposed during pre-deployment training to show the cultural competence of an expatriate. Communication with them is the key to successful expansion abroad, as their willingness to try foreign products will decide the fate of a new branch of the company. Prior to the deployment, an employee must learn the etiquette of the country they will be sent to.
Adaptation of the company’s products and services has proven to be challenging due to unique circumstances within each country to which global companies are obliged to adapt in order to survive the local competition. For McDonald’s expatriates, this part must include analyzing local restaurant chains that provide similar fast-food experiences to their customers regarding the quality and accessibility of products.
Expatriates are expected to be met with severely different working conditions and regional business laws. Therefore, knowledge of local business regulations and the ability to establish connections with governmental organizations that are related to the restaurant business. Reading and comprehending local legal documents can provide expatriates with realistic expectations of possible limitations on business practices, fines, and other related information as a part of the preparation process.
Knowledge transfer is a necessary skill among leadership qualities that must be developed prior to an employee’s department abroad. Expatriate employees must be able to transfer their knowledge not only to managerial personnel but to all hierarchical levels within a company to ensure complete integration of their company into regional markets (Wilkinson et al., 2019). Courses for developing a coaching leadership style can assist in pre-deployment preparations.
Seeking sources for raw materials is a necessary part of the initial steps of the expansion of global companies. While a significant part of this area is more likely to be performed by a specialized department, in-person meetings with business partners are inevitable. Sessions with a hired local expert in business relations are a valuable source of knowledge, as they are able to replicate the environment an expatriate employee will be moved to (Hadeed & Henry-Campbell, 2021). Pre-development training must address this topic to ensure mutual understanding between the company and its partners in the future.
How the training will improve the expatriate experience for the new assignment in the organization
Expatriates will be able to show respect for local culture and make necessary adjustments to their company’s strategies for entrance and marketing to adapt to local customs and preferences. These outcomes can be shown by an expatriate through their openness to local influences.
After extensive training, an expatriate employee will be able to communicate efficiently with local regulatory organizations, work unions, and governmental figures involved in the firm’s industry.
Expatriates’ integration into the local environment via a proper selection of advertisements and communication channels will give the company an initial boost toward the desired market position.
Relationships with suppliers and logistics services will remain at the highest standard, ensuring that McDonald’s will remain competitive under shifting business circumstances.
McDonald’s creates a strong hierarchy among employees that suits its organizational goals. This structure is expected to be preserved through sufficient training of its expatriates, whose leadership skills must provide inspiration for employees to provide a competitive advantage to a foreign company.
Hadeed, S. A., & Henry‐Campbell, S. (2021). Expatriate experiences and the role HRD plays in cultural awareness in international companies. New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, 33(1), 69-73. Web.
Tung, R. L. (2018). Voyages of self-discovery: A reflection on four decades of research on expatriation and cross-cultural interactions. In A. Verbeke, J. Puck, & R. V. Tulder (Eds.), Distance in international business: Concept, cost and value (pp. 1-15). Emerald Group Publishing.
Wilkinson, A., Bacon, N., Snell, S., & Lepak, D. (2019). The SAGE handbook of human resource management (2nd ed.). SAGE.