How to Help Expats Celebrate For the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to keep in mind that this time of year can be especially daunting for new transferees

Holidays Relocation

Date 22 Dec, 2014

Reading time 14 min


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With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to keep in mind that this time of year can be especially daunting for new transferees, some of whom will be away from their family and friends for the first time. Homesickness, nostalgia and loneliness are some of the most common feelings a transferee might experience while on assignment, but there are ways the company can help them cope.

1. Host a Holiday Company Party

A well-planned company/department party can give expats who are spending the holidays alone an opportunity to socialize and bond with their coworkers.

Holiday parties are also a great way to express appreciation for employees and can ultimately boost the sense of camaraderie among team members. Consider including the new employees in the planning of the event and publicly introduce them.

2. Provide Information About Regional Holiday Events

Employees who have accepted a global relocation assignment may be unfamiliar with traditions in a foreign country. Companies can post holiday bulletins of local events and attractions that transferees can attend with their families to help them further assimilate into the culture. Even domestically, some traditions and events may be unique. Preparing and sharing these local highlights may be helpful to your employees.

3. Suggest Online Networks

There are many online networks expats can sign up for to help them connect with new friends who share common interests. Sites like Expat Friends or are great resources to participate in discussion forums or find group activities in the area.

4. Send Them Home for the Holidays

While it’s important for transferees to settle into their new homes, homesickness may cripple job performance. Some companies already provide an allotment of tickets home for transferees who are on assignment. Providing airfare for a holiday trip home might be just what they need to help lift their spirits throughout the season.

Overall, utilizing corporate resources to help transferees feel more at home during the holidays will not only boost productivity, but can also improve the success of the assignment in the long run.

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