The topic of going internationally is widely covered when it comes to business expansion to another countries. To find local professionals is always a challenging part. But even more sensitive is the situation, when it comes to relocation of your company’s specialists to abroad.
This summer, Code Inspiration decided to finally open a second development office in Warsaw and started the process of relocation for developers from Belarus to Poland. All that seemed really easy as being a part of EU, Poland is a neighbor country for Belarusians. However, when first professionals arrived we noticed that things were not so easy. I passed through relocation myself, moved from Belarus to Poland and currently living in Warsaw to control the Polish business office. Here are few tips how to prepare yourself and your team for relocation.
It is always a good idea to arrange an introduction to the culture of the country you are moving to, what will help you understand how people live there their everyday lives. Understanding of the flow, insights and way of doing business will help a lot to get integrated without disappointments or burnouts. Especially it is great to know what people are doing differently in comparison to where you came from.
Also, for me very helpful were groups in FB and Telegram where people “like me” have already relocated and formed a community, supporting and helping each other. This can be a nice start for the one who has just relocated to get integrated into social life.
Not to stay speechless, if you are planning the relocation for you or your business team in advance, language courses is something extremely important. Being accompanied potentially by an interpreter, you will anyway go to the shop, promenade or meet with friends on your own. Even basic knowledge of the language where you and your team will be relocating will help you feel comfortable.
When we came to Warsaw not speaking Polish with a necessity to do tons of “papers”: from registration and getting PESEL numbers or simply ordering our bank debit cards, it was really a challenge to find someone speaking at least English. Even when someone did, it was hard to get explanations to questions we had, as it turned out that in Poland people respond only when you ask about the option. But how can I ask if I am not aware this option exists?
So next point, important to arrange before you start relocating people is a local consultant speaking native language of your employees. Great when this person has a large network in the local market to help to arrange things which are not under his competence but could be done by proven people he knows.
People, even relocating with their families, getting into the new environment usually feel lonely. Especially at first stages, it is important for them to speak to someone. Sometimes they are not ready to share their concerns with their colleagues, in this case even few sessions with psychologist could be even better. As sometimes people are not ready to show weak points to their colleagues but would be happy to take about it with a third party.
This point might seem not important at first sight, however, the moral condition of your employees usually depends on the overall success of your business. So any little sign of attention, be it a video call for a 15 minutes coffee, a bouquet of flowers or a cake for a holiday will mean you do care about your employees and for sure will impact their mood.
Relocation process is always something challenging, hard but usually for the better. New country, new culture, new emotions. If you are relocating on your own or prepare your stuff to relocate:
- get introduced to the culture of the country,
- learn basic words and collocations,
- check social networks with people “like you”,
- make sure you have a person who will help you to pass through all documentation stages flawlessly,
- and enjoy new connections!