More companies are realizing the importance of language training when it comes to helping employees and their families succeed with international relocations. That was our key takeaway from the KPMG Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey 2019.

This annual survey always has great insights on the state of global mobility. It provides a wide range of data on how companies manage overseas assignments, from the selection of employees to relocation benefits to repatriation support.

KPMG Findings on Language Training

But, of course, the area we are most interested in at Fluency Corp is language training. And we were happy to see some good news there.

KPMG reports that:

  • 45% of organizations now offer language training as a core benefit in their relocation packages.
  • 11% offer it for select assignees.
  • 10% offer it only for home-host country combinations.
  • 21% offer it on a discretionary basis.
  • 13% do not offer it at all.

We’re also encouraged that international employees’ spouses and kids are now more likely to be included in language training. Of the companies that offer language training:

  • 21% offer it to the employee only.
  • 40% offer it to the employee and their spouse.
  • 39% offer it to the employee, their spouse and their kids.

KPMG says there’s a trend toward beginning language training before arrival in the destination country. This eases the transition and helps international employees feel at ease in their new home faster.

KPMG Findings on Cross-Cultural Training

A successful international assignment doesn’t just mean learning a new language. It also means getting used to a new culture. KPMG found that organizations’ cross-cultural training lags a little behind what they’re offering in regards to language training:

  • 44% of organizations now offer language training as a core benefit in their relocation packages.
  • 10% offer it for select assignees.
  • 6% offer it only for home-host country combinations.
  • 21% offer it on a discretionary basis.
  • 19% do not offer it at all.

Of the companies that offer cross-cultural training:

  • 16% offer it to the employee only.
  • 30% offer it to the employee and their spouse.
  • 53% offer it to the employee, their spouse and their kids.

More Global Mobility Findings We’re Watching

  • 40% of KPMG’s respondents say their global mobility programs are aligned with their organization’s overarching talent management initiatives. That’s a number we expect to see grow.
  • 35% don’t believe that their organization manages the international assignment planning process well. 26% are neutral. Since the cost of failed international assignments is high, these numbers are a problem.
  • Over the next five years, survey participants predict that their organizations will start shifting from longer-term international assignments to shorter-term ones. Will we be looking at more employees going overseas for shorter periods?

We’ve only scratched the surface here of KPMG’s findings on global mobility. Be sure to download a copy of the full report. And if you have questions about language training, get in touch with us at getfluent@fluencycorp.com or (800) 401-3159.