The cultural information report includes critical information to help Tech Solutions employees move to Italy to work in the new locations. The company plans to open up operations in Italy as one of its overseas locations. Some of the reasons the company is sending workers to Italy include:
- As part of its expansion plan to foreign countries
- To increase its market size through internationalization
- To increase its sales revenue
Thus, Tech Solutions leaders should prepare employees to work in the new culture to expand the market and revenue. They should be prepared to live and work in another culture. The leadership should use the cultural information report containing information about Italian culture, economy, political environment, recreation, housing, and living cost. The report includes a checklist of what human resource managers should do to ease the new working environment transition, including:
- Leaning and understanding the target culture to ensure that they align their behavior to cultural expectations.
- Learning and practicing the cultural expectations to work well with locals without conflicts.
- Changing their behavior and attitudes towards other people, mostly locals in the host country.
- Education regarding the target country’s language and speech.
- Learning through other settings, such as attending cultural events like operas.
While leaving home for a new country is challenging, preparing employees will ease the process and increase the chances to succeed in the target culture. Leaders should continue to support employees working abroad to maintain a high-performance level and productivity.
Cultural Information Report
Tech Solutions is a software development company based in the United States. The CEO has been working with other leaders to establish locations in different countries outside the US. One of the locations Tech Solutions has focused on is in Italy, a developed country in Europe. As part of a smooth transition, the company will send some of its employees to work in Italy and ensure successful operations overseas. The management hopes for adequate returns on investment to support its business and achieve its internationalization objectives. However, the management recognizes that the transition will be challenging for employees who have only worked in the US. Thus, the management should prepare and support them for the transition and success while working overseas. While they will require information from various sources, a comprehensive cultural information report will offer critical information and play a key role in their overseas employment transition.
The Company and Strategy
Tech Solutions is a technology company specializing in software development for personal and corporate usage. Although the company is successful in the US, the management has decided to explore other markets outside the country to increase its global market share and revenue. The management expects that the company will succeed in the developed market due to the increase in technology demand. However, success will depend on the human resource’s success since employees support its business strategies. Considering that companies in the US operate according to established labor laws, especially anti-discrimination, the management will transfer employees my merit (Walsh, 1). For example, the firm will consider gender and social equality when deciding to send employees to Italy. The human resource management team will also guarantee support to the relocating employees, such as providing them information about the target country’s cultural profile.
Critical Information to Work in Italy
Italian is the country’s official language, with almost all the population being its native Italian speakers. Approximately 50% of people in the country use a regional dialect, which is mother tongues. Most of the dialects are mutually unintelligible, making many language speakers conclude that they are distinct languages. However, such languages are not officially recognized. The country has various minority languages, such as Friulian, spoken by only 1% of the population living in the northeastern part of the country, Ladin, German, Slovene, and French (Pulgram, 2). While American employees moving to Italy should understand the languages spoken, the management will not expect them to learn local languages. However, English being a globally recognized language for business operations, employees will use it to conduct the company’s operations.
Currency, Economy, Political Climate
Employees migrating to Italy should recognize the expected currency for business operations. The government decided to keep up with the other European Union member countries by changing its currency from Lira to Euro (EUR’ or €). The currency is the sole legal tender in Italy after Lira was eliminated in 2002 (Locke, 3). The Italian economy is one of the most developed in Europe. For instance, the economy has grown from one of the weakest in the region after the Second World War to be among the strongest. The country’s metallurgical and engineering industries are the main contributors to its economic growth. The government implemented liberal trade policies, increasing foreign investment and expanding manufacturing export trade (Locke, 3). Besides the economy, employees moving to Italy should understand the political environment. Italy is a democratic state with a president and prime minister. While the country is relatively stable politically, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged it, especially differences in dealing with the crisis that hit the country hard (Rullo, 4). Regardless of discrepancies, the country remains stable and conducive for business operations.
Housing, Cost of Living, and Transportation
Employees moving to Italy will need to understand the nature of housing in the host country. The common housing arrangements in Italy are apartment blocks, which are common in cities and towns. Detached homes are uncommon for families and even expatriates (Benassi & Naccarato, 5). However, expatriates moving into the country on short-term stay can get furnished apartments, else they get a one-year contract for a long-term stay.
Most expatriates in Italy are attracted to the low-key lifestyle in smaller towns, while others prefer cities’ amenities and cultural opportunities. Whichever choice an expatriate makes, the cost of living is lower than in the United States. Furthermore, Italy’s transportation cost is relatively lower than in the US (Casillo & Russo, 7). Notably, transportation networks in the country are well-developed.
The healthcare system in Italy is well-developed and managed, providing quality care to citizens and residents. The country has a regionally-based national health care system called Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) (France, Taroni, & Donatini, 6). The healthcare system provides universal care to patients. The country has a free health care service system for Italians and residents, with most expatriates qualifying for the local government health care network. Hence, employees from the US moving to Italy will have access to quality and affordable health care.
Italy is a well-known destination for tourists from all parts of the world. Although employees migrating to the country are not tourists, they require recreational facilities. The country has a unique landscape, making it suitable for numerous outdoor activities. Besides, the country supports recreational activities all year round since they have built facilities ideal for all weather conditions (Casillo & Russo, 7). Expatriates and other visitors can engage in literally any recreational outdoor activity, such as mountain biking, bike touring, rock climbing, skiing, jogging, windsurfing, and sailing. Besides, expatriates can travel to different destinations to enjoy the country and relax from their busy schedules.
The Tech Solutions human resource management understands the need for employees moving to Italy to assimilate into the country and culture. Hence, they recommend the need to understand the country and its people. Below is a list of advice on successfully assimilating into the selected country and culture:
- The employees moving to Italy should learn and understand the target culture to ensure that they align their behavior to cultural expectations. They will succeed if they recognize and respect the cultural values and norms of Italians.
- Although American employees have the right to retain their culture, they should learn and practice the cultural expectations to work well with locals without conflicts.
- Expatriates should change their behavior and attitudes towards other people, mostly locals in the host country.
- While it might be challenging to learn Italian, the employees should receive education regarding the target country’s language and speech to ensure respect when engaging with locals. For example, learning simple things such as greetings will increase their chances of being welcomed into the country.
- The expatriates should be open to learning through other settings, such as attending cultural events like operas.
Local Customs, Values, and Traditions
Italians love art, which is evident in almost all places in the country, unlike in America, where art is reserved for museums and similar settings. The country is also well-known for its operas, which will be a source of entertainment and a means to learn Italian culture. Italy is mostly adherent to the Roman Catholic faith, which accounts for about 90% of its population (Casillo & Russo, 7). Since Italy is the pope’s home in Vatican City, most of its traditional customs, values, and traditions are borrowed from Roman Catholic teachings. Another critical aspect of the culture is food, which is an art. Pizza and pasta are the most famous foods that the expatriate will most probably eat during their stay. Italians have a special meal for every occasion, which is also an essential way of maintaining connections between family and friends. They always serve delicious traditional food and wine during special events. The expatriates will be part of the target culture, meaning that they should learn the customs, values, and traditions to adhere to them while they stay and work in Italy.
Immigration Laws or Visa Requirements
An essential aspect of immigrating to work in a foreign country is understanding and complying with relevant laws. Like in the US, the target country has critical immigration laws that will guide the process. One of the legal requirements is a visa allowing the immigrant to leave the US and relocate to Italy for a specific period. Besides the passport, each employee should have a visa allowing them to stay and work in Italy. The Italian government specifies different types of visas that immigrants should apply for depending on their purpose for visiting the country (Benassi & Naccarato, 5). For the Tech Solutions employees, the relevant visa is the Employee Work Permit, which will specify the purpose of the visit and the duration for which the applicant will stay in the country. Notably, the visa will be valid for the specified time.
Human Resource Support
Tech Solutions human resources should provide human and material resources to support employees in foreign locations. Firstly, they should provide them with adequate training to prepare them to relocate and work in a foreign country. The training should prepare them to work in a different culture. Secondly, the company should provide adequate finances for employees to relocate and settle in Italy comfortably. US labor law includes the need to pay employees competitive wages depending on their work environment (the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 8). Thirdly, the company should provide an opportunity for employees with families to include them in the relocation plan instead of leaving them behind.
Factors behind Success
Various factors will help the relocating employees to succeed before, during, and after the transition period. One of the factors is adequate compensation to afford the cost of living in Italy, considering that they will need housing to settle. They will also require training and education to live and succeed in the different cultural environments. Leadership support will be necessary throughout the transition period and continue during their stay. Finally, they need constant communication with their relatives back at home to deal with the separation and isolation.
Tech Solutions is sending workers to Italy after establishing locations in the market to expand its operations internationally. The leadership should prepare expatriates to transition and integrate into the Italian culture. Hence, training for relocating employees will play a critical role, especially in different aspects of the Italian culture and business environment. Overall, they should prepare for the benefits and drawbacks of working in the new environment with information from the cultural information report.
- David J. Walsh. 2019. Employment Law for Human Resource Practice (6th ed.). South-Western Cengage Learning.
- Pulgram, Ernst. 2013. The tongues of Italy. Harvard University Press
- Locke, Richard M. 2018. Remaking the Italian economy. Cornell University Press
- Rullo, Luigi. 2021. “The COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the personalization of the government in Italy.” International Journal of Public Leadership
- Benassi, Federico, and Alessia Naccarato. 2018. “Foreign citizens working in Italy: Does space matter?.” Spatial Demography1, pp. 1-16.
- France, George, Francesco Taroni, and Andrea Donatini. 2005. “The Italian healthcare system.” Health economicsS1, pp. S187-S202.
- Casillo, Robert, and John Paul Russo. 2017. The Italian in modernity. University of Toronto Press, 2
- United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 2020. Types of Discrimination. http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types