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Zombie Apocalypse II: Tips for Surviving the Group Move

Tips for Surviving a Group MoveLast year, after a day of meetings and daydreaming, I put together relocation program challenges for Zombies.  The concept captured the imagination of our readers and, like all successful stories, there must be a sequel!

So, your relocation program is a success and, for once, you are staying on budget. You hear an occasional groan – they do that a lot actually. But, for the most part, your zombies are moving with the precision of the Zombies in the Thriller video. Then, a monkey wrench is thrown into the operation! Your business model is shifting.  The cost of (un)living is continually on the rise.  Resources, regulations, and infrastructure issues are making you move facilities and personnel to a new city.  For many companies, a group move can turn into quite the horror story. 

Like any doomsday scenario, your best bet is to be prepared. I have never seen a group move announcement where everyone is caught off guard.  As soon as there is a hint of a move, your employees will be hitting the internet (probably on your time), looking up housing, schools and even other employment options!  The more answers you can gather in advance of the move announcement, the more successful your program will be.  You will also save money on those on the fence transferees who drag their feet before committing (literally and figuratively).  Here are some tips:

Gather your resources: You can build a resource center to help answer questions fast by using internet sites, chambers of commerce, local Realtors, mortgage lenders, property management firms, educational experts, spousal employment assistance firms and other area experts. It’s important to make these connections as soon as possible and prep your network with information about the move so that you all can collectively provide much needed insight right away.

Central point of coordination: If you are using a relocation partner, it’s very important to bring the designated counselor up to speed not only on the policy, but also the internal culture. This will ensure the same prompt and strategic attention that you would provide if you were handling the work in-house.

Pre-decision tour:  If possible, bring all the candidates at once, or in groups with similar concerns, on a pre-decision tour.  The purpose of this trip is not to find a home, but rather to give the candidates enough information to determine if the move is feasible.  It’s important to prioritize the needs of the families to arrange orientations specific to each group. The resources you have gathered should help you map out good programs that cover all the essentials (neighborhood tours, school information, etc.). These tours can be costly up front but they are significantly cheaper than a failed relocation.

Post-tour debrief: Since the goal of the pre-decision tour is to introduce families to the area and determine the feasibility of the move, the next logical step is to ask them how it went. This will help you understand the likelihood of the move being accepted and it gives you an opportunity to determine pain points and cross any hurdles that the transferee may feel are insurmountable. Again, the quicker you address concerns, the better chance you have to keep your employees from seeking other opportunities.

Ultimately, timing is everything.  And a sense of humor. To help with this, I’ve written for you this special Halloween poem.

Happy Halloween!

Image courtesy of Kittisak /

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VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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