Tips and advice for human resources on how to manage transferees through the relocation process.
Last 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.
There’s been a lot of talk about Millennials lately. Maybe it’s because we are right in the middle of grad season, but it seems that the conversation about Millennials is everywhere. And it hasn’t been very flattering.
Surely, we’ve all heard the stereotypes. Millennials are coddled. We need constant feedback. We have the attention span of goldfish and the work ethic of a sloth. Every one of us has a shelf full of trophies we received for doing nothing and most of us majored in underwater basket weaving. Some of us still live in our parents’ basements. None of us are capable of functioning in a society of adults.
It’s busy season. Do you know who your transferees are?
You cannot properly execute any relocation without knowing who you are moving. When busy season hits, you are no longer dealing with one or two transferees. Instead, you are dealing with whole groups of people, so the challenge is figuring out how to satisfy the majority.
When it comes to relocation, I think we all want the same thing: an employee that is happy, focused and engaged in their work at the new location. With the ever changing relocation environment and a less than ideal economy, however, many companies have made major cuts to policies offered to transferring employees. In addition to corporate changes, the same issues have led employees to evaluate relocation opportunities even more carefully than they have in the past. So, the question is, how can you design relocation policies to fit your company budget but also attract your necessary talent?
Relocation is far more complex than I ever thought it would be. Surely, the relocation benefits that HR offers to transferees at different levels (entry-level, new hire, senior management, etc.) are interesting, but lately I’ve been fascinated by how differently transferees across the generations approach relocation. It’s no secret that HR is still learning how to satisfy a multi-generational workforce – and relocation is definitely one piece of that puzzle. I certainly can’t speak for every generation, but as one of two Millennials here I’ve been curious about Gen Y in the workplace and how my peers view relocation opportunities. As it turns out, I agree with Human Resource Executive when they say Millennials are the best candidates for relocation. But, as with anything, relocating this group does come with its challenges.
It’s good for relocation managers to know, and understand the fact that the relocation inspection is often a sore spot among transferees. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise – home inspections are a sensitive topic for most homeowners – but given the high-stress combination of relocating for work AND selling a home, concerns are always intensified. In a relocation situation, transferee concerns focus on two primary areas: the cost of repairs and disclosing any negative findings to potential buyers.
When you’re moving a transferee and his or her family, what do you really want from the people who you have trusted to help them? Of course you want good information, guidance and services – these are the “must-haves” that any good relocation company should provide. But, when you consider what is going to make a difference in the lives of your transferees – and the success of your program – I would say that it’s critical to find people who genuinely care.
If you were to ask your transferees today what’s included in their relocation policy, do you think they would be able to answer the question? If the answer is yes, then good for you because you are doing something right! If the answer is no, then you are not alone. For a variety of reasons, many transferees don’t have a good grasp on their policy, let alone the relocation process. Most of the time it boils down to communication.