You swore them off four years ago. “Never again,” you said.
Never say never.
The tables are turning and the Guaranteed Buyout is making a comeback beyond the most senior executives. It’s hard to imagine now but, before the recession, the GBO was common in many organizations. Back then, employees were concerned that the historic data used to determine price didn’t account for the appreciation that was driving values higher…almost daily. It wasn’t a big problem, however, because most houses sold quickly and at prices that were higher than the appraised offer. At the end of the day, everyone was happy. Sigh…we didn’t know how lucky we all were.
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?
At the end of 2012, we issued an EBook on the Top 10 Ways Relocation Programs Lost Money in 2012. It was well received. HR managers and relocation experts should consider ways to save money now that 2013 has started and there is still time before busy season starts in April. As a partner to HR, we want to help cut costs and will continue to work on new ways to streamline the relocation process, reduce redundancies and tighten overall program management.
Good morning, friends! It’s hard to believe, but we are rounding the corner towards 2013 already. In honor of year-end (and all of the budget conversations you are likely having), we have published a new relocation eBook. If you are wondering why we are blogging early this week, the answer is simple. We are just too excited to wait another day – we wanted to share it with you all now.
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.
With the economy still sputtering and the housing market in the dumps, companies are looking for ways to better manage relocation costs and risk. Lately, there has been much debate about which relocation policies are well suited towards the current market. Not surprisingly, fixed free programs have played a role in many of these conversations.
Not be a Debbie Downer, but we may need to think differently about long term relocation benefits as it’s unlikely that the housing market will rebound soon. Sure, there have been some signs of improvement, but the reality is that high unemployment, tight credit, foreclosures and shadow inventory are going to stand in the way of real growth for the next few years. But, that doesn’t mean we can, or should, stick our heads in the sand. Corporations still have a need to relocate talent and if we don’t change our way of thinking about relocation benefits, employees may not agree to relocate.
Not long ago a client asked me to explain the state of the relocation industry for the past 10 years so that she could have a better understanding of what her transferees – some of which have moved several times in the past decade – are going through. It’s an interesting, and loaded, question. So much has happened in the past decade that HR managers, employees and relocation partners are all suffering from an extreme case of whiplash.
It’s funny, but not in a ‘ha-ha’ sort of way. Whoever coined the phrase “cash is king” may have unknowingly perpetuated the notion that Money always leads to happiness. Or that Money is at least a cure-all, possibly the end-all and be-all, and maybe even the answer to all of life’s questions, great and small. The comical part is that this notion, coupled with a modicum of personal insecurities, lack of responsibility, financial deficiency and one-upmanship has led our economy into this downward spiral. But, in a glass-half-full sort of way, I think this is a good thing. We’re back to basics.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post on tried and true benefits that should be included in every relocation policy. The idea for that post came from a conversation I had with a client about how to include “recession-friendly” relocation services without sacrificing the staple benefits that have stood the test of time. It’s not easy, but if human resource and relocation managers can focus on the three most common services and resist knee-jerk reactions and exemptions, it is possible to avoid major sacrifices.