How Honest Communication Can Aid in the Employee Relocation Process
It wasn’t that long ago that a company would place a job posting in the local newspaper and wait for the resumes to pile up. Sure, it was great to find people that were in the same city, but many employers found their options were limited. The world seems a lot smaller today, companies now have access to a talent pool that’s no longer limited by geography.
More and more employment opportunities require either moving a current employee to a new location or hiring someone new who’s interested in relocating. Luckily, many millennial workers are already open to the idea of moving for work. Relocation is viewed as a way to both accelerate a millennial’s career and to embark on a personal adventure.
Every employee relocation is unique, each with their own goals and expenses. Regardless of the details, a successful employee relocation is one of the biggest expenses a company can undertake. The reality is, some fail, with a new employee wanting to move back home before their assignment ends. Is there a way to prevent this from ever happening? Unfortunately, no, there is nothing you can do to make every relocation work. Strong communication is by far the most important element there is to having a successful employee relocation. Here are some things that should be discussed with a relocating employee.
Paint a Realistic Picture
So, you’ve just interviewed an amazing candidate. They have checked off every box on the list and now it’s time to negotiate. When you’re excited, it can be very tempting to make bold promises about the relocation opportunity. Nothing can kill an employee relocation quicker than broken promises. Imagine the disappointment an employee experiences when the work opportunity is nothing like you promised, especially after they’ve uprooted their entire life.
An experienced relocation professional will paint a realistic picture of what the future holds. They are able to provide the assignee with information that can only be gained from helping others relocate. Even the best relocation opportunity will come with some negative elements, it’s important to be transparent and to not bury or downplay these unflattering details. The employee is going to find out the negative elements eventually, and it’s much better, to be honest, and warn the employee ahead of time.
Explaining all the flaws of a position is smart business. Sure, you may scare away some potential employees, but someone who’s still willing to accept the position after knowing all the facts is probably a really great fit. You’ll also create a sense of trust early in your relationship with your new employee, this is an important factor in any successful relocation.
Take into the Account the Needs of The Employee’s Partner
You cannot ask personal questions about a candidate’s family during the interview process, but it’s a very important factor during the relocation planning process. You need to place a high value on the needs of an employee’s partner and children. Our team of relocation professionals take the time to really understand the inner workings of an assignee’s family life and will build a strategy that works for everyone’s goals.
Be sure to include the partner in the relocation planning process and consider their respective desires. Remember, a relocating partner will probably be seeking new employment, helping them succeed in the job hunt will really improve the experience for everyone. We’ve found that the partner of an assignee is the one making many of the key decisions in the household and collaborating with them will make major choices much easier. An unhappy spouse is a sure-fire way to cause a relocation to fail, that’s why it’s important to build a relocation strategy with the entire family’s professional and personal needs in mind.
Spend the Time Educating the Employee on the Simple Things
The small things matter when planning a successful employee relocation and they can add up really quickly. Employees are generally expected to head to their new work fairly soon after the move, this creates a need to make a lot of decisions quickly.
It’s a good idea to map out the local grocery stores, gas stations, shopping malls, gyms, parks, and even pizza restaurants. These all may seem like little details in the beginning, but eventually, when added up they will be important factors in the relocation.
Having less stress is key and something as simple as where to take the dog for a walk can help a worker and their family go into autopilot on daily tasks. Everyone has unique needs, one family may be religious and want to live near a church, temple, or mosque; this may not be something that’s even on the radar for another family. An experienced relocation guide will take the time and learn about their clients and design a package that’s customized to suit their individual needs.
Help Assignees and Their Families Stay Connected to Home
The Internet and mobile technology make it easier than ever for relocating employees and families to stay connected to loved ones back home. Skype, Facetime and other video chat tools make instant video chat really easy. This connection to home is especially important in the early days of relocation.
Most overseas relocation packages will include money to purchase plane tickets back home, this may not be part of a domestic package. This can make it easy for the worker to plan a trip home for an event that’s important to them. Many feel a sense of comfort knowing that a trip back home is already planned, even if it’s months away.
Managing a successful employee relocation takes a combination of hard work, experience and communication. Make employees and their families feel empowered and confident by sharing both good and negative details about their upcoming relocation. It’s imperative to establish trust, especially during the early stages of a move.
At Welcomehome Relocations, we’ve been helping both companies and families of all sizes with employee relocations, both domestically and abroad. Our team of experienced relocation experts are there to walk everyone through the entire relocation process.
Have a question about your upcoming move? Contact us today!