In the simplest terms, employee relocation is when a company or business decides to transfer one or more of its employees to another location. The reasons for relocation can vary from career development to filling new positions in other locations. The move is also a strategic step to keep the employees’ fresh and competitive in the industry. The same physical office can sometimes prove to be a stagnant environment leveled with the same energy. Hence, shifting to another location comes with a lot of professional as well as personal benefits.
Key Considerations Before Relocation
While in professional terms, relocation of employees may bring career benefits, the process is often more complex than that. There are other factors for companies to consider before taking the giant leap. The most important being familial relationships. So, here are some points to bear in mind that can help companies create an efficient plan for relocating employees.
- Plan with Empathy:
Companies have a set goal to meet their vision and will do just about anything to get there. However, before delving into relocating employees, authorities must plan ethically to meet both ends at the same point and in the middle. Therefore, a professional policy must be kept in place along with a proper relocation program, including all of its particulars. The employees should be allowed enough time to read, think and suggest modifications to the company’s requirements. Until the agreement is signed, the employee can make suggestions.
- Outsourcing to Specialists
While the Human Resource department can work on the relocation of employees internally, sometimes it may fare better for both parties to outsource the task to a specialist. A specialist can streamline all the needs and requirements, encircling service providers and tax and legal aspects. Specialists also make more sense for companies having more than five relocations in a year.
- Familial Considerations
Personal information of the employee must be learned thoroughly by the employer. This step is essential because it can be a deal-breaker for the employee with the company if the relocation does not align with the needs of the family. Unprecedented situations in families always arise. Hence, it is crucial to note this point to stay on the positive side of the employee’s family.
- All Round Support
Asking your employee to move is a big thing. Therefore, as a company versed with physical and psychological well-being, it is essential to provide services to keep your employees out of stress. The transition can be a tough pill to swallow. Consistent support from the company for both the employee and the family will help them adapt to the changing environment.
- Be Patient:
Ample time is needed for a smooth and stress-free relocation. Therefore, companies must be prepared to give the employee space and time to settle in with the move instead of pushing ahead of their limits. After relocation, the employee will only be productive with a clear mind. Hence, it is all the more important to respect the employees’ space.
Parts of a Relocation Program
All relocating employees programs, be it domestic or international, come with a standard set of elements. Here are some of the essential elements included in all relocating packages:
- Moving Expenditure:
Besides being an element, covering moving expenses by the company is seen as an effective way of reducing stress on the employee. Therefore, complete reimbursements are offered to the latter to avoid any legal clash in the future as well. It is to note that companies are allowed to cap the allowance for moving expenses if it shoots too high. Agreements on the same must be made prior by both parties.
- Bonus Points:
Bonus points can be monetary or other incentives offered by the company. It is a strategy used to convince employees in accepting the deal. Site tours and covering cost-of-living are common incentives offered by most companies.
- Payback Policies
Both the company and employees need to understand the legalities of relocation. Therefore, a black and white copy of the agreement will justify the same if the employee backs out from the deal before the expiry date. Investments made by companies for relocation are massive. Hence, the only way to recover from losses is to recoup the money invested in the first place.
- Constant Family Support
While the employee is shifted to another location, an entire family is left behind. The company’s authorities must ensure that the family is given enough support with professional needs such as finding colleges, schools, or jobs. In addition to the above, the relocation can have a somewhat negative impact on the family if the employer shows no consideration whatsoever.
- Legal Agreements
Both parties must consider binding contracts and taxes for the relocation before jumping into the process. The legality of the documents is a must for any kind of relocation. Therefore, outsourcing, as mentioned earlier, may prove to be helpful for the employer after all.
Most relocation of employees happens when there is a need for talent in other locations. Therefore, these are good employees that are being relocated. On that note, it becomes an even crucial step for employers to ensure a smooth transition from one place to another whilst meeting the in-betweens with ease. However, after relocation, another essential point is retaining the employees in their new workplace and making them feel like a new home.
Companies must show enough support and appreciate the employee’s work without pressuring them too much. Having supportive management in the new location with full transparency will help the employee adapt to the environment faster. Employees must be made aware of the career opportunities, bonuses, and pay scale in the new location to build a chain of trust with the employers.
In case of personal emergencies, the employers must be ready to assist the family. The entire process is like the tip of an iceberg and must be closed accordingly by both the employer and employee until the end of the contract or term. Only then can a successful relocation of employees take place.