CapRelo Blog

Components of a Typical Relocation Package

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Sep 08, 2016

question-mark-box-2.jpgEmployers offer a variety of different relocation policies, but most fall into one of two primary categories, sometimes with identical components.

Organizations may have a single "one-size-fits-all" policy for all transferees, regardless of their status, title or time with the company. A second, popular policy is a tiered program, with benefits that vary with the employee's status, pay level or tenure.

For more information on developing relocation policies, download our free article.

Typical Relocation Package Components

While policy component may differ from company to company, there are features that are typically included in many corporate relocation packages.

  • Real estate assistance. This component includes funding house-hunting trips, providing access to experienced real estate agents and assisting employees in selling their existing homes. Employers may also choose to include home sale bonuses or financial contributions for employee losses when rapid sales are necessary.
  •  Temporary housing accommodations. Whether on house-hunting trips or awaiting permanent housing, employers often provide assistance to transferees in securing temporary housing accommodations. Short-term hotel stays are relatively easy for transferees to locate, but longer-term temporary housing may be more challenging to find in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Household goods moving. Organizing, packing and transporting household goods always pose challenges, stumbling blocks and logistical issues. Relocation professionals can smooth out this process to generate a coordinated, stress-free process of moving employees' personal items to a new community. If household goods must be stored for a period of time before a new home is available, relocation policies can provide for temporary storage of household goods.
  • Transportation to the new location. Most policies will include reimbursement for transporting the employee and his/her family to the new location. 
  • Miscellaneous expenses. Relocation inevitably generates other expenses that will fall into the "miscellaneous" category. Typically, a relocation policy will identify or cap eligible costs, and transferees will submit receipts for reimbursement.

Successful transfers depend on competitive, comprehensive relocation packages. Policies should be compliant with IRS regulations, and should also align with the organization's goals and objectives. Regardless of the type and number of relocation package components, policies that meet the needs of both the employer and employee will be most effective.

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Topics: relocation packages, standard relocation package, employee relocation concerns

Does Your Relocation Package Foster a Work-Life Balance?

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Aug 11, 2016

balance.jpgEmployees are continually striving for a better work-life balance. A 2015 Ernst & Young survey on work-life challenges across generations found that 33% of full-time employees globally believe it has gotten more difficult to manage work and family over the past five years. 

Learn more about developing attractive and effective relocation policies in our free guide.

An employee relocation can negatively impact the work-life balance. But an employee relocation package designed to facilitate a low-stress move can help. What are some things you can address in your policy to help ensure your transfer has a successful, low-stress relocation?

  • Offer scouting trips and tours designed to help relocating employees acclimate to their new environment.
  • If possible, offer flexibility during the move. Employees with families may prefer to wait until the end of the school year to make the move. Keeping the employees at your home office during that time will help save money on temporary housing and also reduce employee stress.
  • Connect with a corporate relocation management company with a broad network of supply chain partners who can assure the logistics of the moving day go smoothly. Packing and moving is stressful enough, but knowing the transport of the possessions is in good hand can provide some peace of mind.
  • Provide adequate paid time off following the move for unpacking and settling in.
  • Design relocation packages that minimize your employees' concern about the costs of the move.

Implementing a relocation package that respect transferees' work-life balance during a move will create happier employees, improve employee retention and ensure a faster return to full productivity.

Relocating Employees with Families

Topics: relocation packages, employee relocation concerns, work-life balance

What You Need to Know About Relocating Millennials

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, May 12, 2015

Millenials Moving

Millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—are far more interested in relocating for their careers than Generation X and Baby Boomer workers. In fact, Mary Lorenz, in her The Hiring Site article “Five Things You Might Not Know About Millennial Candidates,” cites a CareerBuilder and Inavero survey that showed that 83 percent of Millennials are willing to relocate for the right job that provides them with a higher salary or better advancement opportunities. Moreover, other sources show that 40 percent are even willing to move to a different country or continent!

Learn about developing relocation policies to attract top talent with our free guide. 

In addition to this willingness to relocate, it’s important to note that Millennials in general switch jobs more often than their predecessors. Jeanne Meister writes in her Forbes article titled “Job Hopping Is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare” that while the average duration of a professional engagement is 4.4 years, 91 percent of Millennials expect to move on to another position in less than 3 years.

When you combine these statistics, it becomes clear that Millennials are a highly mobile segment of the workforce. And with this generation rapidly becoming the largest group of workers, it’s clear that employers will increasingly encounter situations in which they need to relocate Millennial employees.

A Global Mindset and a Desire for Independence

It’s essential to understand that Millennials are far more independent than older generations. Social media has allowed them to develop a global mindset, enabling them to stay in touch with family and friends, no matter where they are in the world.

Additionally, having grown up in an era where information and services are readily available on the Internet, they’re accustomed to solving problems on their own. And this attitude generally applies to corporate relocation, too. Many Millennials believe they can coordinate their local, national or even international moves themselves. Yet however capable they are in many areas, it doesn’t mean they’re prepared to handle such an impactful life change without assistance. The employer, in the meantime, needs to ensure a good relocation experience in order to keep the employee happy, engaged and productive.

Striking the Right Balance

As Julie Cook Ramirez points out in her Human Resource Executive Online article titled “Generation Why Not,” employers need to strike the right balance between overseeing the move and allowing the transferee the flexibility to handle certain aspects him or herself. And this is where the role of a corporate relocation company like CapRelo is pivotal.

The relocation company needs to offer the necessary support and coaching in a manner that appeals to Millennials. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Be open to including the transferee in the decision making process.
  • Schedule an informational meeting up front in which expectations can be stated.
  • Utilizing technology, provide one central hub from which the transferee can instantly navigate to the specific aspects of the relocation process in his or her own time.

Investing in Relationships

Successful relocations enhance retention, helping companies keep top talent within their ranks. Additionally, Millennials will advance into senior decision-making positions, and the relationships they build now will likely be the ones they rely on later. So though adapting the relocation process to cater to Millennials will likely require some capital and effort, the investment promises to pay off both in the short and long-term.

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Topics: employee retention, relocating employees, employee relocation concerns, talent management, millennials

ROI on Sending Employees Abroad

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Mar 24, 2015

What’s happening with ROI?

ROI-Part-2-Adelante-Live-blogAccording to a survey conducted by KPMG Global Assignment Policies and Practices 72 percent of 600 international organizations used global mobility programs to reach their business objectives and remain competitive in the global marketplace.

However, only about 12 percent of the companies surveyed understood the need for controlling costs and what constituted a good ROI. In fact, almost 27 percent of those interviewed also admitted not even knowing the exact percentage of transferees who left the company after returning from an assignment. This demonstrates a critical need for better oversight, especially of those employees that make up non-traditional transfers, such as those on short-term engineering assignments.

To learn more about developing an international relocation policy, download our free article.

A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reported that only about 42 percent of the nearly 200 executives who participated believed they were getting a good return for their money. When one considers the fact that fewer than 10 percent of companies surveyed even measure their ROI, and fewer still are able to accurately put a number on the cost, there is the possibility that the return may be greater than they thought.

Generally, those positions generating revenue, such as a senior sales manager, can reasonably expect to offer a higher and faster return against a company’s relocation expenses than from someone in a lesser position.

Factors influencing ROI:

The PwC survey also reported that ROI can vary widely and is impacted by subjective factors including:

  • The type of work performed such as sales, engineering or product development
  • The transferee’s status within the company
  • The amount of risk involved in placing employees overseas, including oversight of permits, visas, tax liability and other concerns, particularly for employees not traditionally mobile, such as team of engineers to fix overseas equipment on a short-term (under six months) basis.
  • The inevitable hidden and often-overlooked costs, such as work permits, that contribute to the problems of cost control and benefits.
  • The expense of transferring an employee overseas is large – in many cases at least twice the employee’s salary – so most companies at least attempt to measure (often without much success) and control some of the expenses.

The takeaway

In spite of the variable returns, 85 percent of PwC respondents cited global mobility as important for the company’s growth with 89 percent indicating plans to continue relocating workers over the next two years. To improve ROI Peter Clarke of PwC and other experts recommend:

  • Improving oversight, especially since the trend seems to be to shorter assignments of less-traditional expat positions.
  • Selecting the right candidate for the assignment
  • Understanding what best motivates potential transferees: career development, especially for younger transferees, seems to be more motivating than a big package of financial perks.
  • Offering tiered systems, such the policies offered by FirstEnergy, to limit the highest costs to the executive salary levels, followed by professional, basic and new-hire plans.

As shown by the latest numbers of the when all parties involved are satisfied with the outcome of the relocation experience, everyone wins.

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Topics: employee relocation concerns, international relocation

Common Concerns Prior to Relocation and Ways to Offer Support

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Aug 26, 2014

Even though relocations can offer some amazing opportunities, they also bring up a wide range of concerns for employees. As an employer, if you take the time to understand and address these concerns, you’ll be in an excellent position to make your relocating employees feel more comfortable, confident and even excited about the process.

Real Estate

Issues surrounding real estate are some of the most common reasons that professionals worry about potential relocations. Many homeowners wonder how quickly they’ll be able to sell their home and whether they can find a suitable place to live in an unfamiliar location.

Fortunately, there are several practical solutions for real estate concerns, starting with giving your employees access to a real estate professional who can speed up the sale of a home. This step can give employees the freedom to explore a new city or town without worrying about their old house. If professionals are facing an especially challenging home sale situation, you can turn to loss-on-sale programs, incentive programs, and Buyer Value Options programs – all of which can help employees break free of their old homes, even in difficult markets.

Family

Many employees are worried about how the move might affect their family members, especially if they have spouses who will need to find new jobs or if they have school-age children. Along the same lines, some professionals are anxious about being able to make friends and join social groups in a new city or town.
orientation
There are numerous ways to address concerns about lifestyle and adjustment issues for employees and family members. One of the best places to start is with the orientation tour for employees and prospects. Instead of relying on the same standard introduction to a certain city or town, craft tailored trips and tours that hone in on each employee’s interests and provide an excellent first impression of the prospective city or town. Showing off top tourist attractions, scenic areas, restaurants and schools can quickly transform an employee’s concerns or indifference into excitement. You may want to extend the invitation for the tour to an employee’s entire family, so everyone can get on board and start looking forward to the move.

This type of support can even continue well after your employee has completed the relocation, and is now adjusting to being a new resident. Your company or your relocation service can provide support by recommending and organizing groups, events and mentorships. These services can all be customized to each employee’s needs, to ensure that even unique or unusual concerns and interests are addressed.

Taking the time to understand these concerns and offer support will not only set up your relocating employees for success, but it can positively influence your business as a whole. Your employees will spend less time worrying, allowing them to return to full productivity more quickly. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll boost employee satisfaction and attract higher quality talent, helping your business remain competitive and strong.

Relocating Employees with Families

Topics: employee relocation concerns

Avoiding Employee Turnover After A Relocation

Posted by CapRelo on Wed, Mar 26, 2014

Please enjoy our video, "How To Avoid Employee Turnover After A Relocation - CapRelo."


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Topics: employee retention, employee relocation concerns, talent management

Why Have a Corporate Relocation Package?

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Mar 04, 2014

For some HR professionals and employers, having a company relocation package may be a "trial and error" proposition. However, this is better than the typical results of having no written relocation plan at all. Why?

Having no relocation policy mandates HR and your transferee to negotiate every detail of a company-sponsored transfer to a new location. The workload on HR can be overwhelming. The results, for the employer and employee, come with no guarantees of satisfaction.

Competition for talent is another major reason for having a formal relocation package. If you compete with other employers in your industry for the same talent pool when seeking new employees or retaining current staff members, you must have a reasonable relocation program.

Candidates deciding about your company, often evaluate your relocation program as a factor in their ultimate decision. Current high-performing employees may also put heavy weight on the strength of your relocation package when deciding to stay with your company or seek employment elsewhere.

Without a formal corporate relocation program, your potential transferees may believe that an opportunity involving moving to a new location is a question of trust between the employee and the company. Neither HR nor the employee initially has a reference point to estimate the financial ramifications of a potential relocation.

If the employee owns a home or has a valid lease on his/her residence, the lack of a published relocation package can become convoluted. Senior management, along with the HR and Finance Departments, lose the benefits of a formal relocation policy, as every nuance of a move to a new location is fair game for discussion. Having a written relocation policy eliminates many of the numerous details and stress placed on transferees and HR when a relocation is scheduled.

Much of this pressure, anxiety and stress placed on HR is greatly reduced when you have a published relocation package, which impacts both HR and transferees. You've also probably heard the cliché, "The devil is in the details." This became a cliché because, throughout history, it's proved to be true.

For every important law, action plan or agreement that "went south," the number of failures related to the minutia, outweigh the failures attributed to the major components. Even a corporate relocation package lacking some primary features can salvage a needed employer transfer if the policy includes many of the details that potential transferees consider important.

For example, providing a transferee with reasonable reimbursement for one or two house hunting trips with the family is important to employees and rather easily cost-controlled by the employer. HR, or their professional relocation firm, may consider this a detail, but it could make the difference whether an employee accepts or rejects an otherwise lucrative relocation offer.

 

The Low-Stress  Relocation Guide

 

Having a corporate relocation plan, even if it needs minor or major "tweaking," is far superior to having no policy or package. Having a professional relocation firm administer the details provides even more freedom for HR to focus on their other responsibilities.

Topics: updating policy, corporate relocation program, employee relocation concerns

Supply Chain Management: Supplier Certification

Posted by George Herriage on Mon, Dec 23, 2013

Relocation is typically a detailed and complex task. To ensure successful employee relocations you must be comfortable with the quality and quality control of all suppliers involved in the process.

The number of suppliers in your supply chain depends on the volume of different features in your relocation policy. Whether you have a basic, no frills program or a complete relocation package with many “bells and whistles,” you must ensure that all components are quality suppliers.

Find out more about managing your relocation supplier network in our free article.

You should certify and approve your suppliers carefully. After certification, you then need to manage your supply chain just as diligently as your operations department manages its supply chain for products and services.

How to Certify Vendors

There is no cast in stone supplier certification method. You can create your own benchmarks and standards. However, there are some proven suggestions for your certification features:

  • Performance track record, both current and historical.
  • Existence of reasonable contract provisions.
  • Suppliers evidencing outstanding customer service—you and your company are their real customer, not the transferee.
  • Examine evidence of supplier financial stability to avoid money-generated internal vendor problems that spill over to their relocation services—which then morph into your company’s problems.
  • Price of services.

Supply Chain Management

It is imperative that you manage your relocation supply chain to maintain high quality services, even after you have certified your suppliers. While many things are outside of your direct control, managing your supply chain should include the following items, at a minimum:

  • Create or employ metrics that allow you to measure your suppliers’ performance in easy-to-understand results.
  • Rate the availability, knowledge, and expertise of your (and your transferees’) contact people assigned to your company.
  • Evaluate the consistency and “continuity” of multiple relocations for all components in your supply chain.
  • Rate the ease of working with and professionalism of your preferred suppliers.
  • Employ quality control procedures that help ensure the acceptable performance of your relocation program suppliers.
  • Establish an internal audit checklist to measure supplier performance.

This is not a “one size fits all” requirement. You should develop your own metrics and evaluation system for each supplier, since they perform different services. Just consider the difference between carriers transporting household goods versus the services of real estate brokers who help transferees find new homes.

You’ll need a different checklist to certify and manage your supply chain vendors. However, there is no must-include measurement tool list. You can create your quality control, certification, and supply chain management benchmarks however you want.

The only requirements: your standards must be measurable, and they must make sense to you and your company.

However you choose to certify your suppliers and whatever measurement standard you create, the task is an important one. The complexity and time needed to find, evaluate, and certify suppliers for your relocation package may point to using a qualified relocation company to save you the time to certify the various components of your policy.

Proven, professional relocation companies perform certification and supply chain management procedures for you. This saves HR time—and employer money. Whether you choose to make this a DIY project or simply choose a relocation firm, you will ensure a smooth, stress-free, successful relocation program.

How to Manage Your Relocation Supplier Network  

Topics: Service Level Agreement, Supply Chain Management, employee relocation concerns

Supply Chain Management - Carrier Selection

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Dec 03, 2013

When selecting van lines, or agents thereof, you should evaluate a number of top carriers to create a network of primary and secondary choices. Whether you self-administer or use a third-party relocation firm for your employee transfers and new hires, your company should be comfortable with the preferred group of moving van organizations.

Carrier Selection

Toy Truck FleetYour relocation policy no doubt provides for the moving and transportation of employees’ furniture and personal property. While it would be easier on you if all moving carriers were equal, they are not.

Use care when comparing and selecting carriers, as many are attached to national networks. Remember, selecting a carrier with a strong regional or national network means that you will work with their other affiliates at some point.

When analyzing carriers within these networks, you should also evaluate their network partners. Do they produce the same quality results as the carrier you prefer? If you question network partners’ quality control or any facet of their service menu, be sure you receive answers that sufficiently increase your comfort level.

Supply Chain Management of Carriers

Use a supply chain approach to evaluate carriers and relocation companies. You should be comfortable with the following factors, at a minimum.

  • The carriers’ financial stability.
    Be sure any recommended carriers are in strong financial condition, since a carrier in economic distress could pose serious problems to your relocation policy. Their D&B rating is a great place to start.

  • Check out the carriers’ safety record by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
    Your transferees should not have to agonize over the safety of their household goods and personal property. This is more than just an expression of empathy. Their transport safety problems will become your problems.

  • Verify that carriers have acceptable insurance coverage.
    This evaluation step is critical. Many carriers carry only minimal insurance coverage, vastly insufficient to cover most normal volume of household goods, or any valuable personal property. Still other carriers have insurance coverage in amounts that even cover property damage disasters.

  • If transport timeliness is vital for your company, examine their on-time delivery record.
    When you expect your transferee to report for work at the new location, you expect close to immediate productivity. Delayed household goods deliveries generate concern, apprehension and uncertainty, which could impact your transferees’ short term performance.

  • Relocation company supply chain integrity.
    If you outsource this function, your relocation management company must have a high-quality, reliable, and robust selection of preferred carriers.  Using a top relocation management company saves your company money and you administrative work.

Relocating employees can be simple or complex. It is important that you take all steps to ensure that your supply chain or your relocation company’s supply chain includes reliable carriers to safely transport transferees’ household goods. Should they cause accidental property damage, despite their efforts involving care, you need to know you—and they—are protected with sufficient valuation coverage.

Once you ensure your carriers or your relocation company’s carriers meet these criteria, you and your transferees will be more confident about avoiding transport problems. It’s worth your extra effort to evaluate carriers and relocation companies with a supply chain approach.

Free Article:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies

 

Topics: Service Level Agreement, Supply Chain Management, employee relocation concerns

Short Term Housing: The Benefits and When to Offer

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Jun 25, 2013

Short-term, temporary housing provisions should be a component in your employee relocation program. In some cases, your transferees may not need to activate this feature. However, when it is needed, short-term housing becomes a treasured feature for which your transferees will appreciate.

From an employer perspective, temporary housing benefits often result into high performing transferees at their new location. As a creative solution to a troubling problem, short-term housing is also cost effective for you and your transferees.

Transferee Benefits

  • Bridges the gap for employees unable to sell their current home before relocating.
  • Accelerates employee comfortability at the new workplace.
  • Removes a major concern--uncertainty--from stress levels.

Employer Benefits

  • Improves employee acceptance of company-requested relocation.
  • Increases competitive advantages when attracting new and/or retaining talented employees.
  • Offers effective cost control in two ways:
    • Activated only if needed, not required for every situation
    • Easy benefit to cap maximum reimbursement and time limit, e.g., up to six months of temporary housing.
  • "Temporary" and "Short-term." No long-term costly housing financial obligation.

When to Offer the Benefit

 Employers can stipulate the conditions under which short-term housing features are provided. In designing your corporate relocation policy, you can balance the cost versus the liberality of offering this feature to all transferees. Restricting this benefit solely to executives above a certain level can become counterproductive to retaining talented non-executive employees.

Short-term housing features leap to the forefront of importance when transferees face the following conditions:

  • Employee has a home on the market with by the transfer date.
  • Employee has an offer on current residence, but closing is not complete by the transfer date.
  • Transferee has purchased but not yet closed on the new property.
  • Transferee has closed on a new home but it is not ready for occupancy.
  • Employee has a family, which translates to inconvenience and extra employer cost of reimbursing for an acceptable hotel room(s) for more than a few days.

Important and Cost Effective Solution

Offering temporary housing solutions create a win-win result for both employers and transferees. Employee advantages include:

  • Having a 'home away from home' is more comfortable than being confined to a hotel room.
  • Eliminates transferee concerns for living options prior to finalizing the relocation.

Employer benefits include the following:

  • The performance curve compresses, allowing the employee to be immediately productive at the new location.
  • Eliminates employer uncertainty regarding when the transferee arrives at the new workplace.
  • Cost effective resolution to an otherwise major road block to employee relocation, as employer can negotiate a budget-friendly arrangement for short-term housing.

Having short-term housing features in your relocation policy generates the perception that your organization is professional and caring when dealing with new hires and valuable current employees.

 

Download Our Free  Rental Services  Whitepaper

 

Arranging for a clean, contemporary furnished apartment, condo or home for temporary housing generates happy, productive transferees. Your ability to manage the cost of this benefit is another significant plus. When you hope to attract or retain the best talent available, offering temporary housing solutions, when needed, identifies your company as an upper echelon employer in your competition for the most qualified employees you crave.

Topics: Temporary Housing, Short Term Housing, employee relocation concerns

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