CapRelo Blog

What You May Not Know About Lump-Sum Employee Relocation Packages

Posted by Amy Mergler on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

productivity.jpgThere's a lot to think about if your company is considering changing to a lump-sum employee relocation package rather than reimbursing moving expenses for relocating employees. Here are a few factors you may not have considered.

Employee satisfaction may be lower when employees are left to manage their own funds, as with a lump-sum relocation package. Employees hoping to save money (and pocket the difference) when they receive a lump-sum relocation package to pay for their moving expenses may end up unhappy with the service they receive if they shop by price for relocation service providers. This could result in a slower return to productivity as well as a lower employee retention rate following the move.

Learn more about lump-sum relocation packages by downloading our free guide.

Employees who are busy organizing and managing their move will not be fully focused on their job. Moving can be a stressful time. When employees are left to fend for themselves when selling their home, lining up household goods movers, and even finding a new place to live, their minds are not on their job. This could result in lost productivity.

A lump-sum employee relocation package may not save your company money in the long run. Letting employees manage their own move can result in relocation delays if a house won't sell, and can lead to lost productivity. While lump-sum packages save your company money in administrative costs and time, they may not represent the significant cost savings you believe, especially if employee relocation packages that reimburse expenses lead to all-around greater employee satisfaction and low-stress relocations.

We're not specifically advocating one type of program over another, but it's a good idea to evaluate your situation – or call on a relocation management company to help – if you are thinking of changing your employee relocation policy.

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Topics: employee retention, Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Relocation Services, relocating employees, relocation management company, executive relocation package, lump sum package

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

The Difficulty of Engaging and Retaining Employees Globally

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, Mar 31, 2015

23percentofworkersplantoleaveinfographiccopy

A 2015 financial article titled “Global organizations face looming crisis in engagement and retention of employees, according to Deloitte survey” states that 87 percent of business and HR leaders agree a lack of employee engagement is their primary concern.

What’s more, while the percentage of leaders who stated engagement was very important doubled from 26 to 50 percent from last year, an overwhelming 60 percent said they didn’t have specific processes to measure and enhance employee engagement.

Learn more about key ways to increase employee engagement in our free article.

These numbers are disturbing, especially when you consider that employees are most companies’ primary resource. A lack of engagement signals a lack of motivation and retention, resulting in reduced productivity, costly turnover and the inability to successfully and continuously expand business operations. ­

Moreover, according to Achieve Global’s report “Worldwide Trends in Employee Retention – How to keep your best employees in any market,” talent mobility is on the rise. In the United States alone, 23 percent of workers plan to leave their current jobs within the next 12 months. This level of attrition is concerning, especially since replacing employees is a lengthy, costly process.

And though many companies are streamlining their recruitment processes in order to minimize recruitment and return to productivity time, these types of measures can’t be effective without addressing the lack of employee engagement.

Obviously, for companies looking to enhance engagement and retention, it’s key to understand employees’ motivations for remaining satisfied with their jobs and their companies.

And this is where some interesting facts become clear. According to Towers Watson’s research, the factors that influence engagement include leadership’s sincere interest in employees’ wellbeing, a healthy work-life balance, flexible work arrangements and reasonable workloads. In other words, employees who feel supported by their companies’ leaders and whose jobs allow them a reasonable work-life balance are far more likely to be engaged than those who don’t.

Other factors that influence retention include a good understanding of a company’s goals and how a job contributes to those goals; a company’s public image; and empowerment (i.e. that management actively seeks out employees’ opinions in decisions that affect them).

When it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining top talent, employers around the world are advised to adapt their talent management strategies to better meet their employees’ expectations. Without taking this all-important step, employees are far more likely to look elsewhere when their job experience isn’t as good as expected.

Adjusting talent management strategies can involve a number of steps, including providing more transparency about the company, creating more flexible work arrangements and facilitating a more collaborative work environment.

Another aspect of enhancing engagement involves providing the best relocation experience possible for relocating employees. When talent feels supported by their companies during the demanding and often stressful time surrounding a relocation, they’re more likely to settle into their new positions smoothly. And that in turn greatly enhances the chances of them being engaged for the long term.

Of course, enhancing engagement and retention isn’t a process that happens overnight. By continuously staying abreast of talent trends and assessing why employees leave their companies, employers can gain the insights necessary to adapt their strategies to better engage and retain top talent.

Talent Management: Engagement Article

 

Topics: employee retention, talent retention, employee engagement, talent management

Employees Are Willing to Relocate for a Dream Job

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Mar 17, 2015

This way to your dream job

Why employees want to relocate

According to a study by the job website Monster, three-quarters of international workers, including about 48 percent of American respondents, were agreeable to being transferred if the “job of their dreams” was involved. While 23 percent wouldn’t accept a transfer for any reason, 32 percent of respondents would even be willing to move halfway around the world.

Find out more about developing relocation policies with our free guide. 

A breakdown of respondents from another study showed that 77 percent of workers who transferred during the previous year were pleased with the move, reporting benefits that include making a fresh start (30 percent), new experiences unavailable elsewhere (29 percent,) and higher earnings (27 percent).

Millennials making changes

Younger workers (dubbed "Millennials”) who are beginning their careers are more adventurous, flexible, and open to living and working in new locales and often see it as a necessary requirement for career promotions and development.

Millennials tend to be renters; therefore the relocation packages are less expensive than that of traditional expats.

Savvy organizations know that it’s important to get the ‘new hires’ off to a good start if a transfer is in the immediate offering, as this will color their experience with that company. As a result, many companies hiring younger workers are turning to offering less traditional, more flexible benefits packages for the newly hired transferees.

I win, you win

The flexible concept is working well for other transferees higher on the job ladder, as are tiered plans that offer fair relocation packages to employees at all levels. Twelve percent of companies surveyed in a 2013 employee mobility study, offer plans with basic or core benefits, covering final move costs, temporary housing, and house-hunting, with additional benefits – such as guaranteed home purchases or miscellaneous expenses – offered cafeteria-style as the transferee desires.

While the US economy is gradually improving, job markets in many areas are still extremely competitive, making the idea of looking elsewhere for work more attractive than ever. As a result, 44 percent of American workers indicated a willingness to relocate if the right job opportunity came along, according to a Career Builder study. In fact, 20 percent of workers who were laid off during the previous 12 months found new employment after relocating to a new state or city, according to the study.

On the flip side, there are also many employers who are willing to bring needed talent to their location, with 32 percent willing to pay relocation costs. Another 19 percent were willing to offer a smaller salary during the first year for a relocation signing bonus.

And the winner is...

The most popular city cited by potential transferees is London, followed by New York City, according to a recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group and The Network, a recruiting group participating in the study. Both cities offer a large foreign-born population (about 3 million each), and are both flourishing business centers.

Overall, though, the USA is still considered by workers worldwide, including those from developed economies, to be the most desirable country to relocate for work.

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Topics: employee retention, relocating employees, employee transfer, talent management

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

[Video] Writing Effective Employee Relocation Letters: 3 Tips

Posted by Brian D'Orazio on Tue, Feb 04, 2014

Are you looking for ways to write an effective employee relocation letter? What three simple tips should you know?

Please enjoy our video, "3 Tips for Writing Effective Employee Relocation Letters - CapRelo."

Topics: employee retention, Relocation Services, employee transfer, writing relocation offer letter, talent management

Anticipating Relocation's Hidden Costs

Posted by Joseph Torres on Tue, Nov 27, 2012

Most employers are aware of the many expenses associated with moving and transferring employees to new locations. Along with the major expenses, such as moving household goods, house hunting trips and, of course, the final move, there can be a flurry of smaller miscellaneous costs that often add up to large dollars.

However, there are also hidden costs that, in the longer term, could be even more expensive to employers. Employers who understand the effect of these hidden expenses can tailor their relocation policy to minimize these costs and risks.

Short-Term Employer Hidden Costs

  • Low initial productivity, caused by stress or fatigue
  • “Buyer's remorse," if the employee second guesses their relocation decision
  • Workplace production loss if the employee takes sick or personal days to get settled

Long-Term Employer Hidden Costs

  • Disengaged employee due to low morale or lack of job satisfaction
  • Poor fit with coworkers or management, generating workplace friction
  • Employee turnover if the transferee decides to seek other employment

Relocation stress can generate one or more of these short-term hidden employer costs and, sometimes, morph into long-term production declines. There is always some risk of a "poor fit" when companies transfer staff or make new hires. Should there be a lack of good chemistry the transferee might even leave the employer. The cost of turnover will be obvious if the transferee leaves the company. The cost of lost production can be burdensome, combined with the additional significant cost of advertising or contracting with recruiters, interviewing, and hiring a new employee.

The risk of relocation stress and potential turnover increases with downgrades in employer relocation programs. Minimizing employee stress reduces the potentially large hidden employer costs of relocating personnel. How can employers reduce the risk of employee relocation problems that generate hidden costs?

A Guide to  Relocation Costs

Employer Relocation Policy Provisions

  • Minimize the home selling issue by keeping or adding loss-on-sale reimbursements.
  • Use a professional, proven, experienced employee relocation firm to handle all moving details.
  • Make sure HR personnel fully understand the company relocation policy to eliminate employee misunderstanding.
  • Help employees find experienced relocation real estate agents in the new location.
  • Ensure the relocation policy is fair and equitable.
  • Instruct all HR and management staff to remain positive about the relocation policy and its benefits.

Minimizing employee stress reduces the hidden costs of relocation. Skeptical employers should consider the potential negative impact of hidden costs including low production, employee unhappiness, and turnover expenses. Employers who keep their relocation policy fair and competitive can deliver employees to the new workplace ready to produce.

Topics: employee retention, Corporate Relocation Costs, corporate relocation program, talent management

5 Tips for Helping Your Employees Settle into Their New Homes

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Tue, Nov 20, 2012

My Move logoToday's post is courtesy of MyMove.com, the resource for stress-free moving, which offers free checklists, reminders, tools, inside tips and deals to the 40 million people who move each year in the U.S. Visit MyMove.com today for help with your move.


As challenging as a corporate relocation may be for company owners and the HR staff, it's just as tough for employees. Focusing on doing a job in a new location while managing moving stress and settling into a new home is a lot to put on anyone’s plate.

Your relocation firm should have done a good job during scouting trips of showing relocating employees around the city or town and spotlighting the best aspects, from local shopping to the best restaurants. But employees may still be overwhelmed prior to a move, and scouting trips give employees a lot to take in during just a few days.

One key to a low-stress relocation is helping employees get comfortable in their new neighborhood.  Short of helping your employees unpack, here are five ways you can help:

1. Introduce them to other professionals.

Chances are, as a leader in your company, you've already scoped out the networking organizations and professional events. Invite your top talent to a fun event and introduce them to people you think they'd like.

2. Be flexible about time-off requests.

In dual-income families, someone has to stay home and wait for the cable guy. Offer flex-time, a few extra days off, or work-at-home days to recently relocated employees to make the post-move period less stressful. They'll return to full productivity faster and be happier during the transition. 

3. Organize an office lunch at a local restaurant.

Rather than telling your employees about the best places in town to eat, take them there. Or have the best pizza or Chinese food place deliver a mid-day feast...along with a stack of menus to hand out.

4. Treat employees and their spouses to a night out.

Relocating employees are often busy with unpacking and home decorating, but few would say “no” to box seats at a sporting event or an evening at one of the city's most exciting tourist attractions. A gesture like this costs just a small fraction of the total relocation budget and will foster good morale companywide.

5. Be there to answer questions.

The most important thing you can do as an employer following a corporate relocation is to let employees know you understand their situation and are here to help. A corporate relocation firm can work with your employees following their move to help them settle in, but there's nothing like a boss with an open-door policy to help create a stress-free work environment.

Even if your relocation company is conducting post-move interviews, check in with employees personally to see if they have any questions or concerns—about the moving process, the new office, their new neighborhood or even where to find the best Thai food in town. You might find that your employees can provide a wealth of information to help you settle in, too.

Topics: employee retention, relocation process, corporate relocation program, destination services, talent management

Who Are Home Buyers Today?

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Tue, Aug 28, 2012

Each year, the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey provides the latest demographics, preferences and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers. Highlights from the 2011 Characteristics of Home Buyers[1] can help you see the challenges your relocating employees face in the real estate market:

  • First-time home buyers make up 37% of the market, a drop from 50% in 2010.
  • Typical home buyers are 45 years old, a jump from 39 years old in 2010.
  • The 2010 median household income of buyers was $80,900. The median income was $62,400 among first time buyers and $96,600 among repeat buyers.
  • Married couples accounted for 64% of recent home buyers - the highest share since 2001. Eighteen percent of recent home buyers were single females - the lowest share since 2004.
  • Most home buyers searched for 12 weeks and viewed 12 homes before purchasing.
  • The typical For Sale by Owner home sold for $150,000 compared to $215,000 among agent-assisted home sales.
  • About half of home sellers traded up to a larger sized and higher priced home and 60% purchased a newer home.
  • Sixty one percent of recent sellers reported they reduced their asking price at least once and sold their homes for 95% of the listing price.

[1] National Association of REALTORS®, Economists' Outlook BLOG, July 11, 2012

Topics: employee retention, Home Buyers, employee transfer, talent management

Avoiding Employee Turnover After A Relocation

Posted by Chris Finckel on Wed, Jun 13, 2012

productivity.jpgEmployee turnover is a major cost for corporations. The average turnover rate in the United States is 24% per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While there are multiple reasons for employee turnover, one thing's for certain; turnover is more likely for relocated employees than ones fully embedded in the community. This fact makes retaining employees, during the relocation process, critical as a cost saving factor in the corporate plan. In addition, employees who are relocated are often strategically key to the organization.  Therefore retaining these strategically critical employees during the relocation process takes on an entirely new level of importance.

We discuss key ways to increase employee retention after a relocation in our free article.

The prime factor in retaining any employee is the employee's happiness with their job and the organization. Obviously this goes for regular and relocated employees. Listen to your employees, are they happy at work and at home? When deciding who to relocate, things become much easier when relocating employees who are happy at their jobs and happy with the organization. Today's employees expect a good work/life balance: management who collaborates and coaches instead of demands; a focus on results instead of rule-based rout work; a sense of personal meaning; and last--but far from least-- has access to the best tools and technology to work with. An employee who is satisfied in these maxims is far less likely to become an employee turnover statistic.

The old way of retaining employees after the relocation process was with the threat of having to pay back the relocation package costs should the employee leave the organization after being moved. While this tactic does have merit, it is far from ideal.  The best practice to prevent employee turnover during the relocation process is to be proactive in the employee's happiness rather than managing with threats of having to pay back the relocation package.

Best practices to prevent post-relocation employee turnover include the following easy to implement tactics:

Tactic 1 

Encourage the employee and his/her family to take a brief paid vacation to the new location. These "scouting" trips can pay off in spades by properly introducing the employee and family to their new home. Send the employee to local networking events, introduce the new co-workers, try to find out what the employee likes to do outside of work and match this interest up with a local co-worker with a similar interest. Don't forget the family, as you are not just moving the employee. Focus on work opportunities for the spouse and school choices for the children during these scouting trips.

Tactic 2 

Alleviate home sale fears. In today’s real estate environment, most employees have a fear of a large loss on their home should they be relocated. Home sale assistance and guarantees help temper this concern. Although, to the organization buying the home, if it doesn’t sell timely, can be very costly to the company. This is particularly true in declining real estate environments. Suggesting a property management company to the employee to lease the property in extreme circumstances can be one solution to alleviate home sale fears and does not burden the company with a depreciating asset.

Tactic 3 

Communicate frequently during and after the relocation process. The first few days after the move have been proven to be critical in employee retention. Provide a contact person or team for the relocated employee that can be accessed at all reasonable times. This communication can nip potential issues in the bud before they become major issues resulting in employee turnover.

Following these 3 tactics can keep your employees happy and productive both during and after the relocation process.

Download our Free White Paper: Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

  

Topics: employee retention, relocation benefits, talent management

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