CapRelo Blog

June Relocation Survey

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Jun 22, 2017

Thinking about changing your relocation program or just curious about what other organizations are doing? Each month, we'll feature a short survey and share our findings along with the next survey the following month. Below are the results for last month's survey and this month's survey questions.

May Survey Results

1. Does your company use tiered relocation packages?

Yes: 43%
No: 57%

2. How does your company define relocation package tiers? (Choose all that apply)

Seniority: 29%
Salary: 14%
Job Title: 29%
All Three: 14%
Unsure: 0%
N/A: 43%
Other: 14% 

3. What motivated your company to develop tiered relocation packages? (Choose all that apply)

Ease of Administration: 0%
Faster Relocation Process: 14%
Easier Budgeting Strategies: 57%
Unsure: 0%
N/A: 43%
Other (please specify): 0%

 

This month's survey addresses Relocating Employees with Families.  

Topics: relocation packages, Family Relocation, global mobility

5 Steps to Ease the Transition to a New School

Posted by Amy Mergler on Fri, Jun 02, 2017

Portrait of smiling little school kids in school corridor.jpegRelocating for a job is not only challenging for the employee and their spouse, it can be especially hard on children, who are going to be nervous about their new home and starting over and making new friends at a new school.

Ideally, a relocation will take place during the summer so the children can start school on time with the rest of their class. But even if that's not the case, there are some steps that can be taken to make the transition to a new school easier on kids of any age.

5 Steps to Help Kids Start Off on the Right Foot at Their New School

  1. Take a tour of the school. Arrange an orientation visit prior to school starting to introduce the children to the school and teachers, if possible.
  2. Be open and honest with teachers and administrators. Your employee should be prepared to provide additional information about their children to educators in the new school that might not be contained in test scores or transcripts.
  3. Find out as much as possible about the school. What clubs are available? Is there a winning football team? The more information the employee has about the school, the more they can share with their children.
  4. Help them prepare. Above all else, school-age children want to fit in. Use the orientation visit to identify the basics in advance like clothing styles or favorite after-school hangouts. Get a list of supplies so children have everything they need on the first day.
  5. Be honest, but upbeat. The employee should answer any questions children have honestly, putting a positive spin on things when they can. If the answer is unknown, encourage the children to help in researching the answer.

Relocating Employees with Families

Topics: Family Relocation, employee relocation

Executive Relocation Packages: Anticipate Problems Before they Arise

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Aug 04, 2016

be-prepared.jpgThe key to a successful relocation may be seen as having a staff of skilled relocation specialists on hand to put out fires and handle circumstances as they arise. This is largely true. But if you want the real secret to pulling off a flawless relocation, the key is in anticipating problems before they occur.

Learn more about executive relocation packages in our free article.

The great news is you don’t have to be psychic to tune into what these things may be. You just have to be sympathetic to the fact that relocation, especially for executives with families, can be a daunting experience. Consider offering the following destination services in your relocation package:

Finding Good Schools

This requires a dedicated agent to perform in-depth research into the quality of schooling in the area where the employee and their family are to be relocated. Ultimately, school decisions are made by the parent – but all of the legwork can be done for them in advance and presented to them in a comprehensive report.

Spousal Support

Today, it's the rare family where one parent works and the other stays at home. When offering relocation to an employee with a working spouse, equal consideration should be given to that person's career choices in the new location. Research into the local job market should be performed and delivered to aid in the employee's decision to relocate.

Social Assistance

Uprooting a life can have significant consequences, including feeling cut off from friends and family. If that also extends to social and leisure interests, the relocated employees and their families may experience serious difficulty adjusting to their new environment. Providing information on personal or professional associations at the destination location can have a beneficial impact on that transition.

Places of Worship

People who attend churches, temples or mosques have a relationship with the leaders of these places of worship, was well as with the congregation. When offering relocation to any executive employee, it's imperative to remain sensitive to this fact by conducting thorough research on similar institutions in the destination city.

Don't Forget the Pets!

Most moving companies have rules against transporting live animals or plants, and still more aren't qualified to move expensive items like fine art. In these cases, alternative arrangements have to be available to accommodate relocating employees whose belongings include more than just boxes of clothing and furniture.

Executive Relocation Guide

Topics: Family Relocation, destination services, executive relocation package

Global Mobility Policies Must Reflect the Changing Face of the Family

Posted by Amy Mergler on Wed, May 11, 2016

paper-family.jpgNot that many years ago, companies planning on relocating their married employees had few concerns beyond helping the family move. Traditionally speaking, the “family” consisted of the employee (usually a man), his wife (usually non-working) and kids (and maybe a pet or two). Even if the employee’s wife had a job, it was expected she would relinquish it to follow her husband to his new location.

By 2016, much has changed in the relocation landscape: the presence of dual-career couples, broader definitions of what constitutes a “family” as well as “cultural clashes” caused by traditional norms bumping up against a company’s 21 st Century needs can be particularly troublesome for HR managers and others making relocation policy. How do companies strike a balance finding solutions that keep things running smoothly?

Learn more about relocating employees with families in our free article.

Accommodating the Needs of Dual-Career Families

Women have more opportunities for advancing careers than at any other time in history. Spouses who have moved ahead in careers are understandably reluctant to jump ship and tag along to the next destination. The result can be a “split-family” situation — where the transferee goes it alone and the spouse and family stay behind.

The Family Redefined

The family no longer consists of mom, dad and one or more kids. Single-parent families and other non-traditional families are on the rise, underscoring the need to be flexible in crafting relocation policies.

Relocating same-sex couples may face barriers to immigration or entry due to the refusal of some countries to recognize these partnerships. Personal safety concerns in unfriendly nations may also arise for same-sex unions.

One law firm reports that single parents face a different set of challenges: relocation may affect child support, visitation or other parental rights. Savvy managers may wish to enlist legal help in drafting policies to include and accommodate thee considerations.

The Last Word

If your company hasn’t reviewed its relocation policies lately, it may be time for some updating. Some companies have successfully accommodated employees’ families either in the form of a tiered plan or offering an assignee a choice in benefits. Building these family challenges into relocation policies will help smooth the transition for all concerned, as well as promote better employee retention and enhanced productivity in the new location.

Relocating Employees with Families

Topics: Family Relocation, global mobility

Trailing Spouse Syndrome

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Jun 30, 2015

Global MobilityEmployers often go to great lengths to acquire and retain top talent. They offer competitive compensation and benefits, flexible work arrangements and opportunities for advancement. And when an employee has to relocate internationally for a position, an employer will typically provide relocation services that can include anything from assistance in selling his home and finding a new one to household goods moving and car transportation. This relocation assistance can contribute significantly to reducing the employee’s stress level and accelerate a return to productivity.

Find out more about relocating employees with families in our free article.

However, when an employee has a spouse or partner also moving to the new location, that partner can experience challenges, especially if he or she doesn’t have a job lined up or a support system in the new location. According to Expat Info Desk, this phenomenon is typically referred to as “trailing spouse syndrome” and is characterized by one or more of the following:

  • Culture shock: Trailing spouses are more exposed to the new culture than their working partners, since they have to take care of everything with the household and, in the event there are children, schooling. Whereas the working partner usually functions in a more or less international environment where everybody shares one thing in common — the company — the trailing spouse has to manage all sorts of people and situations, ranging from landlords to veterinarians for house pets to shop attendants in stores and dentists for the family. Getting used to new customs while being responsible for the household and family can be extremely stressful for the trailing spouse.
  • Homesickness and isolation: With their jobs, families and friends usually left behind, trailing spouses can find themselves feeling homesick and isolated. Fortunately, modern technology makes it easier to stay in touch, yet it can still be very lonely for a trailing spouse trying to navigate life in a new country.
  • Depression and loss of focus: Especially when a trailing spouse has given up a job to accompany the employee, he or she can experience deep feelings of loss, which can in turn lead to depression. Having a profession gives people a sense of purpose: losing a job can take that purpose away. To complicate matters further, many countries don’t grant the trailing spouse a work permit, which makes it impossible for him or her to get a job.

Trailing spouse syndrome also has a significant impact on the relocating employee, because when the home situation is stressed, there’s a lack of stability. When the employee gets stressed, his or her work is likely to suffer. According to ExpatArrivals, it’s crucial for a trailing spouse to prepare for and take control of the relocation experience. And that’s where a global relocation management company (like CapRelo) can make all the difference. CapRelo can help, in some cases, arrange for a work permit for a trailing spouse; organize cultural and language training; and assist in building a social network. These kinds of services offer significant support for the trailing spouse and make settling in far easier — and that has a positive impact on the happiness and performance of the relocating employee.

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Topics: Family Relocation, relocating employees, trailing spouse syndrome,

Relocating Transferees and Their Families -- Special Considerations for Your Corporate Policy

Posted by Rick Bruce on Wed, Jan 29, 2014

You can develop a well-crafted relocation policy that reflects your corporate financial goals and complies with Federal tax regulations. It can promote successful relocations and assure a quick return to productivity for your transferee. Whatever the fine points of your corporate relocation policy, you also need to address the issues involved in relocating an entire family versus a single employee.

The costs you incur in relocating a family are often much greater than those required for a single transferee. Likewise, adequately supporting a family in their new location – especially if it is an international destination – incurs even greater costs. To avoid failed relocations and the loss of funds you've dedicated to the process, take a close look at your corporate policy with these suggestions in mind.

Issues to Consider in Family Relocations

To update an old expression: “A happy spouse makes a happy house.” When the transferee's spouse or partner or children find it difficult to adjust to their new environs and have trouble aligning with a new community or lifestyle – productivity suffers and the likelihood of success plummets.

A two-income family enjoying a particular standard of living at their old location often expects to continue with two incomes that support their established lifestyle at the new one. Yet even domestic relocations can pose employment challenges, especially when the relocation takes your transferee to a smaller community. While your transferee arrives at the new location with a job and a sense of purpose, the spouse may find him or herself feeling isolated and without meaningful employment to fill each week.

Your policy may want to consider spousal support services to prevent those situations. By including provisions in your policy for career coaching you can help a spouse or partner make educated decisions about job opportunities in the new location. These could include an assessment of career opportunities, data on local salary scales, networking strategies and similar help.

For transferees with children, it is the parents' role to help them accommodate to a new school and new environment. However your relocation policy can aid your transferee and spouse by making certain basic services available. These could be as simple as providing information on schools, neighborhoods and community services, including help with determining the availability of in-state tuition for college-bound children. Your policy could provide an area tour of the destination with an operator serving the relocation industry.

 

Download Our Free  Rental Services  Whitepaper

 

By helping your transferee and family deal with questions and concerns, your corporate relocation policy can reduce the possibility of a failed relocation and assure a quick and permanent return to full productivity.

Topics: relocation benefits, Family Relocation, Spousal assistance

Helping Children Make the Transition to a New School

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Thu, Dec 13, 2012

Relocating can be especially hard on children, who might be leaving the only friends they've ever known to be the new kid on the block and in school. Ideally, a relocation will take place during the summer so children can start in a new school with the rest of their class. But even if that's not the case, there are steps you can take to make the transition to a new school easier on kids of any age.

  1. Take children to tour the school prior to beginning. Arrange for an orientation visit prior to children starting school. They should be able to meet a few of their teachers. If school is already in session, see if students can sit in for a few hours before they actually move to town.
     
  2. Be open and honest with teachers and administrators. Test scores and transcripts only tell part of the story. Speak with teachers about any special needs or even special interests children have. Will your children be ahead of or behind their peers following the move, based on the curriculum from your current district compared to the new school? Are special-help or enrichment classes available to help children stay on par or stay challenged?
     
  3. Find out as much as you can about the school. Is there a winning football team? What clubs are available? Do freshman ever get the lead in the school play? The more information you have about the school, the more you can share with your children. If possible, attend a PTA meeting before moving so you can speak to other parents with children in the district.
     
  4. Help your child prepare. To a tween or teen, there's nothing worse than being the only kid buying lunch when everyone else brown-bags it. Above all else, school-age children want to fit in. Use the orientation visit or scouting trip to scope out the basics in advance, such as the typical clothing styles or favorite after-school hang-outs for older kids. Get a list of necessary supplies so children have everything they need for the first day.
     
  5. Be honest, but upbeat. Answer any questions honestly, putting a positive spin on things when you can. For instance: “There's no softball team, but you can try out for soccer. Or we can look for a community softball team to join.” If you don't know the answer to a question, encourage your child to help you find out, either by making phone calls or looking online.

Even very young children can sense your fear or apprehension about a move. It's okay to be honest and share your own concerns in an age-appropriate way. Then look at the bright side of the move. Sit down with children and help them make a list of everything you'll all enjoy in the new town, and all the good things you already know about the new school. 


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.

Topics: Family Relocation

Help for Spouses: Finding Work, Fitting In & Getting Back to Normal after the Relocation

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Thu, Dec 06, 2012

Sure, moving is stressful for top employees. But imagine how spouses feel settling into a new home while finding a new job, getting the kids enrolled in school, and maybe even making some new friends. During a relocation, the move seems to be about the relocating employee. But a truly stress-free corporate relocation is also stress-free for the relocating spouse.

The following tips will help relocating spouses get back in the swing of things, find a new job, and discover the “new normal” in their new hometown.

3 Tips to Find a Job

1. Get social-media savvy.

If your spouse is relocating, now is the time to update your resume, revamp your LinkedIn profile and “clean up” your social networking persona. Delete anything you wouldn't want prospective employers to see, from complaining about your current job to party pictures. Networking long-distance is easy and inexpensive when you use the Web.

2. Be prepared for virtual interviews during the job-hunting process.

The job search for relocating spouses should begin long before the change of address form is filed. With technology like OoVoo, Skype and conventional videoconferencing, there's no reason interviews can't begin before the move is complete. Job-hunting websites, Craigslist and industry-specific job sites are good places to begin, but don't stop there.

3. Pull out all stops on the job hunt.

Social media networking is just one way to begin your long-distance job hunt. Ask your relocating spouse if his employer offers headhunter services or has any referrals for you, official or unofficial. You'll be surprised at what you'll find out just by asking.

Fitting In and Getting Back to Normal

There’s more to life than work. The internet can also be a good resource for everything from social activities to finding the best coffee shops. Check out locally based forums designed for moms or dads or professionals in your industry. Make plans to meet up with some of the people you encounter online—just be sure to do it during the day, in a public place, and tell a close friend where you're going.

Spousal Support after a Relocation

As a relocating spouse, you understand how much stress your partner is under. He or she has something to prove, getting back to work in a timely manner to show employers the relocation costs were justifiable.

But don't be afraid to voice your needs, either. Whether it's a night out or the number for a good interior designer, communicate with your spouse about your needs, doubts and concerns. Be specific about whether you are “just venting” or would like a helping hand. And take heart. In no time, the final box will be unpacked and the whole family will feel at home.


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.

Topics: Family Relocation, employee relocation concerns

The Proper Way to Move Pets: Tips for Your Dog and Cat Owners

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Thu, Nov 29, 2012

A pet carrier may be the best solution for car rides, but if you’re moving a pet over long distances, you’ll have to look into other options. Pet owners relocating should first consider whether their dog or cat will be moved by land or air.

Tips for Driving with Pets

If the entire family is moving by car, you may bring Fido or Fluffy along for the ride, whether it's a trip across the state or across the country.

If you're driving a long distance with pets, make sure to get a pet carrier large enough that your dog or cat can stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably. The bottom should be lined with layers of absorbent material. Carry your pet, inside the carrier, within the vehicle, not in the trunk or cargo area. (The exception would be an SUV, where you can access the cargo space from inside the vehicle.) If you're not keeping your dog or cat in a carrier for the trip, make sure to lock all windows so your pet can't jump out of the moving vehicle. To prepare, take your pet on shorter trips to get him accustomed to the car before your move. If your pet is prone to motion sickness, talk to your vet about medication.

Plan on frequent stops when you're traveling with a dog or cat. Make sure your pet has a collar with a tag bearing your name and cell phone number in case he's lost in a rest area. Indoor cats may be reluctant to relieve themselves outside. Consider carrying a small tray and bag of kitty litter that you can fill and empty at the rest stop. Before you stop, make sure the rest area permits pets and find out whether or not dogs must be kept on a leash.

If you're planning an overnight stay en route, don't leave it to chance; make a hotel reservation in advance at an establishment that permits pets.

Tips for Flying with Pets

Flying with pets adds a host of additional costs and considerations. It's definitely cheaper to drive with a pet; you use the same amount of gas whether your dog or cat is with you or not. However, the hassles of driving long distance with a pet may outweigh the cost of a plane ticket. You can choose to drive and book a flight for your pet, or bring your pet on the plane with you.

Some airlines allow smaller pets in the cabin; cats and small dogs can fly with you if they fit in a carrier that slides under your seat. Other pets will fly in the cargo area of the plane. All carriers must be USDA (Department of Agriculture) and TSA-approved for flight.

As with moving by car, make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag. The carrier should not be locked, as airplane staff needs to have access to your pet.

Before You Move

Whether you fly or drive, find out what paperwork and licensing your pet will need in your new location. Some places may require:

  • Dog licenses
  • Proof of rabies shots (for dogs and cats)
  • Health certificates less than 10 days old, with inoculation records

Wherever we go, our furry friends go, too. Owning pets is shown to reduce stress, making them the perfect moving partners. Moving with pets is not easy, but it's worth it.


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.

Topics: Family Relocation, employee transfer

What To Expect When Relocating Employees with Families

Posted by Rick Bruce on Tue, Jun 19, 2012

family_discussion.jpgMoving employees to the best positions in the company where they can offer the most productivity may sometimes require you to have that employee relocated to a different office. Based on the complexity of the move, a job relocation means more than just having the employee pack up his things on Friday and expect him to be in the office come Monday morning.

Find out more about policy considerations when relocating employees with families in our free article.

Employee relocation involves having the employee follow the company's standard relocation policy. Why do you need a relocation policy? Because this policy has to state what the company shall do to compensate the employee on his moving expenses, since the expenses for an employee to move may be more than what the employee can handle financially on his own. There are also other considerations.

Sometimes your company will not only be relocating the employee, but also his family. Employees will take this into consideration when deciding whether to accept the job at all. Job relocation requires the employee to enroll their children into a new school, requires the spouse to locate a new job, and may require the employee to sell his old home and buy a new residence. All these tasks take time, money, and cause stress to the employee.

Having a thorough relocation policy and accompanying paperwork can assist in accounting for the expenses the company will handle on the employee's behalf for the move, and gives the employee a checklist of all the things that he needs to do to make the job relocation the easiest of transitions for himself and for his family. The expenses that the company and employee has to consider.

  • Packing expenses -- including storage of items, hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck
  • Listing and selling the employee's old home.
  • Travel expenses for house-hunting trips.
  • Temporary lodging and meals for the employee and his family while they locate a new home.

A relocation policy will state whether the employee will be paid a lump sum amount to cover moving expenses, or be reimbursed for the expenses that the employee pays out of his own pocket. It may also require working with a real estate agency concerning the sale of the employee's old home. If the house is listed for too long, a company must decide whether to purchase the home on the employee's behalf, since the employee is carrying mortgage payments for every month that the house goes unsold.

Understanding all the details of employee relocation while drafting job relocation policies, paperwork, and allocating reimbursed expenses can be tedious. If you are a growing company who is now moving employees to the best job positions, you need to have all the appropriate paperwork for your employee, take time to work with a real estate agency, and ensure the employee's expenses do not exceed what the company is willing to pay.

This is why it's important to consult with a corporate relocation firm. The firm can assess the employee's relocation, address the proper resources that need allocated, and meet with the real estate company. By having the corporate relocation firm handling these important steps, it can make employee relocation easier on the company, the employee and the employee's family.

Download The Low-Stress  Relocation Guide

 

Topics: Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, relocation process, Family Relocation, lump sum package

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