Relocation letters have two primary purposes. Fortunately, you need not spend hours researching data or statistics to get the information you need to create a good relocation letter of understanding. The two major features of relocation letters accomplish these goals.
- Inform the employee or new hire about the terms of the relocation
- Motivate the transferee to have positive feelings about their new position and location.
A relocation letter essentially is part legal document and part enthusiastic communication. The more formal section states the specific terms of the new position, with expected start dates, along with basic pertinent details. The remainder should display the employer’s enthusiasm for the move and the employee's agreement to it.
What You Need to Know Before Writing the Letter
Understand the personality of the employeeWhile the employer relocation decision is its wish to improve company operations, the employee is the prime component. Treat a relocation letter as a one-to-one chat, not a company advertisement to the general public.
Knowing your employee’s personality helps you frame your communication in ways most meaningful and effective to the recipient.Achieving this goal is more challenging with a new hire, because you don’t really know his/her personality yet. However, a gracious and enthusiastic “welcome to the team” message should be well-received.
Restate the benefits of the new position and location.Although the employee has already agreed to take the new position and relocate, a brief reminder—in writing—of the benefits helps reinforce the employee’s decision. This simple statement or listing often re-ignites the employee’s motivation, eliminating any feelings of “buyer’s remorse” that may creep into the decision.Get the details of the transferee’s new duties and responsibilities.You need to know all changes to current employees’ responsibilities, along with specifics of their new position. At a minimum, you need to know the following items.
- The new job title.
- New or additional job duties and responsibility levels.
- Any duties the transferee no longer has.
- The new compensation and benefits if there are changes.
- Start date for the new position.
Thoroughly understand the relocation package offered.You need to reference your policy's standard features and exceptions, if any, in the program offered to the employee. You’ll need to clearly state the following items in the relocation letter.
- Those costs the employer will directly reimburse and caps or limitations thereto.
- Describe the procedure for submitting requests for reimbursement.
- Expand on critical relocation package features, such as home sale assistance.
Gathering this information before creating a relocation letter helps you fulfill the two primary goals. You will have provided a positive message to your transferee to reinforce the wisdom of the decision to accept the new position and relocation.
You will also fulfill your “legal” responsibility by incorporating the specifics of the relocation, including the details of the transferee’s new job and responsibilities, new compensation and the primary features of your company’s obligations to reimburse some or all costs of the move.
Getting this information in advance typically makes the writing of the actual relocation letter a fairly simple—and effective—exercise. Your employee will understand the terms of the relocation and your company will have a written document that eliminates most potential misunderstandings with the transferee.