Destination services are components of successful relocation programs and include a myriad of features. Whether you internally administer your relocation program or make life easier for your HR department by using a relocation firm, there is one overall objective that supersedes all others:
Helping your transferee and his/her family become settled in the new location and home as quickly and as stress-free as possible. The goal never changes.
Destination services successfully address some relocation realities that exist regardless of the size, complexity or market standing of your company. Accepting these realities helps you design and minimize potentially negative effects of these realities on your transferees and your company.
- Relocation programs include direct and indirect expenses, and sometimes hidden costs.
- Relocating offers opportunities for your employee and stress on their family
- Fear of the unknown—such as moving to an unfamiliar location—is a natural human emotion.
The faster employees become “comfortable” in their new location, the faster they return to high performing, productive employees.
The Two “Cs”
If your relocation policy addresses at least these two concerns, it will be efficient. The two considerations:
- Cost control. Just as senior management strives to control costs in all areas of company operations, relocation programs can achieve this goal in various ways. You can design policies that offer valuable features, but cap or control direct and indirect expenses.
- Competitiveness. Finding and keeping talented employees involves more than attractive salaries and bonus opportunities. Survey after survey indicates that employers offering pleasant workplaces, opportunities for employees to “shine,” expressions of staff appreciation, work-life balance considerations and valuing employee opinions and ideas, are more successful in attracting and retaining employees. Your relocation program must be similar to the policies offered by your competition for staff talent to maintain a “level playing field.”
Competitive Destination Service Menu
Destination services are one of the most important features of competitive relocation programs. The downside is minimal; the benefits are numerous. Your program need not be extravagant, but should address your transferees’ primary concerns. Consider including the following typical features in the destination service section of your relocation program.
- Home search assistance. Typically the most important transferee concern, this component can take multiple forms. At a minimum, match your transferee with relocation experienced real estate agents these professionals understand the time and monetary constraints on transferees and their employers. Reimbursing the transferee and spouse for one or two house hunting trips of specified duration relieves relocation stress and is budget-friendly.
- Help in finding an appropriate neighborhood. Finding acceptable neighborhoods is another stress-inducing transferee concern. Providing information, demographics and insider evaluations of neighborhood options is a stress-reducing and valuable destination service.
- School information for transferees with children. Provide reliable resources regarding public and private schools in the new location. Your selected real estate agent(s) can also provide the transferee with neighborhood and school information to quell transferee concerns or fears.
- Compensation and reimbursement amounts. To remain competitive, consider compensation and reimbursement adjustments when you relocate employees to a higher cost-of-living environment. This will strengthen your employer-employee bond and staff engagement level.
- Quality of life features. Cost-of-living is only one component of a person’s quality of life. A clean, professional workplace and the opportunity to maintain or improve the transferee’s previous quality of life deliver benefits to both employer (higher staff retention) and employee (personal and family satisfaction.)
These destination service features should form the foundation of your relocation policy. Depending on your transferee's situation, company goals, you can fine tune or add to these typical valuable features.
You’ll find that both new hires and current employees will relocate with less stress and a faster return to productivity and the as the employer, you will thoroughly reap the benefits of providing them with destination services that meet their needs.