Flexible Mobility Programs
At CapRelo we have noted an interesting and consistent trend for long-term assignments to be replaced by a more agile and flexible approach. A recent survey showed that 45% of companies are using flexible programs, as opposed to traditional long-term assignments, and this is expected to continue. From conversations with clients we see this as a combined reaction to the changing realities of the future of work, the evolution of employee expectations, their desire to self-serve and the availability of remote working technology.
We further discussed with global mobility leaders and teams that there is a desire for simplicity and both the business and employees appreciate the simplicity of the lump sum model. We believe that along with business-level drivers to deliver cost reductions through technology, the popularity of the permanent transfer is likely to remain. However, by overly focusing on simplification, the benefits associated with the traditional long-term assignment are being lost.The initial success of this simplification and empowering the employee with choice over their relocation benefits can be later tempered by frustrations. This may include the need for further unplanned employee support, increasing future costs and employee retention/repeat assignments. With the increased willingness of employees to change careers more frequently, the role of the global mobility team remains vital to ensuring that the business is furnished with the relevant information to design and recommend an appropriate policy.
Currently, evidence is building to suggest that over-reliance on the permanent transfer approach, often with core-flex elements, is stretching the employee and support teams in new, unexpected ways. We see that this is starting to regularly negatively impact the employee experience and ultimately distract from the success of current and any future relocations. Unless this trend is checked, there is a danger of replacing the one-size-fits-all, long-term assignment policy with an equally ineffectual and restrictive alternative.
At CapRelo, our experienced customer services team are here to support the global mobility team to effectively communicate these trends and pitfalls.