CapRelo Blog

What is a Relocation Package & What Should it Include?

Posted by CapRelo on Wed, May 30, 2018

WHAT IS A RELOCATION PACKAGE?

When a company offers an employee long-term employment in a location more than 50 miles from the current work location, a company may offer a relocation package. This usually covers the employee’s reasonable moving and other work-related expenses. By offering transferees a relocation package, employers provide comprehensive financial and other types of assistance to relieve the employee and their family of the expensive burden of relocation. A well-developed relocation package not only provides peace of mind as well as incentive to accept the job offer for the transferring employee but reflects positively on the company’s reputation for attracting top talent.

relocation package helping with moving costs

 

Are Relocation Packages Common?

In years past, relocation assistance was offered almost exclusively to higher-level employees or specialized contractors. Today, with a more global economy and better-educated global workforce, the competition for the best talent is stronger than ever; consequently, smart companies are jumping on the relocation benefits bandwagon to attract and keep their best employees.

A recent survey by Atlas Van Lines reported an increase of 13 percent over a three-year period among companies offering relocation assistance. Companies are finally catching on to the fact that having a strong, attractive relocation package in place not only makes excellent business and branding sense, but has become a reality for those companies that wish to remain competitive.

Learn more about relocation packages in our free guide.

- HR PROFESSIONALS ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT RELOCATION-

Another recent survey by Worldwide ERC® indicated an upward trend in U.S. transfer volumes: a 4% increase in relocation for current employees and a 7% increase for new hires. And companies anticipated another increase in the next year 

- THE ROLE OF MILLENNIALS IN CORPORATE RELOCATION -

One thing that can be said for sure about this demographic group that is quickly taking over the workforce: they like to be on the go. Already having overtaken the Baby Boomers in the workforce, millennials are arguably the most technology- and travel-adept generation to ever show up on the scene.

Millennials are changing the face of workplaces around the world, as they demand work environments that not only acknowledge their contributions but also their need for flexibility and a good balance between work and private lives. In an Urban Bound study, a full 71 percent of millennials also expressed a desire to work abroad at some point in their careers – a fact that shouldn’t be lost on corporate recruiters.

- Relocation Packages and the Modern Workforce -

Relocation packages are increasingly becoming used not only as a way to keep in-house talent happy in the event of a transfer, but as an effective recruiting tool – particularly for globe-trotting millennials, who often relish the chance to travel and broaden their business and personal horizons. If companies find that they’re losing talent, especially as part of a transfer process, then a review of their relocation policies and strategies may be in order to keep up with the changing faces of the modern workforce.

searching for relocation package information

  

Components of the Average Relocation Package

The average job relocation package will include the following features. Please note that this is a more subjective, than objective, list. Depending on the industry and their competition’s relocation packages, employers can tailor their programs to offer the most competitive and attractive packages to attract and retain top talent. Many organizations either designate an in-house relocation manager to help oversee the move from beginning to end or, increasingly, turn this complex job over to a professional relocation management company. 

Successful assignments and transfers depend on competitive, comprehensive relocation packages. These should be compliant with IRS regulations, and should also align with the organization's goals and objectives. Regardless of the type and number of relocation package components, those that meet the needs of both the employer and employee will be most effective. Oftentimes, these components can be negotiated. But what are some of the features common to the average job relocation package?

Find more relocation package examples and features in our free guide.

  • Full pack and/or unpack services. The employee's household goods are packed by a moving company, saving the employee time and stress. After arriving at the new destination and home, moving company personnel unpack the household goods.
  • Quality moving company service with reasonable insurance coverage. Some moving companies are known for quality moves, some are not. Since moving charges are usually based on total weight, insurance for damaged or lost goods should be equal to your goods’ value.

  • Home sale or lease-breaking penalty assistance. Home sale help can come in a variety of ways, from company-sponsored reimbursement for money lost on quick home sales, professional marketing help to accelerate the timing of sales to the employer buying the home. Renters can expect employers to pay contractual penalties for early lease termination.

  • House-hunting trip, minimum one. Standard relocation programs commonly include at least one, preferably two, company-paid house hunting trips of short duration to give the transferee and family opportunities to find new homes. House-hunting expenses incurred in looking for a new home: transportation, lodging, meals and in some cases, childcare so the kids can stay home (and out of the way) while the parents can house-hunt in peace. (According to the Illinois-based search firm Witt Kiefer, companies are increasingly encouraging families with younger children to leave them home, and reimbursing them for the expense, while looking for a new house.)

  • Temporary housing. Standard relocations include at least 30 days of temporary housing for transferees.

  • Transportation, including auto moving, to the final destination. Most relocation packages include reimbursement for transporting your transferee and his/her family to the new location. If the transferee can travel by auto, reimbursing for mileage expenses is common. Should the move require plane or train transportation, standard packages often include reimbursing the cost of moving the transferee’s vehicle(s).

  • Miscellaneous expenses. As usual the “miscellaneous” category can encompass a lot of small costs. These can include driver’s license fees, pet registration and licenses, cleaning services at the new home, utility hook-ups and other move-related expenses. To keep this category cost controlled, identify or cap most eligible costs.

These are commonly included features of standard relocation packages, which we outline in our guideDepending on your industry and facility locations, there may be more features in the typical relocation package.

Popular features in a standard relocation program may also include:

  • temporary living expenses when transferees must meet hard deadlines to move
  • storage costs for household goods before employees can move into new homes
  • spousal employment assistance in the new location
  • childcare costs and elder help for transferees caring for elderly parents.
  • school location assistance for school-age children
  • a loss-on-sale allowance in the event your present home sells for less than its purchase price (not uncommon since the Great Recession)
  • trips home for those in longer-term temporary housing, usually limited to one every 30 days

Your typical relocation package may or may not include some or all of the noted features. However, in all cases, you should regularly compare your package with those of your competition. If your program is significantly deficient in some area, make senior management aware of the discrepancy, advising them to consider upgrades to keep your standard package equal to your competition’s packages.

While it can be true that the higher the level of an employee’s status within an organization, the more comprehensive and inclusive the job relocation package will be, more savvy companies are offering to underwrite relocation costs even for newer employees as a means of attracting and keeping their top talent. Each company has its own benefit structure and policies vary, so potential transferees need to understand from the outset what is and isn't included (but could be negotiable) to secure the best deal on job relocation packages.

what the average relocation package includes

 

What Kinds of Relocation Packages are Available?

There are almost as many types of relocation packages as there are employees needing the assistance and the companies that hire them. The company’s financial resources and situation, the length of employment, as well as whether the employee is a homeowner or renter also play roles in determining the size and coverage offered in a relocation package.

A core or typical relocation package usually covers the costs of moving and storing furnishings and other household goods, along with help selling an existing home and costs incurred house hunting, temporary housing if necessary and all travel costs by the employee and family to the new location.

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

Besides the coverage itself, there are a number of ways to administer the package:

  • Direct billing: The transferring company hires and directly pays for a moving company as well as costs involved in selling a current home and all other services needed to help relocate the employee and family.
  • Lump sum: A set amount of money is given directly to the employee to pay for moving and related expenses. For tax purposes, the government considers this as income and therefore taxable, so to offset tax liabilities, companies often reimburse for those in the form of a gross-up (link to gross-up blog post), which frees the full amount of cash for the move. Another possible drawback is that it may be difficult to correctly estimate the total costs up front, due to unexpected out-of-pocket expenditures. If a mover’s initial estimate is lower than the actual costs, for example, the employee may have to dig into their own pockets to cover the difference.
  • Reimbursement: The employee pays for everything up from and is reimbursed by the company after the move. This requires careful record keeping by the employee, including tracking all receipts for expenses. Additionally, employers will likely set a limit above which they will not reimburse.
  • Third-party (outsourced) relocation: In this scenario, all logistics related to moving, including real estate or rental expenses are outsourced to a third party that coordinates a comprehensive array of services. Some of these may include marketing and sale of an existing residence, spousal employment assistance, storage of household goods, if necessary, and rental assistance.
  • Expatriation assistance: This is additional relocation assistance used by multinational companies for employees relocating outside the country, beyond the typical moving and transport of household goods and real estate help. Covered benefits may include overseas trips to search for suitable housing and assistance with obtaining spousal work visas, finding and selecting schools for employees’ children and finding the way around a city in a foreign country. Language and cultural assimilation instruction offered through a relocation package serve to help the employees’ comfort zone and confidence by adjusting to the new culture and its customs.

Offering employees choices in relocation packages provides incentives for current and prospective employees to remain and pursue careers within a company. With competition among companies for top talent, offering attractive relocation packages is a win-win for both companies and employees.

the different types of relocation packages

 

WHO GETS A RELOCATION PACKAGE?

While it is becoming more common for new, junior-level employees to also be offered relocation opportunities, typically the higher the employee’s rank within the organization, the more extensive the covered expenses of a relocation package. A recent graduate just starting their career may have only the basic expenses of moving, while a vice president will often have additional services covered, such as child care while house hunting, as well as airfare and car rentals, lodging and meals for the employee and his/her spouse.

 

HOW ARE EXPENSES COVERED?

Assistance may consist of lump sum cash payments toward expenses, direct billing by the company for all moving expenses or reimbursement after up-front payment by the employee.

Relocation is an area where job candidates and new hires may have a bit more ground to negotiate, as it usually costs much less to move an employee than to pay a higher salary. In fact, a Worldwide ERC survey from 2015 reported that companies spent an average of $71,803 in 2014 to move newly hired homeowners and $23,766 to move newly hired renters.

 

Relocation Packages are good for both sides

Most companies want to save as much money as possible in the course of job transfers while still ensuring that the employees and their families are comfortable and ready to get to work as soon as they arrive in the new location. When used a recruiting tool, a strong relocation package can make a difference in attracting the best job candidates – a critical factor in remaining competitive in a global job market.

relocation packages help transferees

 Editor's note: This post was originally published on February 11, 2014, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 

Topics: relocation management services, corporate relocation program, standard relocation package, employee relocation

Corporate Relocation Policy: Relocation Tiers vs. Employee Status

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Jul 21, 2016

blocks-tiers.jpgIf you are in the process of creating a corporate relocation policy for the first time or restructuring your current policy, one of the questions you may consider is how to differentiate your employees in a tiered policy.

Find out more about how to save time and money by using tiered relocation packages in our free article.

Designing Tiered Relocation Packages

There are many variables to take into account when developing your company's tiered relocation packages. Start by deciding what kinds of candidates and current employees should receive the most extensive and valuable relocation packages and what types of employees should get the more basic level packages.

Your highest tier may apply to top-level executives. You could then create another tier for middle managers, followed by a base-line tier that applies to everyone else in the company. Examine your hiring practices and trends and decide whether you'd like to have an even more pared down level for new hires, or if you'd prefer to assign tiers to recruits based on the levels of their future positions.

Relocation Tiers vs. Employee Status

As you develop your tiers, it's also important to understand how those tiers differ from an employee's moving status. While a current or prospective employee's moving status can certainly influence which relocation tier they receive, the two are not interchangeable.

Moving status refers to the employee's needs during a relocation. For example, is the employee:

  • single or married?
  • a homeowner or a renter?
  • a new hire or current employee?

It can also address more specific circumstances, including whether the employee has children in school, pets that need transferred or elderly parents who require nursing care.

Relocation tiers are certainly related to an employee's status, but you shouldn't necessarily base them on moving status. Instead, you should base the tiers on the employee's standing, or prospective standing, within the company. Basing the tiers on the seniority, salary, job title – or a combination of all three – ensures that more extensive relocation packages are justified by an employee's current and future contributions to the company.

Whatever policy you put in place, you can prevent resentment among employees by maintaining consistency when determining which employees belong in each tier. While it's important to remain consistent with your initial offerings, make sure your relocation policies include enough flexibility for you to move up a tier as a negotiation tactic or for any special circumstances that may arise.

Save Time & Money Using Tiered Relocation Packages

Topics: Tiered relocation packages, Corporate Relocation Costs, corporate relocation program

What Do you Need to Know Before Writing a Relocation Letter?

Posted by Rick Bruce on Tue, Jun 07, 2016

Signing a letter.jpegRelocation 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.

Our free article can give you more information on how to write an employee relocation offer letter.

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

Know your employee.

While 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. By knowing your employees personally, you can communicate in ways more meaningful and effective. 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, reminding the employee of the benefits helps reinforce the employee’s decision and can help eliminate any feelings of “buyer’s remorse.” Make sure to get the details of the transferee’s new duties and responsibilities, you should know all the changes to the current employee's responsibilities. At minimum, you need to know the following:

  • 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 about accepting the new assignment. You will have also fulfilled your “legal” responsibility by incorporating the specifics of the relocation and the new job. By getting this information in advance it makes writing the relocation letter fairly simple. Not only will your employee understand the terms of the relocation, but your company will also have a written document that eliminates most potential misunderstandings with the transferee.
How to Write an Employee Relocation Letter

Topics: relocation management services, corporate relocation program, writing relocation offer letter

The Hidden Cost of Losing Key Talent During a Group Move

Posted by Rick Bruce on Thu, May 05, 2016

Office_Relocation-thumb_.jpgThere are many corporate relocation costs to consider before a group move. Typically, easily quantifiable, up-front corporate relocation expenses are foremost in the minds of management and HR staff. Rarely is the cost of losing key talent considered. 

Find out everything you need to know for an effective, low-stress relocation in our Low-Stress Relocation Guide.

Here are just a few of the added corporate relocation expenses you may face if your key talent refuses to make the group move:

  • Potential loss of intellectual property and human assets

  • Cost of key talent going to a competitor if a non-compete clause was not signed

  • Bad public relations if high-profile company leaders leave

  • Loss of company morale during and following the move when a company already in a state of flux loses well-respected personnel

Tangible Corporate Relocation Costs of Losing Key Executives

In addition to severance pay that has the potential to equal up to a year's salary for a top executive, there are other tangible costs associated with losing company leaders. These costs won't be considered part of your corporate relocation expenses because they'll be incurred after the company has settled into the new location. But if you are unable to keep the desired staff on board, you will find that these hidden expenses will add up. Even worse, these hidden costs are not tax deductible like some corporate relocation expenses.

  • The costs of hiring and training new employees, which can equal up to five times the amount of an executive's salary

  • Loss of productivity during ramp-up time with new employees

  • Potential corporate relocation expenses if you need to look outside your new region for talent

If your company is planning a group move, wouldn't you rather have your top performers make the move with you? 

The Low-Stress  Relocation Guide

Topics: talent retention, Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Corporate Relocation Costs, corporate relocation program, talent management

The Hidden Costs of Employee Relocation

Posted by Amy Mergler on Wed, Dec 23, 2015

100-dollar-question.jpgHidden costs can surface to cause problems at the worst possible time – often right in the middle of an employee’s relocation – and may even prevent a successful transfer. These hidden costs can be monetary in nature or can be in human terms, and may not be readily apparent.

Monetary costs are what usually come to mind when examining hidden costs, including things like utility reconnections in the new location, extra fees for transporting large items and local fluctuations in real estate values if selling a home or buying a new home. However, there are additional costs that may not be as obvious, but that can impact not only your company, but also your transferee.

Learn more about developing relocation policies with our free guide.

The Human Costs of Relocation

Human costs occur when the employee is forced to focus on the time-consuming logistics of coordinating a move, making them less effective and less productive at work.

While it may seem to make sense to save money by cutting back on relocation services and allowances, on closer examination, cutbacks to relocation or using lump-sum programs can result in increased employee confusion, resentment and stress. This, in turn, will have a negative impact on your company’s bottom line.

Your employee will have to spend time communicating with real estate agents and moving and mortgage companies, as well as doing the house-hunting legwork – much of which will need to be done during regular business hours. The more time your employee spends on moving logistics, and the unexpected expenses that a lump-sum plan may not cover, means they have less time and ability to focus on the work of training and transitioning into the new position.

If your employee has a family, there are many additional concerns that need to be addressed. For example, a move will disrupt a spouse’s career and the family income, and if there are school-age children the employee will need to investigate and locate good schools in the new area.

The stress of tackling all these tasks often leaves employees distracted, exhausted and more apt to miss project deadlines – ultimately costing the company more money due to lost productivity than it would get back from the relocation.

In some cases, an overwhelmed employee may give in to the frustration and expense of trying to juggle so much in a short time and decide to leave your company, which will leave you with the additional cost of hiring and training a replacement.

Developing a thorough and effective relocation program can minimize these stressful issues. Your program can provide for assisting a spouse with finding suitable employment in the new location – boosting morale as well as the family’s income. Additionally, the plan could also include provisions to help your employee find good area schools and deal with other settling-in concerns, keeping your employee’s distractions and stress levels down, which in turn save you time and money.

Relocating Employees with Families

Topics: Corporate Relocation Costs, corporate relocation program

3 Ways to Reduce Your Relocation Costs

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Dec 10, 2015

savings-resized-600.jpgCost cutting has become a way of life in the corporate world. When relocation costs are reduced, the bottom line increases. Relocation expenses can drain other resource spending. Cutting back and controlling these expenses – without compromising the relocating employees’ experience – should be the goal of every human resource department. Unfortunately for many companies, this goal remains an enigma. However, simple changes to the relocation policy can equate to substantial savings without compromising employee morale.

Find out more about developing relocation policies in our free article.

Set Clear Parameters in Your Relocation Policy

Policy ambiguities can result in additional costs for the company. Your relocation policy should be written in easy-to-understand, simple language. Take into consideration what is needed to facilitate a relocation smoothly and efficiently, without allowing wiggle room by the employee.

Put Expense Caps on Some Relocation Benefits

You would be surprised at how many companies ignore capping expenses like loss on sale. Loss on sale clauses for employees who own homes can be a major expense that should be capped. Many homeowners have experienced depreciation of their real estate assets. This makes loss reimbursements a major expense for relocating employees. Your relocation policy should clearly define a maximum amount that will be reimbursed. Additionally, it’s critical to consider capital improvements to the property when calculating its value.

Change the Way Relocation Expenses are Paid Out

If you’re currently using traditional expense reporting to reimburse employee expenses, you may want to consider if a lump sum payout method is best for your company. Numerous expense reports generated by the transferee will result in time and costs to review, approve and issue payment for each report. A lump-sum method may eliminate the headaches and costs involved with multiple expense reports and save your company money. There are a variety of types of lump sum programs. Take the time to research and evaluate if this kind of program would be beneficial to your company.

 

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Topics: Corporate Relocation Costs, corporate relocation program, loss-on-sale relocation policy

Making the Case for a Corporate Relocation Package

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Dec 03, 2015

For some HR professionals and employers, having a corporate relocation package may be a “trial and error” proposition. While this may not be ideal, it is better than the typical results seen if there is no written relocation plan at all. Why?

Learn more about developing relocation policies in our free guide.

Competition for Talent

tiered_relocation_agreements.jpgIf you compete with other employers in your industry for the same talent pool when recruiting new employees or retaining your current staff, having a competitive mobility program can be a strong negotiating point.

Candidates considering a job offer with your company often evaluate your mobility program as a factor in their final decision. Current high-performing employees may also take into account the strength of your relocation package when deciding to stay with your company or seek employment elsewhere.

Financial Considerations

Without a formal corporate mobility program, neither HR nor the employee initially has a reference point to estimate the financial ramifications of a potential relocation. When considering the financial impacts if the employee owns a home or has a valid lease on his/her residence, for example, every nuance of a move to a new location is fair game for discussion if you don’t have a published relocation policy. The policy will provide direction and guidance to address those details and will eliminate the stress placed on employees and HR when a relocation is scheduled.

Overloading Your HR Team

Having no mobility policy mandates that your HR team and relocating employee negotiate every detail of a company-sponsored transfer. The workload on HR can be overwhelming, and the results (for both the employer and employee) come with no guarantees of satisfaction. Much of the pressure, anxiety and stress placed on HR is greatly reduced when you have a published relocation package, which impacts not only HR, but your employees as well.

“The Devil is in the Details”

For every important law, action plan or agreement that failed, the number attributed to issues with the details outweighs those attributed to problems with the major components. Even a corporate relocation package that lacks some primary features can salvage a needed employee transfer if the policy includes some of the details that employees consider important.

For example, providing employees with reasonable reimbursement for one or two house-hunting trips with the family is important to them and rather easily cost-controlled by the employer. It may be considered a detail, but it could make the difference in whether an employee accepts or rejects an otherwise lucrative relocation offer.

 

Having a corporate mobility plan, even if it needs minor (or major) “tweaking,” is far superior to having no policy or package.

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Topics: relocation packages, corporate relocation program

Meet Heather Hudnall, Director of Global Services

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Oct 21, 2014

describe the imageWe recently sat down with Heather to learn more about her role at CapRelo and what she enjoys doing in her spare time.

What are your responsibilities as "Director of Global Services?"

The position was created based on a company need to manage our global business and provide global support to our clients. As the Director of Global Services, I am currently overseeing the domestic operations for the Walmart account, which consists of some global training programs, around 3,200 domestic moves a year, and another thousand or so associates requesting assistance with training programs.

I am also a liaison for our Walmart Canadian operations. CapRelo moves close to 250 associates a year within Canada, overseeing the full range of relocation services for those associates, including travel and expense management. 

How long have you been with CapRelo, and what is your favorite part about your position?

I joined in May 2008, so I have been with CapRelo for six years. With my current position I would have to say that learning new things about global relocation and the industry as a whole is my favorite part;  I love learning and stretching my abilities.

I look forward to assisting in the setup of operations for other programs we initiate.

What is your most memorable experience working for CapRelo?

The training and educational opportunities that CapRelo has afforded me have been outstanding.  From earning my CRP® to my GMS certification, the knowledge I have gained has helped me grow in my career. 

What do you do in your spare time, what are some of your interests?

In my spare time I love watching my children play soccer and swim. I love reading, yard work, going to the movies, and having date nights with my husband.

Topics: corporate relocation program, CapRelo Employees

Meet Our Director of Client Development, Angela Tan - CRP, GMS-T

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Sep 23, 2014

describe the imageWe recently sat down with Angela to learn more about her role at CapRelo and how she makes relocation easy for our clients and their transferring employees.


What are your responsibilities as Director of Client Development?

As Director of Client Development, my focus is on the client. My responsibilities include, but certainly are not limited to, program management, service delivery, and client specific policy and process improvement.

What have been some of your biggest challenges?

The challenge is continuing to assist clients in developing and improving their mobility program while preserving each client's unique culture and values.  How can we creatively customize the development process in a way that makes the experience even better for the client company's transferees, relocation team, and financial bottom-line?  I am constantly thinking about which qualities are unique to the client culture and business objectives, and how we can further those goals through the client’s mobility program.  I love that challenge.

How long have you been with CapRelo?

I joined CapRelo in 2008. Transitioning to a position with a new employer is always nerve wracking, but I quickly knew that it was the right fit.  Our value of client relationships goes well beyond contracts and agreements.  Sincere and meaningful commitment to client and transferee service delivery is a personal commitment within every department.  Lots of companies say it, but I actually witness it every day.

You recently received the Worldwide ERC Meritorious Service Award. What does that reward recognize and mean to you?

The Meritorious Service Award was an exciting one for me as it is based on service contributions to the Worldwide ERC - participating as a session panelist at ERC conferences, contributing to Mobility magazine,  serving on Worldwide ERC's YP40 Committee (Young Professionals under 40), and then leading as committee Chair.  These were tremendous opportunities for career development that allowed me to give back to the industry, represent CapRelo, and better service our clients.

When you’re not hard at work counseling relocating employees, what do you do for fun?

I am usually spending time with my husband and our 4 year old.  Like most people, we keep very full schedules. Never a weekend at home.  In fact, we recently began to calendar our “hang out” days.  We try to enjoy at least one day of rest and relaxation per month!  I am a born and raised California girl, so I am especially looking forward to the summer season - pool time and warm weather!

Topics: corporate relocation program, CapRelo Employees

Hidden Relocation Costs

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, May 13, 2014

‘Hidden costs’ can be defined as expenses, either monetary or in human terms, that are not readily apparent, but which can surface to cause problems at the worst possible time: often right in the middle of an employee’s relocation – and may even prevent a successful transfer.

Monetary costs are what usually come to mind, such as utility reconnections in the new location, extra fees for transporting large items, such as appliances, and the local fluctuations in real estate values if selling or purchasing a new home. However, there are additional costs that may not be so readily apparent but which can have devastating results for your company as well as to the transferee.

The human cost to employees and their companies occurs when the employee is forced to focus on the time-consuming logistics of coordinating a move; these employees will not be effective on their jobs and productivity will suffer.

At first it may seem to make sense to save money by cutting back on relocation services and allowances. On closer examination, cutbacks to relocation or with ‘lump-sum’ programs can result in increased employee confusion, resentment, and stress – all of which will have a negative impact your company’s bottom line.

The employee will now need to spend hours on the phone interviewing real estate agents, moving and mortgage companies, as well as doing the leg-work of house-hunting – much of which will be on your company’s time and dime. More employee time spent dealing with the moving logistics, as well as the unexpected expenses that a ‘lump sum’ plan may not cover, means the employee has less time and ability to focus on the work of training and transitioning into the new position.

Spousal employment concerns also need to be addressed – especially if he or she has already moved up their own career ladder and the move will disrupt a thriving career as well as family income. If there are school-age children, the employee will need to locate good nearby schools in the new area.

The stress of tackling all of these tasks often leaves employees distracted, exhausted and more apt to miss project deadlines - ultimately costing the company more money from lost productivity than it gets back from the relocation.

In some cases, the frustration and expense of trying to juggle so much in a short time can result in the overwhelmed employee giving up and quitting the company altogether – leaving you with having to hire and train a replacement.

A professional, experienced relocation firm can minimize these stressful issues by assisting a spouse with finding a suitable replacement – boosting morale as well as the family’s income. These firms can also help with finding good area schools and dealing with other settling-in concerns, allowing you and your employee to prepare for the new job by keeping distractions and stress levels down and productivity up, saving you time, money and everyone’s sanity.

Topics: Corporate Relocation Costs, corporate relocation program

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