CapRelo Blog

Embracing Employee & Community Wellness

Posted by Barry Morris on Mon, Oct 15, 2018

Employee Wellness Team

According to Forbes, happy and healthy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees, and when it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 37%. At CapRelo, we're not only devoted to providing the best customer service to our clients, but also to doing right by our team.

Over the years, we have found it pays to take stock in our employees' personal well-being, as well as that of our community. Hosting on-site and off-site wellness and outreach initiatives makes it easier for employees to make better decisions in their own lives. Not only during our busiest seasons, but all year round, making sure folks take a few minutes to think about themselves through various programs is a priority.

CapRelo's Employee Wellness Programs

Employee wellness is best approached with a hands-on strategy. CapRelo publishes a monthly wellness newsletter distributed company-wide, as well as encouraging participation in a monthly wellness webinar series offered by Cigna. Some of the other workplace wellness and community outreach programs we offer include:

Stone Feather Catering1. On-site Farmer’s Market: Chef Pepper Owings of Stone Feather Farm is on-site at the Sterling, VA campus twice a month to offer healthy, organic alternatives to typical lunch options, as well as a variety of local and organic produce. 

2. Weight Watchers Meetings: With our second 2018 session now underway, our first Weight Watchers session was a great success with 28 employees participating and a total loss of 323.4 pounds.

3. Managing Diabetes: We partnered with a Registered Dietitian and Health Educator to develop on-demand training about diabetes prevention and management.

4. Wellness Passport:  CapRelo’s flagship benefit program invites employees to earn points by taking control of their health and offers many resources, discounts and chances to win gift cards and cash rewards, all while staying involved at work. 

Putting an emphasis on our employees' wellness leads to a happier work environment and, ultimately, a more successful company. 

Topics: employee benefits, employee engagement, employee wellness, community, employee productivity

Maternity and Paternity Leave Laws Around the World [2017]

Posted by CapRelo on Wed, Nov 29, 2017

Having a baby and welcoming that new life to the world is a joy for parents. But being able to step away from work to care for the baby can vary significantly depending on your job and where you live. Being that CapRelo is a global mobility company that helps companies and individuals relocate throughout the world, we wanted to take a look at the family leave laws on a global scale.



We felt this was particularly an important subject to cover as this impacts many families involved in the relocation process. Not only do these families have to adjust to their new surroundings, but they also have to adapt to new laws regarding maternity, paternity, and paternal leave, if applicable. For this study, we focused on the family leave laws in the 25 countries with the highest GDP as well as the members of the European Union in order to get a variety of countries throughout the globe. Information was taken from government websites, an ILO report, and WageIndicator.org.

Countries with the best family leave

Consider yourself lucky if you’re in the following countries that provide generous maternity policies: Australia, Poland, Bulgaria, and Sweden. For dads, paternity laws in these countries were some of the best in the world: Finland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Sweden, and Brazil.

Swedish parents are lucky in that they are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave when a child is born until the age of 8. During 390 days out of 480, they are entitled to 80 percent of their regular wages, and the remainder at a flat rate. Fathers in the Netherlands actively participate in “Papadag” (daddy day), which is a day off of their workweek during paternity leave to spend taking care of their children. The driving force behind this is to promote a better work-life balance and equality in parenthood.

In regards to pay, we were pleased to find that the majority of countries pay 100 percent (or close to) of the wages to the mother and father during their leave.

Countries lacking in family leave

Interestingly, many countries do not have laws that give significant leave time for mothers or fathers. This can be a difficult reality for parents. The United States, for instance, has one of the worst policies in that there is no mandated leave for mothers and fathers. With that being said, maternity and paternity leave is up to the employer's discretion which can be a positive or a negative.

One pattern that was fairly consistent was the lack of leave time for fathers. Paternity leave is almost always lower than maternity leave, but it was surprising to see how little some fathers actually get. According to our research, the following countries have no mandated paternity leave in place for fathers: Japan, Germany, India, Russia, Switzerland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Austria, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, and Slovakia. Some countries, such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Korea, and Indonesia, have below-average maternity leave laws.  

Takeaways

Overall, the statistics we found show that family leave laws can vary significantly throughout the world. It’s no secret that this is a passionate and important subject regardless of the country someone lives in. Mothers are almost always allowed longer leaves, but paternity leave has been growing in recent years. Even if you have little control over your next country of residence, it’s vital to understand these policies and take them into consideration. However, no matter the family leave laws, a new baby is a wonderful (if maybe stressful) thing for new parents.

Relocating Employees with Families

 

Topics: employee engagement, human resources, employee benefits

October Relocation Survey

Posted by Amy Mergler on Wed, Nov 01, 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 of the previous month's survey. 

Below are the results for last month's survey and this month's survey questions.

September Survey Results

1. Does your company have a core-flex talent mobility policy?

Yes: 42.9%
No: 57.1%
Don't Know: 0%

2. What motivated your company to use a core-flex policy? (Choose all that apply)

Cost Savings: 66.7% 
Customizable: 66.7%
Recruitment Tool: 33.3%
Exception Reduction: 0%
Unsure: 33.3%
Other (please specify): 0%

3. What challenges did your company face when developing your core-flex program? (Choose all that apply)

Determining precisely which benefits to offer: 66.7%
Balancing core and flexible benefits: 66.7%
Establishing reporting and metrics procedures: 0%
Ensuring consistency of policy application: 0%
Establishing streamlined processes to facilitate the implementation of the policy: 0%
Unsure: 66.7%
Other (please specify): 0%

 

This month's survey addresses employee engagement.  

 

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

Topics: relocation packages, employee relocation, employee engagement

The Best Cities for Jobs 2017

Posted by Jim Retzer on Thu, Aug 17, 2017

Mapping It Out Across North America

Summer can often be a good time for hiring with so many new college graduates on the job hunt. According to a recent job report, the unemployment rate in the United States is 4.3 percent, the lowest it has been since March 2001. There are jobs out there and people willing to work. But if you’re looking for a job in a specific field or industry, where is the best location to look?

At CapRelo, we wanted to take a look at some of the job opportunity hotspots throughout North America. As a global relocation company, we are always interested in the business landscape as a whole, what the best cities are for jobs, and who is hiring the most. So, we decided to look at the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the United States as well as the top five areas in Canada and Mexico in order to find out what industry has the most open jobs. To do this, we used data from LinkedIn (taken the first week of June) to look at job listings for each metropolitan area and then put together a map of our findings.

Talent Hotspots in North America

Overall, we were surprised by some of the results while other results were to be expected. For instance, it was not shocking to see that New York was the best city for jobs in 2017, with the most total open jobs, but specifically the highest number of financial jobs. It also made sense that Los Angeles is hiring in large numbers for construction. The city has a number of development projects going on, including in the downtown area where the LA Times says there hasn’t been that much construction since the 1920s.

One of the most surprising results was that Washington, D.C. was hiring the most information technology jobs in the country, ahead of markets like San Francisco, Seattle, and Austin. San Francisco and Seattle were numbers two and three, respectively, but Washington had thousands more open positions. Boston was another interesting result. Healthcare is their top hiring industry with just over 23,000 open positions. Digging a little deeper, healthcare jobs have been steadily rising since June 2016, adding about 20,000 jobs. Internationally, IT jobs were most in demand. It was the top industry in all five metropolitan areas in Canada, as well as Mexico City.

The business landscape is always shifting and those shifts have a variety of impacts on different cities and different regions. Currently, plenty of companies are hiring and unemployment is a level not seen in years. At CapRelo, we wanted to see which industries had a large number of open jobs in some of the largest metropolitan areas in North America, and present our readers with a list of the best cities for jobs and opportunities. Some results were surprising while some were not. However, taking a step back and looking at the overall hiring landscape helps give perspective to both employers and job seekers.

Talent Management: Engagement Article

Topics: employee engagement, talent management, talent retention, talent acquisition

A Look at the Biggest and Best Companies in the U.S.

Posted by Amy Mergler on Fri, Apr 07, 2017

In business, it’s important to keep up-to-date on the country’s economic landscape. An improving economy and the addition of new jobs have prompted us to investigate some of the top employers across the country.

Our investigation examined  employers in two categories: Largest Employers (based on the number of employees) and Best Places to Work (based on Glassdoor rankings and reviews). It was interesting to see which companies made the lists.

Largest Employers

First, we looked at the largest employers in each state and found that they were most often university systems or “big box” retailers. So, instead, we took a different approach and looked for the largest company headquartered in each state based on the total number of employees worldwide.

Largest Company by State

Using this approach, we could see where some of the largest brands, not only in the United States but around the globe, chose to locate their base of operations. Some of the most well-known brands immediately stood out, such as UPS, AT&T and Starbucks. But it was a surprise to see a large state like Florida have a lesser-known company like Jabil Circuit as a top employer (the company has more than 175,000 employees worldwide). It was also interesting to see who lead in smaller states, like Hawaiian Airlines in Hawaii (6,100+ employees).

Best Places to Work

Next, we explored the best-rated employers across the country. To map this out, we researched information on Glassdoor to find the 50 Best Places to work in North America. Forty-nine of the top companies are located in the United States, while one, Lululemon, is headquartered in Canada.

Top 50 Best Places to Work


California led the way, with 17 California-based companies making the top 50. Many are tech companies and household names like Apple, Facebook, Google and Aibnb. With Silicon Valley and the Bay Area attracting top talent, it’s no surprise to see so many tech companies based in the state.

In addition to technology companies, a number of restaurant and grocery store chains made the national list. Trader Joe’s (CA), Wegmans (NY), H-E-B (TX) and Costco (WA) all appeared on the list of great places to work. Two quick-serve restaurants joined the top 50 list – In-N-Out Burger (CA) and Raising Cane’s (LA). We found it particularly interesting to find these six companies reviewed as some of the top workplaces because quick-serve and retail work is not often seen as glamorous.

Overall, we found only one company on both lists – FedEx, based in Tennessee.

It’s sometimes good to look at the big picture when you’re examining the biggest and best companies in North America. In this case, it was eye-opening to see how states compare when it comes to employers. Every state is unique, and the companies on these lists add to their individuality.

Talent Management: Engagement Article

 

Topics: employee engagement, talent management, talent retention

Relocation is a Key Factor in Making Millennial Employees Happy

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Dec 17, 2015

Millennials' Rising Expectations

staff-resized-600.jpgMillennial workers, defined as those born after 1980, are graduating from college and ready to take on the world – literally. According to a Pew Research study, millennials are expected to comprise 37 percent of the workforce in the U.S., which will grow as Boomers retire. Because they have grown up with digital media, the world of the millennials is wider than that of their parents. Consequently, they have developed a global mindset that is reflected in their choice of career paths as well as the need for balance in work and personal life.

Learn more about developing relocation policies in our free guide.

Unlike their grandparents or even parents, most millennials see career travel as a given, seldom staying in one job for more than two or three years, especially if few opportunities exist for relocation and career growth. On the other hand, millennials also value personal growth, balance and meaningful work in addition to career advancement. To successfully manage workers of this generation requires an understanding of what millennials need and want.

Millennials Often Delay Marriage While Establishing Careers

Millennials are more likely than their parents or older siblings to delay marriage and family to establish themselves in a career first, one which preferably includes travel and all of its career-supporting, culturally enriching benefits. Lack of family and other external "baggage" often gives them the freedom to pick and choose plum assignments without worries about spousal employment, quality school availability or other concerns and restrictions often experienced by employees with families. Once millennials do marry and settle down, however, they insist on a work environment that allows a balance of work and family.

Until recently, relocation was usually considered an "earned right" reserved for higher-ranking executives. Millennials believe that organizations intent on keeping their loyalty should offer them the chance to experience other locations and cultures as part of their employment experience.

What Do Millennials Want at Work?

A characteristic of millennials is authenticity in their work as well as personal lives, reports a Bentley University study, with most refusing to compromise values. This includes a willingness to leave companies whose work demands restrict their ability to live an authentic life aligned with their values, including a healthier balance of work and leisure than that experienced by their parents. Pew Research Center studies confirm that many millennials preferred fulfilling careers, where they are valued and enjoy what they do, to high salaries. (Benefits, however, did rank highest in millennials' corporate "wish lists.")

Far from rejecting the corporate world, over 72 percent of millennials surveyed in the Bentley study would enjoy working with a large company; 48 percent of responders also reported that they want to be loyal and would prefer to work for no more than two companies over the course of their careers. The good news is that companies offering great benefits, including travel as well as flexibility, balance and purposeful work should find it easier to keep their millennial workers productive and happy.

Talent Management: Engagement Article

 

 

Topics: talent retention, employee engagement, talent management, millennials

Five Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Apr 14, 2015

employeedisengagementinfographic

Employee engagement is a key driver of business success. According to a report by Harvard Business Review titled “The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance,” a workforce that’s highly engaged with its employer improves productivity, maximizes human capital and reduces turnover, thereby positively impacting a company’s bottom line. A disengaged workforce, however, can contribute to low productivity and increased attrition. In fact, according to Gallup’s 2013 report “State of the American Workplace,” disengagement costs U.S. companies between $450 and $550 billion each year.

Learn more about how to increase employee engagement with our free article.

So it’s no surprise that organizations around the globe are looking for methods to enhance how engaged their people are. Here are five ways to improve employee engagement:

  1. Clearly communicate corporate goals and achievements. Companies whose leadership provides information and insights into business objectives, company policies, and corporate achievements are more likely to engage their employees that those that don’t. In the Entrepreneur article “Richard Branson on Increasing Employee Engagement,” Branson states that at Virgin, management informs workers about what the company’s doing and why by means of internal newsletters.

  2. Provide transparency as to how employees’ performance contributes to overall business goals. Employees want to feel valued, and a large part of this is tied in with how much their individual efforts and performance contribute to company-wide goals. By recognizing high performers and encouraging employees to understand their role in the bigger picture, companies can make them feel more engaged.

  3. Listen to employee feedback to determine satisfaction levels. Harvard Business Review advises getting employee feedback by means of employee satisfaction surveys that are carefully designed to yield information about what is and isn’t working in the company. It’s optimal if the surveys can provide specific, actionable data that can guide company policy.In short, they should enable management to work with employees to pinpoint obstacles to engagement and come up with ways to overcome those obstacles.

  4. Employ good managers. The role of frontline managers is key in employee engagement. Managers who know how to develop their teams, encourage them to excel and help them advance their careers are far more likely to establish a connection with employees than those who don’t. This means that frontline managers also need the support of their companies’ leadership in order to help their people become effective.

  5. Empower employees. Employees who feel supported, who have the tools to do their jobs and who are offered training and development opportunities, are far more likely to feel engaged than those who don’t. By offering employees ways to grow within their jobs and with the company, employers demonstrate their trust in their people, as well as how much they want them to succeed.

Enhancing employee engagement is an ongoing process. It requires unbiased information about employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction, as well as the ability to analyze that information and adapt or create company policies accordingly. But when you consider that employee engagement is one of the greatest drivers of business success, spending the time and effort on improving engagement strategies is well worth it.

 

Download our Free White Paper: Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

Topics: talent management, employee engagement

Why CEOs are Worried About Talent Management

Posted by Shirien Elamawy on Tue, Apr 07, 2015

talentmanagementinfographic.jpg

In a recent Harvard Business Review article titled “The 3 Things CEOs Worry About the Most,”talent management issues were cited as the number one concern for 16 out of 24 CEOs. It’s no secret that many organizations are struggling to attract and retain the talent they need to grow their operations.

With the labor landscape changing due to an evolving workforce that consists of an increasingly large number of non-traditional workers such as independent contractors and other contingent talent, employers have to determine where to source their talent to best meet their company’s objectives. At the same time, the manner in which work is performed is changing, with automation and technology having a significant impact on the types of skills needed in the workplace.

Learn more about increasing employee engagement with our free article. 

So what are some of the talent management issues CEOs are concerned about?

  • The skills gap. Finding qualified workers remains a problem for companies. According to research by Manpower, in 2014, 40 percent of employers reported difficulties in filling open positions and 56 percent of companies agreed that a lack of talent had a medium to high impact on their business functioning. The skills gap has a number of reasons:
    • A large number of experienced Baby Boomer workers are set to leave the workforce, taking their knowledge and expertise with them.
    • Entry-level and mid-career workers don’t yet have the skills necessary to fill more senior positions.
    • The rate at which technology is evolving makes it difficult for employees to keep up; even educational institutes are having a hard time ensuring the skills they teach don’t become obsolete within a few years.
    • Geographic disparities in education and occupational experience make it difficult to find qualified workers in certain regions.
  • Cultural fit. Companies that are poised to grow quickly oftentimes prioritize skill sets over cultural fit. Though this is a logical choice, when employees fill outward facing positions, cultural fit can be as important as possessing the right qualifications. At the same time, an employee who isn’t a good cultural fit can face more challenges functioning in a company and ultimately leave, costing the company thousands of dollars to search for a replacement.
  • Career advancement. Some CEOs are concerned about whether their high-potential employees are being adequately supported in their professional development. Companies need clear career paths and sufficient support for those employees who are aspirational and possess the ability to advance beyond their current positions.
  • Global mobility. With an increasingly global marketplace, more and more companies have a footprint in other countries. Creating a mobile workforce with top talent who are willing to relocate for the right opportunity is a challenge for many CEOs. The good news is, organizations that use a corporate relocation company like CapRelo can significantly enhance the success rate of their global assignees by providing them with the assistance and support they need to navigate international moves. With help for everything from packing household goods and relocating pets to locating schools and language classes, talent are far more likely to have a positive overseas experience. And that increases the chances they’ll act as ambassadors for their companies’ global policies by speaking out in favor of international assignments.
  • Talent pipelines. Companies with an established talent pipeline are concerned with ensuring those pipelines can provide a continuous flow of talent for the long term.

Considering these factors, it’s understandable that CEOs are concerned about talent. Yet the most important thing to understand is that in an evolving labor landscape, talent strategies need to be flexible. By remaining flexible, employers will be better equipped to incorporate any changes or developments that could further impact their talent management strategies.

 

Download our Free White Paper: Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

 

Topics: talent management, employee engagement

The Difficulty of Engaging and Retaining Employees Globally

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, Mar 31, 2015

23percentofworkersplantoleaveinfographiccopy

A 2015 financial article titled “Global organizations face looming crisis in engagement and retention of employees, according to Deloitte survey” states that 87 percent of business and HR leaders agree a lack of employee engagement is their primary concern.

What’s more, while the percentage of leaders who stated engagement was very important doubled from 26 to 50 percent from last year, an overwhelming 60 percent said they didn’t have specific processes to measure and enhance employee engagement.

Learn more about key ways to increase employee engagement in our free article.

These numbers are disturbing, especially when you consider that employees are most companies’ primary resource. A lack of engagement signals a lack of motivation and retention, resulting in reduced productivity, costly turnover and the inability to successfully and continuously expand business operations. ­

Moreover, according to Achieve Global’s report “Worldwide Trends in Employee Retention – How to keep your best employees in any market,” talent mobility is on the rise. In the United States alone, 23 percent of workers plan to leave their current jobs within the next 12 months. This level of attrition is concerning, especially since replacing employees is a lengthy, costly process.

And though many companies are streamlining their recruitment processes in order to minimize recruitment and return to productivity time, these types of measures can’t be effective without addressing the lack of employee engagement.

Obviously, for companies looking to enhance engagement and retention, it’s key to understand employees’ motivations for remaining satisfied with their jobs and their companies.

And this is where some interesting facts become clear. According to Towers Watson’s research, the factors that influence engagement include leadership’s sincere interest in employees’ wellbeing, a healthy work-life balance, flexible work arrangements and reasonable workloads. In other words, employees who feel supported by their companies’ leaders and whose jobs allow them a reasonable work-life balance are far more likely to be engaged than those who don’t.

Other factors that influence retention include a good understanding of a company’s goals and how a job contributes to those goals; a company’s public image; and empowerment (i.e. that management actively seeks out employees’ opinions in decisions that affect them).

When it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining top talent, employers around the world are advised to adapt their talent management strategies to better meet their employees’ expectations. Without taking this all-important step, employees are far more likely to look elsewhere when their job experience isn’t as good as expected.

Adjusting talent management strategies can involve a number of steps, including providing more transparency about the company, creating more flexible work arrangements and facilitating a more collaborative work environment.

Another aspect of enhancing engagement involves providing the best relocation experience possible for relocating employees. When talent feels supported by their companies during the demanding and often stressful time surrounding a relocation, they’re more likely to settle into their new positions smoothly. And that in turn greatly enhances the chances of them being engaged for the long term.

Of course, enhancing engagement and retention isn’t a process that happens overnight. By continuously staying abreast of talent trends and assessing why employees leave their companies, employers can gain the insights necessary to adapt their strategies to better engage and retain top talent.

Talent Management: Engagement Article

 

Topics: employee retention, talent retention, talent management, employee engagement

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