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
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.