Relocation & HR Trends

The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Prepare for Your 2016 Relocations

Posted by Lauren Decker on Nov 25, 2015 1:00:00 PM

 The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Prepare for Your 2016 RelocationsAs the end of the year comes to a close, it’s time to start wrapping up 2015 and start planning for 2016. Depending on your organization, you may have already been planning for several months.

For Mobility and HR, this means evaluating your current policies and deciding what changes or tweaks you want to make.

While it seems like this could be an overwhelming endeavor, there are small steps you can take to improve your policy without totally reconstructing your relocation program.

And we’re going to let you in on a little secret:

The first step to evaluating your relocation policy is to read it!

While this may seem like an oversimplified suggestion, reading your company’s relocation policy is the first step to understanding what, if anything, needs to be changed. You may have read your policy when it was first created or at the beginning of the year, but that was before you had employees actually using it. Reading it again after you have had employees relocate will help you find areas that are unclear or confusing.

When you read your policy at the end of the year, you need to read the policy with three different groups in mind:

     - HR or Mobility team administering the relocations
     - Employees who are relocating 
     - Internal departments who are hiring or relocating members

HR/Mobility Team

Not surprisingly, the first and easiest lens to read your policy through is your own. As you evaluate the policy, think about issues that have arisen over the last year.

Have you made several exceptions?

What are the questions you continually receive from transferees?

Are there specific locations that create more issues than others?

Review the policy with these questions in mind and look for language in the policy that could be responsible for some of these recurring issues. For example, if you are continually making exceptions for a specific benefit, that might be a sign that you need to do some more research and possibly make an update to the policy.

The same goes for questions that are continually asked. As you read, try to identify areas that could be more clear in order to reduce the number of questions. Going through this exercise can help you identify quick wins you can make to improve your policy (and your transferees experience) in 2016.

Relocating Employee

After reviewing the policy through your perspective, then review it through the perspective of a new hire. There’s a good chance your relocating employees have never read a relocation policy before. Try to get into this mindset and then re-read your policy.

Ask yourself:

Is the language clear?

Are there any industry-specific terms that could be replaced with more simply language?

Is the format straightforward and easy to digest?

Simply refreshing the style of your relocation policy can go a long way. A relocation policy should cover who is eligible for benefits, what benefits are available, and how transferees can claim them. Additionally, it’s helpful to note who the transferee can reach out to for questions.

Make sure your policy covers these areas in a clear, direct way. While it’s okay to use your company’s standard writing style, it’s critical that the policy is easy for your transferees to absorb so they can start planning their move. This is also a quick way to improve your program without restructuring the entire policy.

Internal Departments

Finally, you need to review your relocation policy with your internal stakeholders in mind. Specifically, read the policy through the lens of internal managers and teams who are hiring or relocating employees.

This group is affected by the company’s relocation policy for a few reasons.

For starters, the richness of the policy may affect their ability to recruit and relocate talent. They want to offer competitive relocation benefits to ensure they attract and retain top talent. If they are trying to “sell” an employee on the company’s relocation package, they first need to understand what the policy includes.

Second, these managers and teams may also feel the repercussions of a relocation that’s gone badly. If relocation issues arise and aren’t solved in a timely fashion, they may spill over into the transferee’s performance at work—leaving them feeling distracted or even taking time away from their work to handle the issues.

Review the policy with these two items in mind. Consider updating areas that could be hard for your co-workers to explain. Also, if you identified areas in the policy that are creating pain for your team, think through how that might be affecting these other internal stakeholders. If you’re unsure of how relocation issues could be affecting your other teams, follow-up with them in person.

Reviewing your relocation policy at the end of the year is the first step to preparing for 2016 relocations. Furthermore, if you keep these three perspective in mind as you review, you’ll be better equipped to serve your team, your new hires, and your internal stakeholders — ultimately helping you make the transition from a policy policeman to a strategic relocation resource for your organization.

 core/flex relocation policies

Topics: Relocation

Thanksgiving & the Chicago Tech Scene: What You Need to Know

Posted by Kinga Ricci on Nov 25, 2015 10:00:00 AM

chicago tech scene thanksgivingWhether you’re sitting at the airport waiting to get to your Thanksgiving weekend destination, have some down time at the train station, or you’re just counting down the hours till the long weekend begins, it’s a great time to catch up on the news from the Chicago Tech Scene!

Before you end up in the annual food coma on the couch, check our Thanksgiving-themed Chicago Tech Scene news blog with insights that might just help you out this week.

Warm wishes for a happy and safe Thanksgiving from everyone at UrbanBound!

The Tech Scene Does Thanksgiving

The Chicago Tech Scene gets in the spirit of Thanksgiving!

Before you start prepping, cooking and setting up for the big Thanksgiving dinner, check out these 10 food tech startups bringing tech to the Thanksgiving table via Built in Chicago that may lend you a helping hand.

There’s an app that delivers fresh ingredients, in case ychicago tech scene thanksgiving ou missed an item or two on your Thanksgiving dinner shopping trip. Make sure to check out their holiday specials.

Feeling stressed with how much there is to prepare before the guests arrive? Don’t fret! Save time and get your groceries delivered to your door with Peapod.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving share this new app that has found a unique way to bring food to those less fortunate. The self-proclaimed food recovery nerds at Zero Percent believe that food should never be wasted. Their solution takes surplus food from restaurants, commercial kitchens and food vendors and delivers it to those who need it.

Have some down time during the long weekend? Check out Built in Chicago’s 10 free online courses to help jumpstart your tech career with a great list of ways to broaden your knowledge and give your career a boost.

Ride-sharing at Chicago Airports

News for all of those flying during the holidays — just in time for one of the busiest travel times of the year — Lyft gets cleared for O’Hare and Midway airport pick-ups, according to the article in Chicago Tribune: Lyft lands at Chicago airports in time for Thanksgiving.

Interestingly enough, Uber still has not received clearance with their approval most likely still stuck somewhere in a mountain of paperwork.

This comes after earlier this month Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced: "My focus is not about the industry. My focus is on the customer. They [ride-hailing services] have competitive, high-quality choices today, and we wanted to make sure, given all the travel that's going to happen this Thanksgiving, that we are prepared as a city."

But before you choose Lyft at the airport, check the surge pricing. We’re interested to see what the rates will be on the busiest travel day of the year.

Thinking of taking the bus instead…. you’re not alone: 1.5 million will travel by bus over Thanksgiving holiday according to a study by done by DePaul University.


Can’t get enough? Check these out:

Siri founder raises money from Pritzker, Johnson for startup Crain’s Chicago Business

Ad-tech startup SIM Partners makes acquisition Crain’s Chicago Business

Shoe Drop uses tech, old-fashioned service to ease shoe repair Chicago Tribune

Social Media Week Chicago shares how to quiet trolls and other advice Chicago Tribune

Chic-and-Mortar: The 10 Most Innovative Retail Spaces in Chicago Chicago Inno

relocation technology



Topics: Technology, Chicago

HR Tech and Relocation in the News: What You Need to Know

Posted by Kinga Ricci on Nov 24, 2015 12:56:21 PM

hr tech and relocationWish there was a place where you could find all the news you need to stay on top of everything that's going on with Relocation and HR Tech?

No worries. UrbanBound's weekly news blog puts everything you need right in front of you!

We did lots of searching and reading on our end to bring you this week's top HR Tech and Relocation news.

Dive right it and find out the news you need to know:


The Future of HR Communication

How are employee benefits and workplace changes communicated at your company?

Or maybe you’re the one in charge of communicating important changes to the whole company. How do you go about that? An email? A bulletin board? A company-wide meeting?

If you think sending out an email is enough, you couldn’t be more wrong. Human Resource Executive magazine explores different HR communication strategies in their article Improving the Conversation.

"The good news is that employees care about HR communication," Alison Davis, CEO of Davis & Co tells Human Resource Executive magazine. "However, employees' needs are not being met. They find HR communication to be too complex and inconvenient."

The bad news is many employees feel confused by the correspondence they receive or they feel downright let down. Only 30% of employees are happy with the communications they receive in the workplace, according to the article, leaving a majority of employees dissatisfied and perhaps confused about their benfits or other important aspects of their job.

So what’s the best way? A multi-faceted approach allows employees to digest information in the way they prefer and feel most comfortable with. Check out the Human Resource Executive article to find out ways and strategies to improve communication at your workplace.


HR Software: What You Need to Know

Steve Boese, HR Tech expert and co-chair of HRE’s HR Technology® Conference, has great insider knowledge on all things concerning HR Tech (he’s seen demos from some of the largest HR software companies out there to newly emerging HR Tech startups.)

But the terminology and user functions can get confusing. hr tech and relocationIn his Human Resource Executive article, Getting Your Arms Around the Experience, Boese explains what you should be looking for in your HR software and what questions you should be asking yourself.

What should you expect from you HR software? Steve Boese explains:

“How does the application create value for end users/managers/leaders?

This question is meant to elicit a somewhat deeper answer than say, "The application lets employees enter their hours worked." An answer like that is simply the description of a capability, and not an indication of the more important user, team and business value that the application can help support and provide. Whether it is a system for time entry, performance management, payroll or another of the myriad HR technologies that are on the market, the tech's value proposition, expressed at different levels, is also fundamental to overall UX. Users and HR leaders have to see the connection between the adoption of this new technology and the organization's overall business objectives.”


Uber for Moving: Does it Work?

moveBuddha explores all the new “Uber for Moving” apps in the market. The question is, can the “Uber for X” model be applied to the moving industry (this model has not worked well in some industries and many companies have failed.) And is there a benefit to the end-user to use a startup instead of a moving company?

moveBuddah’s post Why is “Uber for Moving” So Popular? points out that, “even Uber themselves dabbled in moving for a brief moment with UberMovers.”

The final conclusion from moveBuddha: “Truck-on-demand isn’t going to dramatically change the moving industry quite yet, but it does offer an excellent solution for micro-moves. It’s definitely an option we’ll suggest in the near future.”

So if you have a relocating employee that has questions about whether or not moving apps like Dude With a Truck or BellHops are worth their money, share the article with them.


Can’t get enough? Check out these articles:

When Does Retention Start — and Who Really Should “Own” It? TLNT

My Best Experience at HR Tech! Human Resource Executive magazine

17 crucial elements for an effective Millennial recruiting video HR.BLR

Americans: Pay Your Taxes--Or Lose Your Passport The Wall Street Journal

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Recruit Exclusively Online Entrepreneur

Recruiting Trends For 2016 And Their Supporting Best Practices, Part 2 Of 2 ERE

Supporting LGBT talent overseas Recruiter

Printable Checklist for Apartment Renters

United States: Option to add passport pages to be eliminated Jan. 1 FEM


relocation technology

Topics: Technology, Relocation, HR

Subscribe to the UrbanBound Blog

relocation technology
Lump Sum and Core Flex Relocation Policies
Human Resources Today