Relocation & HR Trends

What is 'Relocation Stress Meltdown' and How Can You Help Prevent It?

Posted by Lauren Decker on Jul 29, 2015 3:58:49 PM

relocation meltdown

Anything can cause stress—trying to juggle multiple projects at work, making sure your home is picked up before guests arrived, or even trying to plan for a vacation. And depending on your threshold for stress, anyone of those things could trigger a meltdown. 

But inevitably there are some life events that cause more stress than others. People experience different types of stress in almost all areas of their lives, but some life events create stress in ALL areas of someone’s life. 

Relocating is one of those events. It can affect work, home life, relationships, and more. How can you as an employer help reduce stress felt by your relocating employees and ensure that they don’t hit a “Relocation Stress Meltdown”?

What is a “Relocation Stress Meltdown”?  

It’s just one of many terms that can be used to describe the feeling a transferee gets when they feel overwhelmed, under equipped, and panicky about their move. It’s the point when transferees are unsure if they should move forward with their relocation. Reasons for feeling this way could vary—from not knowing where they are going to live, to getting nervous about uprooting their family, to simply feeling like they don’t know how to even start the move process.

No matter the cause, it can easily lead to the transferee doubting their decision to move, doubting the position they’re about to take, and even doubting the company they are moving with. And it doesn’t end with the day they start work. These feelings can linger if the employee doesn’t feel properly settled into their new city. 

How can you help? 

How can you as an employer reduce stress for your relocating transferees and mitigate the chance of a “meltdown”?

Provide your transferees with solutions and policies that help them prepare, organize, and execute their move. You can’t completely eliminate feelings of stress, but by providing the right tools you can help eliminate some feelings of chaos. 

Build policies that help transferees plan and execute. Some benefits, like covering the move of household goods, help transferees execute their move, while others can help them prepare and plan for their move. If possible, try to include both types of benefits for your transferees.

For example, allowing your transferees to take a homefinding trip not only helps them find a place to live, but also introduces them to the area or city they will be living in. Seeing their new area can make transferees feel more comfortable about their move and even lead to excitement.

Find ways to streamline the relocation process

Look for ways to make the move easier on your employees, and yourself. For example, if you are intending to cover your transferees’ household goods move, then reduce paperwork for the transferee by collecting and paying the invoice directly from the supplier.

With this approach, the transferee doesn’t have to front costs or worry about collecting a receipt and getting reimbursed by their employer. Extra bonus—by paying the suppliers directly, you and the transferee don’t have to pay income on any money reimbursed to the transferee. 

Help transferees stay organized with Relocation Management Software

In addition to the major components of a move, like finding a place to live and deciding how to get your belongings there, there are a number of other tasks that need to be completed during a move.

Relocation Management Software provides a single place for your transferees to manage their move. These solutions often come with tools like a task manager, which tailors a list of tasks to the individual who is moving.

Simply providing a list of tasks that need to be completed with suggested dates can provide transferees with visibility and allow them to focus on what needs to be done before, during, and after their move. Many RMS solutions also allow transferees to manage their budget, track and store expenses, and even provide access to educational and hyperlocal content. 

Stress is not something we can or even want to eliminate entirely from our lives or our transferees lives. Often, it is tied to positive feelings and positive changes in life. Use these tips to help your transferees prepare, plan, and execute their relocation, hopefully resulting in reduced stress and increased feelings of excitement toward their new home and workplace!

core/flex relocation policies

Topics: Relocation, HR

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

Posted by Kinga Skowronek on Jul 28, 2015 11:42:59 AM

hr tech and relocationLooking for the top news in HR Tech and Relocation?

UrbanBound’s weekly blog is where it’s at! We go through all the blogs, publications and articles to bring you everything you need to know.

Catch up on the HR Tech and Relocation news you may have missed this week:


The Office of the Future

Are your workplace perks and benefits up to par for the next generation of employees? Yes, it seems like we cater a lot towards Millennials, but at the same time we need to recognize that they have grown up in a much different world, where technology allows them to work at any time from any place.

So how does an employer find the best way to keep a happy and productive workplace? Workforce online explores the answers in their article Surveys Show Millennials Seeking Out-of-Office Options.

Our philosophy is that work is about what you do, not where you do it,” Polycom Inc CHRO Laura Owen tells Workforce . “Once you think about work in that way, it is easy to embrace these kinds of policies.”


Three Must-Have Onboarding Elements for New and Relocated Employees

This week, UrbanBound CEO and Co-founder, Michael Krasman, wrote Three Must-Have Onboarding Elements for New and Relocated Employees forrelocation technology Employment Relations Today.

“Your company’s success is tied to the quality of its workforce. So, like most HR professionals, you invest countless hours recruiting, hiring and sometimes relocating the cream of the crop—promising employees with the talent and experience to take your organization into the future.,” writes Michael.

An insider tip from Michael: “ Most new hires have never relocated for a job before. Those who have relocated to pursue their careers probably haven’t changed locations in at least five years. So, for the majority of relocating employees, the move to a new city is a major life event and the source of significant stress. Whether you like it or not, a relocated employee’s perceived job satisfaction may ultimately be decided by the success or failure of their location to a new city.”

Make sure to check out his full article!


The State of HR

In their article The Road Ahead, Human Resources Executive magazine reaches out to HR leaders to discuss the current state of HR, what to expect from the future and how to prepare the company as well as the workforce for these changes.

HR Executive magazine: “What are some of the things HR is, can or should be doing to foster innovation in your organization, to ensure that your company is growing and moving in the [right] direction?”

Peggy H. Eddens tells HR Executive magazine: “We need to continue to be innovators and thinking innovatively. One of the ways to grow is to continue to be more cutting-edge, more breakthrough [in your] thinking. For us we've created the Winnovation team [to encourage] winning through innovation. We have a chief innovation officer who we hired from outside. We have two executive sponsors for the team. One is myself, because a lot of what we're doing has to do with the people of the organization. And then the other is our chief technology officer, because a lot of what we do will be dependent on systems that will provide the opportunity for us to innovate further. We're a pretty non-siloed organization. We're a pretty flat organization, from an organizational-hierarchy perspective. There's a lot of collaboration, a high level of engagement. And that takes time to get to that point. How do we define innovation? One, clearly, involves [coming up with] new things. But we also look at existing things. [And we don't allow] compliance and legislative restraints to become handcuffs. So it's the new, it's the old, it's the incremental, it's the blank sheet, it's the book we've always worked from. [We] find a way to drive change to advance us to the next level.”


Want more articles? Check these out:

One Answer To Company Data Breaches: Better Employee Engagement by TLNT

Is This Next Generation HR Software? by Human Resources Executive

When dealing with analytics, “start where the pain is” by Human Resources

Relocation spotlight: Bernstein Realty by the Chron / Michelle Sandlin

Business travel cost trends unpacked in 2016 price outlook by Re:locate magazine

United States: White House Immigration Report Outlines Proposed Employment-Based Immigration Reforms by FEM


core/flex relocation policies

Topics: Technology, Relocation, UB News, HR

The End of Stack Ranking is Here

Posted by Ryne Inman on Jul 28, 2015 10:09:14 AM

Over the past two years, a crack in the foundation of an HR monument has turned into an all-out rupture. A A mainstay in the corporate world for decades, the source of many conflicts between managers and employees, and the reason for many sleepless nights, Stack Ranking is falling to pieces. mainstay in the corporate world for decades, the source of many conflicts between managers and employees, and the reason for many sleepless nights, Stack Ranking is falling to pieces. Changes to work culture and a generational shift are forcing companies to re-calibrate how they evaluate, deliver feedback, and compensate success.

This system, which is particularly popular among large tech companies, requires managers to rank their employees on a bell curve system. In some cases, managers are allowed to rank only 2% of employees in the top tier, while 10% must be in the bottom tier. This means that someone, no matter how well they performed, will be left at the bottom of the pack.

Employees are essentially forced to compete with one another, which fosters distrust and animosity instead of teamwork and collaboration. In the worst cases, which are unfortunately common, rankings are influenced by politics and relationships. Suffice to say, employees hate this system of evaluation. As Bloomberg Business puts it, “workers generally aren’t thrilled about having to play Game of Thrones at the office.” That’s not exactly a shocking sentiment.

There’s a fundamental flaw in the philosophy behind Stack Rankings, and it should stick a craw in the mouths of your HR and hiring departments as much as it does employees getting evaluated: The idea that a department has anything other than “A-Players.” If hiring managers, HR, and other hiring decision makers allIf there is anyone who isn’t fitting into their role properly, it’s almost assured that a portion of the burden rests on the team that hired that employee. operate with solid criteria and a unified vision, your team should be stocked with all-stars. If there is anyone who isn’t fitting into their role properly, a portion of the burden rests on the team that hired that employee.

So, if your team of all-stars aces their project and every team member exceeds expectations, who gets stuck at the bottom? Should any of them? This kind of dilemma is why companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and Expedia have all abandoned Stack Rankings. Their justifications were varied, but all were rooted in a desire to remove a toxic element from their culture:

  • Expedia sought to make reviews less “event-focused” and more ongoing and reflective of the day-to-day work between employees.
  • Adobe noticed an increase in departures following annual reviews, as dissatisfied employees, even top-performers spurned by being buried by the Stack Ranking curve, left the company.
  • Microsoft, the goliath of the tech industry, did away with their Stack Ranking in 2013, in the most high-profile divorce from the system. It’s main goal was improving teamwork while retaining talent.

While the tide has unequivocally turned against Stack Rankings, as recently as late 2013, 30% of Fortune 500 companies used some form of “rank and yank.” As millennials assume a greater share of the workplace, this statistic will have to change. Otherwise, companies will no longer be able to recruit and maintain the talent necessary for success.

Topics: Technology, Company Culture, HR

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