5 Ways to Create an Outstanding Relocation Experience for Employees

Today, business is all about providing great experiences. They even have names for it, like CX (customer experience), UX (user experience) and EX (employee experience). In that vein, we’d like to talk about another VIX (very important experience)—the RX (relocation experience).  

Okay, so we made that last part up, but it really is important.

Research shows that, when businesses deliver superior experiences, revenues soar. Happiness = profits. So, if you want to set your relocating employees up for success, you’ll give them an outstanding RE.

Fortunately, enhancing the relocation experience isn’t rocket science. Or at least, it isn’t as complicated as those others. We say this with authority, because at UrbanBound, we’ve made it our mission to understand—and deliver—exceptional relocation experiences.

We could talk about this all day (and frankly, we do). But we know you don’t have time for that. So, we’re pleased to bring you our five-step, three-minute guide for creating the world’s most-excellent RE.


1. Give Employees Flexibility

Your employees are all undoubtedly awesome, but they’re all different, too. Ideally, your relocation benefits should be structured in a way that each of them can craft a personalized relocation plan that works for them, their families, and all their stuff.

In other words, rather than dictate how to spend their relocation allowance—like rigid, old-school relocation policies do—let them make their own choices.

For example, not everyone needs a full-size moving van. Some may prefer to rent a small, DIY trailer. Similarly, some folks may need short-term housing; others won’t. The more flexible your relocation benefits are, the better your employees can use them—and that translates to calmer, happier employees.


2. Use Cutting-edge Relocation Technology

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), providing the workforce with advanced, user-friendly technology is one hallmark of a superior employee experience. That goes for relocation, too.

However, some relocation management providers are still using byzantine manual processes. Assuming that your new hires and transferees are tech-savvy, that’s just not going to cut it. They expect—and deserve—fast, easy relocation software that puts everything at their fingertips, including:

  • A complete summary of their benefits, plus guidance for using them
  • A running, real-time tally of expenditures
  • Helpful information about their new location and employer
  • A library of helpful online guides, checklists and planners
  • Access to live, expert assistance  


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3. Offer Relocation Support…as Needed

When it comes to relocation, some employees want more support than others. The best way to offer a great support experience is to let each employee call the shots.

With traditional relocation providers, consultants are involved in every step of the process, which can result in frustrating, back-and-forth communications. On the other hand, some lump sum plans offer no support at all, leaving employees to figure everything out on their own. Neither is a positive experience.

The best solution: use a relocation provider that matches each employee to a dedicated relocation specialist—and give them the freedom to use them as much or as little as they like.


4. Only Use Vetted Suppliers

In some situations, your choice of service provider won’t make much difference. Relocation isn’t one of them.

Movers, realtors, mortgage companies—one bad choice can implode the entire relocation experience. Case in point: the moving company that damages an employee’s furniture, doesn’t show up on schedule, or tacks surprise fees onto their invoice.

How do you avoid this? By choosing a relocation company that pre-screens service providers for quality—and then monitors their ongoing performance. This allows you to offer your employees a network of dependable, top-performing providers, vastly reducing the risk of relocation horror stories.


5. Pay Employees’ Tax Gross-ups

As an employer, you know that your employees’ relocation benefits are subject to income tax. But unless they’ve relocated in the last few years, this will likely be news to them. And not the good kind!

Most employers cover these costs by grossing up their relocation benefits—aka, through tax gross ups. Chances are, you already do so. If so, yeah you!

Because while paying tax gross-ups may not appreciably enhance an employee’s relocation experience, getting slapped with a big, unexpected tax bill will certainly detract from it, undoing all the good you’re trying to accomplish.

At the end of the day, a smooth, stress-free relocation experience is a surefire way to get your new hires and transferees off to a fabulous start. And if you’re looking for a partner to boost your RE, start a chat with the team at UB.

Human Resources Today