Data-Driven Decisions: Leveraging Analytics to Enhance Employee Relocation Programs

Currently, employers leverage data to oversee the majority of their operations, yet surprisingly, their relocation programs often remain untouched by this trend.

And that’s perplexing, because if you don’t measure it, how do you manage it? And why wouldn’t you want to, when that data holds the key to your relocation program’s success?

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss—It’s Lost Opportunity

U.S. employers spend more than $18 billion per year on corporate relocation, and that’s just domestic moves. While most know how much their program costs, many can’t say with authority if it’s money well spent.

Most can tell you that it isn’t cheap. Or simple. Or if an employee had a bad experience because those stories take on a life of their own.

But often, they can’t tell you if their program is a good value, how employees use it, and whether it’s advancing their business objectives.

But this is an investment of thousands, in many cases millions, of dollars per year. Which is why, if you’re not leveraging relocation analytics, it’s time to get on board.

Getting Started: 5 Essential Relocation KPIs

Let’s assume that you’re ready to start tracking relocation metrics. So, what data points should you measure? Here’s our top five.    

1. Detailed Relocation Program Costs

It’s not enough to know how much you’re budgeting for/spending on relocation annually. If you want to ensure that your program stays cost-effective, you need to know:

  • The comparison of overall costs to previous years and the reasons behind any fluctuation
  • A breakdown of costs by benefit and/or employee (i.e., moving expenses, short-term housing, closing costs, etc.)
  • Hard dollar ROI considerations, like whether you benefit from volume discounts or if your relocation company charges commissions.
  • Soft Costs, including time management implications, administrative burden, and burnout 

Understanding this empowers you to effectively manage costs by fine-tuning your benefits and providing employees with options and flexibility, enabling them to utilize the benefits that resonate most with them.

2. Employee Satisfaction

Providing a positive relocation experience is crucial because it influences how employees perform going forward and even how long they stay. That’s why it’s important to monitor employee satisfaction—and continually enhance your program accordingly. 

Try breaking down these metrics to address satisfaction with the moving process, their interactions with the relocation provider, quality of benefits, and overall support.

3. Time to Relocate

Once you hire a new employee, you want them on the job ASAP. That’s why it’s important to measure how long it takes employees to relocate.

Knowing this not only allows you to staff and plan projects more realistically but to also identify outliers early on, so your relocation provider can help struggling employees get back on schedule.

4. Retention Rates

If you’re like most employers, you already track workforce retention rates. You may even break out turnover rates for new hires. Well, this is especially important for relocated employees, who—according to SHRM—are subject to higher turnover rates due to a poor relocation experience. This is why it’s critical to provide a stellar relocation experience for your employees.

Retention begins at onboarding.

5. Impact on Key Initiatives - Especially in Healthcare

Considering the necessity for healthcare systems to recruit out-of-market talent, it becomes prudent to gauge the outcomes of these endeavors against the corresponding relocation expenditures.

How to Track Relocation Metrics

There are a number of tools you can use to track relocation metrics, including:

  • HR Analytics – Your HR analytics software should allow you to track retention rates and other indicators of employee engagement, comparing relocated/non-relocated employees.  
  • Performance Reviews – Assessing how employees are delivering on the goals they were relocated for is another way to assess the value of your relocation program.  
  • Relocation Technology Exception and Escalation Rates – If employees are frequently requesting exceptions to your policies or you’re not feeling the ROI of your program, this may indicate that your policy is too restrictive. 
  • Relocation Satisfaction Surveys – Ideally, your relocation provider will automatically survey employees about their relocation experience and share this information with you. 
  • Relocation Analytics – Your relocation provider should also provide you with regular data reports regarding your program costs and usage. Traditional relocation providers often collate this information manually, so it may not be as detailed or accurate as you’d like. Fortunately, there’s a better option.

Relocation Analytics, Delivered

With tech-based relocation programs like UrbanBound, data is automatically collected each time employees interact with the software, providing accurate, comprehensive reports that allow employers to see how their program is performing—and take action when indicated.  

In fact, with UrbanBound, you can:

  • Choose from a broad menu of reports, such as actual spend by employee, relocation milestones, and cost by business unit  
  • Easily create custom reports on demand 
  • Schedule reports to be created and delivered to you automatically 

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Bottom line: knowledge is power. If you’re committed to offering a high-quality, cost-effective relocation program that helps you achieve your recruitment and retention goals, you should be leveraging relocation analytics. 

For more information regarding Urbanbound’s advanced analytics solution, check this out.


Human Resources Today