Relocation Assistance: Considerations & Resources

When an employee accepts a long-distance job assignment, they’re taking a huge leap of faith—uprooting their lives and families for an organization and their career.

In return, it’s up to employers to do right by their people by providing comprehensive relocation assistance. Giving employees the best possible relocation experience accomplishes several goals, including: 

  • Allows employees to hit the ground running, free from the stress of a difficult move
  • Strengthens the bond between employee and employer, encouraging employees to accomplish greater achievements, and
  • Improves the likelihood that employees will see their assignments through, rather than bail midstream because they—or their families—failed to adjust

So, how do you ensure that the relocation assistance you provide best supports employees? Here are a few tips to consider, along with resources to help ensure you're holding up your end of the deal.

Provide Employees with Choice & Flexibility  

The best relocation policies are flexible, allowing employees to match their relocation to their unique situation. For example, an early career hire who is renting has very different relocation needs than an executive employee with a spouse, kids, and a house.

Many organizations design relocation programs without flexibility in mind, so they don’t work equally well for everyone. If you’re still using rigid policies, think about working with a relocation partner to design a more flexible program.

Bottom line: every employee should be able to relocate on their terms, from the way they move their household goods to the scope/focus of house-hunting trips. Flexible policies allow employees to use their relocation benefits to the fullest while giving employers the structure they need to provide standardized benefits to their employees. 

Offer Relocation Support (in Addition to Dollars)

It’s a given that some employees want or need more relocation support than others. Does your current relocation program offer flexible support options?
When organizations rely on traditional relocation management companies, they often find themselves tangled in a web of manual processes that slow down progress. As a result, these organizations end up forking over thousands of extra dollars per employee. It's time to break free from the shackles of outdated methods and explore more efficient and cost-effective relocation solutions.

In contrast, providing lump sums/stipends without support leaves employees unprepared and overwhelmed – it’s best to work with a relocation provider that can assist all populations of employees from VIP to early career

Help Employees (and Families) Acclimate 

The more thoroughly you introduce relocating employees and their families to their new location, the faster and more fully they’re likely to adjust. 

That means the best way to support your relocating employees is to include lots of regional-specific resources about the area, real estate market, school systems, transportation, etc – in addition to lump sums/stipends.

Of course, international relocations are the toughest for employees and their families to adjust to. In this event, you may wish to also provide destination services, which include cultural and language training and immigration assistance.

Rule of thumb: if you want your relocating employees to be happy, take care of their partners and children, too.

Prepare for Return to Office 

For organizations that shifted to remote work during the pandemic and are now introducing a return to the office or a hybrid approach, the task of rallying the team while maintaining morale and efficiency has presented challenges. 

While it's evident that adopting an in-office or hybrid setup can bring advantages in terms of fostering teamwork, encouraging creativity, and preserving the organizational culture it also can be inconvenient for employees who moved out of area or those who need incentives to return to a traditional office environment. 

Offering relocation benefits to help your employees transition back to the office, can facilitate a smooth shift so that your business operations can swiftly resume.

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Relocation Resources for Employers

It’s important to monitor your relocation program to ensure that it’s optimized to meet the needs of employees as well as your organization’s financial, recruitment, and retention goals. Here are several resources that help you do just that.

Post-relocation Surveys

If your relocation partner isn’t collecting feedback from newly relocated employees, they are not providing you with the resources you deserve. This critical feedback will allow you to continually enhance your benefits while ensuring your relocation partner is delivering on its promise.

Data-Driven Decisions

It’s essential to understand your relocation program success through data and analytics. Selecting a technology-driven relocation partner will provide you with the metrics needed to make better decisions to scale your program, save money, and drive employee satisfaction.

Your Relocation Partner

Your relocation partner should be invested in the success of your program and help identify opportunities for improvement. A true partner will provide you with insights to help you strengthen your benefits, attract top talent, and drive employee retention and engagement. 

For more information, see our companion blog, Measuring the ROI of Relocation Benefits, or learn more about UrbanBound. And, if you’d like help measuring or improving the ROI of your relocation benefits, we’re here for you. Find more information here—or just ask for help.  

Human Resources Today