For your company to thrive, you need the right talent in the right locations. While some of this can be resolved with skillful recruitment and hiring, it may be necessary to relocate both new and current employees to boost performance and productivity. However, relocating can be stressful for employees and their families and, if not managed carefully, can impact your company’s bottom line. This is why it’s important to be prepared for possible issues that may arise. Below, we’ve outlined a few things for you to consider.
What Are Four Common Issues with Employee Relocation?
1. The Employee Doesn’t Want to Move
Moving is considered one of the most stressful life events, and not everyone will jump at the opportunity to move for your company. This rings true when your employee or candidate has a significant other, a family and/or a mortgage. That is why it is imperative to make relocation as easy and appealing as possible for your employees (and their family). When you ask someone to pack up their life for your company, you must consider what the company can do for them in return.
If your company has the goal of motivating employees to relocate, you will need to consider providing some kind of relocation benefit.
2. The Cash Benefit Isn’t Enough
Many companies offer employees a lump sum allowance or signing bonus as an incentive for relocation. On the surface, lump sum allowances seems like a no-brainer: the hiring manager determines dollar amount, HR includes the benefit in the offer letter, payroll adds the bonus to the employee’s first paycheck—done!
While lump sum allowances seem easier to administer and give employees more flexibility for how they want to manage their relocation, the downside is exactly that: employees have to manage their own relocation.
This means the employee has to determine the best way to get from point A to point B without going over their budget. While in reality, most employees have the expectation that their employer will support them in the move process—providing guidance and advice in addition to cash.
What’s worse, if the cash doesn’t cover the full cost of the move, guess who will hear about it? More often than not, employees will reach out to HR teams or their hiring manager for support. Thus, HR professionals end up researching and answering relocation questions on top of their day-to-day duties—making lump sum allowances, not so easy to administer after all.
3. The Household Goods Move Doesn't Go Smoothly
Relocation requires employees and their families to pack their belongings and move across the state, country or world—the farther the destination, the higher potential risk for more complications. Belongings can get lost, damaged or arrive late. A company that makes the employee manage their household goods move may encounter more problems, delays and hidden expenses. A competitive company will work with a relocation partner who can connect their employees with a network of quality moving suppliers, and can help escalate issues for when things go wrong.
4. Employees Can’t Find Housing
Housing is one of the most significant issues associated with employee relocation. Finding and securing a place to live is hard enough, let alone trying to find a place in a city you are not familiar with. Your employees will want to know: what neighborhood to live in, the best way to get to work, whether to buy or rent and how much it’s all going to cost. If your employee can’t find (affordable) housing, it will be difficult for them to focus and give it their all on their first few weeks on the new job. This is why many companies cover the cost of temporary housing or hotel stays, so employees can have a place to live while they sort out more permanent housing.
Managing Employee Relocation
It can be challenging to build a relocation program that both protects your company’s bottom line and benefits your relocating employees.
At the end of the day, the happiness of your employee is most important. Moving and starting over in a new location takes a tremendous toll on an employee’s well-being, and this can impact the long-term success of both your employee and your company. For this reason, your company should consider a relocation partner that can help ease this strain. At UrbanBound, our relocation management software was built with your employees in mind. We can help you give your employees the support they need to have a stress-free relocation. Contact us to learn more!