Arm Relocating Employees with Information to Help Them Make Decisions

Posted by Lauren Decker on Jul 7, 2016 10:50:27 AM

information for relocating employees

In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s easier than ever for individuals to search for information, connect with companies, and purchase products and services online. With the click of a button, an individual can find an answer to any inquiry they have.

With this much information at our disposal, it’s not a question of if there is an answer available, but is it the right answer?

The difference between these two questions is critical, especially when it comes to researching relocation suppliers, destination information, and moving advice. It’s easy to find information about relocation, but it’s much harder to pare down the available resources and identify what is most relevant to each individual.

In short, relocating employees are faced with information overload.

While you can’t (and shouldn't) limit the breadth of resources available to your employees, you can implement changes to your relocation program that arm your relocating employees with more contextual information that adds clarity to the relocation process, as opposed to overcomplicating it.

Step 1: Simplify Your Relocation Policy

A successful relocation starts with a strong policy. A relocation policy should always answer 3 key questions for relocating employees:

  • What benefits do I receive?
  • How do I claim those benefits?
  • When do I receive the benefits?

A relocating employee should be able to read their policy and be able to answer these questions easily. If that’s not the case and you find yourself consistently answering these questions, then you may want to consider simplifying your policy.

Remember, it’s about getting the most relevant information into the hands of your employees, not providing them with so many specifics that they find themselves submerged in details.

Many companies tend to spend the majority of the policy real estate on the first question “What benefits do I receive” and neglect to answer questions two and three. Describing the benefits is helpful, but without understanding how and when to claim those benefits, employees are left confused.

Let’s say you’re offering direct bill benefits for household goods shipment and final travel. In the policy it’s clear that employees receive assistance to ship their belongings and book a flight, but they don’t have any information about how to book these services. This is a critical piece of information because direct bill benefits are paid for by the company and need to be booked by the company or a third party administering the benefits.

Being a proactive person, your relocating employee may take the initiative to find and book these services. Unknowingly, that employee just created additional work that could cost the company (and possibly the employee) additional time and money to sort out.

Your company’s relocation policy should be a guide that employee’s reference throughout their relocation. If it’s constructed in a way that’s easy to understand and answers their most basic relocation questions, then employees will be much more confident in planning their relocation.

Step 2: Connect Employees to a Trusted Supplier Network

Finding affordable, quality suppliers is one of the most difficult aspects to a relocation if the employee is not provided direction or guidance. This is especially true for campus hires and employees receiving a lump sum to relocate. These populations are often trying to save as much money as possible when relocating, meaning they are looking for the cheapest suppliers available.

It’s at this stage of the relocation process that employees can find themselves lost in a sea of online information. They are looking for affordable suppliers, but aren’t sure how to vet them for quality. The result typically falls into one of two buckets. The employee either “gives up” and chooses the cheapest supplier or spends hours and hours of time trying to research and evaluate suppliers.

Neither experience will guarantee a positive outcome.

Leaving employees to source and evaluate relocation suppliers can result in a poor experience in the long term for many reasons. Their “cheap” supplier may break several belongings or they may begin to question if all the work to plan the move is worth the position they’re taking.

Alternatively, companies who provide employees with a network of suppliers to choose from can improve the relocation experience and drive down costs simultaneously. With a trusted supplier network at their disposal, employees can quickly and confidently choose a supplier that’s best for their needs, without worrying about sacrificing quality.

The company benefits by taking advantage of group buying power. To increase group buying power and reduce time spent managing suppliers, companies often partner with a relocation company to manage the supplier network and facilitate transactions.

Step 3: Use a Proven Process

Certain benefit types can also make it easier to ensure employees are exposed to a proven relocation process that doesn’t require tremendous amounts of information gathering and research. Specifically, direct bill benefits make it simple for employees to understand their benefits (assuming the three questions are answered), connect with a supplier network, and use their relocation benefits appropriately.

Because direct bill benefits are paid for by the company, employers can dictate which relocation services are eligible for direct bill and the employees must leverage the company’s supplier network. Technology-driven direct bill solutions can even consolidate supplier information and estimates online to offer employees unparalleled access to the information that’s most relevant to them.

Whether you choose to offer direct bill benefits or not, having an established supplier network can make one of the most challenging aspects of a relocation easier. Employees have the information they need to make a decision at their disposable, instead of paging through endless search results online.

Equipping relocating employees with clear-cut, prescriptive information can help them more easily prepare for and manage their relocation. Depending on your company and policy, you may want to offer relocating employees with flexibility, but that should not be confused with ambiguity.

Relocating employees, especially first-time movers, are looking for guidance and support throughout their move. Providing a proven process with access to tools and information that are most relevant to their situation will ensure their relocation goes off smoothly and successfully.  

lump sum for relocation

Topics: Helping Transferees

Save Time and Simplify Transferee Moves with a Knowledge Base

Posted by Ryne Inman on Jun 21, 2016 9:28:59 AM

Transferees have questions. Lots of to simplify relocation

Well, to be more specific, there tend to be 3 types of transferees: 

Ones with no questions, ones with every question imaginable, and ones who ask no questions even though they have every question imaginable and everything goes horribly wrong and you get blindsided and now it’s your problem. 

Despite doing everything you could, answering any and all questions asked, and guiding the vast majority of your transferees through a successful relocation, the unavoidable ugliness of reality has shoved its way into your life once again.

It takes a combined, concerted effort for your already overtaxed team to address the litany of possible issues with any efficacy. There are many tools available for you to distribute information proactively and reactively to the benefit of your entire transferee population.

Establishing a “Knowledge Base” with an FAQ, a form to submit questions, and regular answering of said questions in a space visible to transferees will inform the entire group, including those who may have a similar question or situation without realizing it could be a complication for them as well.

This is especially helpful if you move people in large batches, like interns. Intern moves are likely to be very similar, since they are all at the same point of their life and career, are moving at the same time of year, and are likely moving to pre-selected short-term housing.

You might assume that, as students who move in and out of campus every year, they will have a handle on the process and its challenges. Unfortunately, campus moves are a completely different, simpler beast. Interns your least-experienced group of relocators, the ones most likely to suffer from oversights and to make mistakes in the process due to lack of knowledge. They are also the group most likely to make use of online resources to help them execute their move.

There’s a very good chance that every single one of your transferees will take to the internet to search for advice, suppliers, and more for their move. They could be getting good advice, bad advice, or the worst advice imaginable, it’s impossible to tell.

Take control of the situation and ensure they have access to the best, most accurate details applicable to their policy and situation by creating and maintaining a knowledge base.

relocation management software

Topics: Helping Transferees

Communication Strategies That Improve the Transferee Experience

Posted by Ryne Inman on Mar 15, 2016 9:10:02 AM

improving the transferee experience

A relocation package can be confusing even to those of us who do this for a living, so imagine how a fresh out of college hiree feels when they see that packet land in their inbox.

Clear, consistent communication is the panacea for many relocation snafus. In working with clients, contractors, and coworkers, I’ve found that most people excel at one or the other, but finding a manageable way to consistently deliver clear and consistent is difficult.

While pursuing a method that worked to outline complex info and give deliberate next steps, a few common traits of successful strategies emerged.

140 or Less

When delivering a large amount of information, it is most effective to break it down into its vital components. One model to base this off of is Twitter. With each tweet limited to 140 characters, users are forced to consider every word, every letter, every punctuation mark, and if they’re really necessary to get their point across.

This sort of self-reflection is important in a modern format, like a website. “Just the basics,” as a means of introducing something complex, like a relocation benefit, will let your transferees know exactly what tools are at their disposal. You can give a more nuanced, detailed explanation in another document, as each part of the benefit likely comes with caveats and exceptions.

Back to Basics

Honing in on the fundamentals of your message is a great way to improve the clarity of your communications. Too often, we get bogged down in being comprehensive where we don’t need to be, and lose sight of the core of our message. Sometimes, we lose the trail and end up wandering around until we actually find the main point.

Sit down and write everything you need to explain, then ruthlessly cut everything that isn’t your main point. Getting into the habit and groove of editing this way is difficult, and each of your words is like a child to you, but it will pay big dividends.

Focus on Your Audience

Remember who will be reading this! Transferees are likely unfamiliar with industry jargon, and will want the info in the plainest language possible. Be direct, be concise, and if you do use a specialized term, explain what it means. Another handy construction to use for an audience is to format your info sheet as an FAQ. Take the most common questions you get, and respond to them before they actually need to ask them.

understanding Millennials

Topics: Helping Transferees

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