Quoting from an interview with Steve Holden (Managing Partner, Radstones) in Personnel Today magazine, the six do's and don'ts to consider for a successful relocation:
. . . . have transparent and fair policies for all your employees.
. . . . ensure policies actively address all stress factors.
. . . . gear benefits to getting your employee back to work and productive as soon
. . . . anticipate how each family member is affected (working spouse/partner, school
aged children, even pets).
. . . . attend to the details.
. . . . plan the return (repatriation) with the same level of detail as many relocations are
. . . . think that every move is so different you don't need a policy.
. . . . cut corners on relocation and undermine your overall investment in your employee.
. . . . expect hard working HR staff to become successful property negotiators overnight.
. . . . ignore issues with a long-term impact (tax differentials, pensions etc.).
. . . . understimate the impact of culture.
. . . . underestimate the stress that relocating can place on your employees.
So what makes for a stress-free move?
Two things are more important than any other. . . .
Firstly, detailed planning is our obsession and what we exist for. The exhausted relocatee arriving at their new home for the first time to find their favorite brand of tea waiting for them in the kitchen, along with fresh milk (semi-skimmed, soya - their choice) in a working refrigerator. Another is delighted to find that someone had thought to set the heating and hot water running for their winter arrival in an inhospitable climate.
Secondly, culture permeates every aspect of our business. You can't explain the school system, the tax system and tenant's rights in a new country if you don't fully understand the culture of the country and the nature of the local market that you are noving a client to.
We rely significantly on our in-country Client Managers to not only make the culture shock pain-free but to ensure that our service represents the best value that local knowledge can deliver.
The costs involved are great, but the costs associated with getting it wrong are far greater. The less stress the transferring employees have, the faster they can focus on their jobs, and thus the employer will get a quicker return on their investment.
All too often we are called in after a company has learned the hard way about the risks, and the costs of a poorly executed relocation. Not only is a move one of the most stressful life events for an individual and their family, but if not properly handled it can also impact the wellbeing if the firm. The greater the distance moved, the greater the risks.
Consult with us on how we can design and implement a relocation policy, or audit your existing policy to ensure it is fit for purpose.