How​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​wasting​ ​money​ ​when relocating​ ​early​ ​career​ ​employees ​

​ Guest Blog By Nitzan​ Yudan,​ CEO​ of​ Benivo  

Nitzan​ ​is​ ​the​ ​CEO​ ​of​ ​​Benivo​​ ​​-​ ​helping​ ​employers​ ​of​ ​choice​ ​make​ ​every​ ​relocating​ ​employee welcome​ ​with​ ​innovative​ ​technology.​ ​Clients​ ​include​ ​Google,​ ​Microsoft,​ ​Bloomberg,​ ​Vodafone, and​ ​Hertz.

Most​ ​companies​ ​limit​ ​comprehensive,​ ​end-to-end​ ​relocation​ ​support​ ​to​ ​senior​ ​employees.​ ​Entry and​ ​mid-level​ ​staff​ ​usually​ ​only​ ​receive​ ​selective​ ​support​ ​in​ ​a​ ​few​ ​narrowly​ ​defined​ ​areas. Outside​ ​of​ ​these​ ​areas,​ ​they​ ​have​ ​to​ ​help​ ​themselves.

 

 

Companies​ ​assume​ ​that​ ​comprehensive​ ​support​ ​is​ ​costly​ ​and​ ​therefore​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​limited​ ​to senior​ ​staff.​ ​Luckily,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​not​ ​the​ ​case.

Our​ ​research​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​selective​ ​relocation​ ​support​ ​is​ ​a​ ​false​ ​economy​ ​-​ ​the​ ​financial​ ​impact and​ ​damage​ ​to​ ​the​ ​employer​ ​brand​ ​can​ ​be​ ​significant.

So​ ​let’s​ ​explore​ ​what​ ​companies​ ​can​ ​do​ ​to​ ​improve​ ​their​ ​entry​ ​and​ ​mid-level​ ​employees’​ ​mobility experience​ ​without​ ​breaking​ ​the​ ​bank.

 

What​ ​our​ ​research​ ​tells​ ​us

 

Recently,​ ​Benivo​ ​conducted​ ​interviews​ ​with​ ​30​ ​IT​ ​engineers​ ​who​ ​relocated​ ​to​ ​Europe.

They​ ​all​ ​received​ ​selective​ ​support:​ ​Their​ ​employers​ ​(all​ ​large,​ ​well-known​ ​companies)​ ​took​ ​care of​ ​short-term​ ​accommodation,​ ​gave​ ​them​ ​a​ ​salary​ ​advance,​ ​and​ ​provided​ ​access​ ​to​ ​a​ ​network of​ ​experienced​ ​relocaters.

Despite​ ​this​ ​support,​ ​these​ ​employees​ ​spent​ ​up​ ​to​ ​89​ ​hours​ ​on​ ​relocation-related​ ​tasks,​ ​69​ ​of which​ ​during​ ​working​ ​hours.​ ​At​ ​a​ ​£80​ ​hourly​ ​rate​ ​for​ ​Engineers,​ ​this​ ​represents​ ​a​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​billed working​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​up​ ​to​ ​£5.5k​ ​per​ ​employee.​ ​For​ ​companies​ ​who​ ​relocate​ ​up​ ​to​ ​1,000​ ​employees per​ ​year,​ ​the​ ​damage​ ​can​ ​run​ ​into​ ​the​ ​millions.

The​ ​employer​ ​brand​ ​impact​ ​was​ ​also​ ​considerable.​ ​70%​ ​of​ ​the​ ​engineers​ ​were​ ​dissatisfied​ ​with their​ ​relocation​ ​experience.​ ​This​ ​impacted​ ​the​ ​employer​ ​brand​ ​significantly​ ​(33%​ ​drop​ ​in​ ​NPS score,​ ​a​ ​standard​ ​measure​ ​for​ ​employer​ ​brand​ ​perception)

 

How​ ​can​ ​you​ ​do​ ​comprehensive​ ​support​ ​on​ ​a budget? 

 

1.​ ​Create​ ​a​ ​growing,​ ​evolving​ ​relocation​ ​playbook.

Most​ ​companies​ ​provide​ ​some​ ​form​ ​of​ ​guide​ ​on​ ​topics​ ​such​ ​as​ ​accommodation​ ​search,​ ​family matters,​ ​various​ ​settling-in​ ​admin​ ​etc.

What​ ​few​ ​companies​ ​do,​ ​however,​ ​is​ ​to​ ​create​ ​this​ ​as​ ​an​ ​evolving​ ​document​ ​that​ ​anyone​ ​can contribute​ ​to.​ ​Moving​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Encyclopaedia​ ​Britannica​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Wikipedia​ ​model.

We​ ​recommend​ ​Google​ ​Docs,​ ​but​ ​SharePoint​ ​or​ ​Dropbox​ ​work​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​Make​ ​sure​ ​as​ ​many people​ ​as​ ​possible​ ​get​ ​editing​ ​rights​ ​and​ ​that​ ​they​ ​are​ ​motivated​ ​to​ ​contribute.

 

2.​ ​Accommodation​ ​support

Finding​ ​a​ ​home​ ​is​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​time​ ​drain.​ ​Here’s​ ​what​ ​can​ ​make​ ​a​ ​massive​ ​difference​ ​for relocating​ ​employees:

  • Provide​ ​a​ ​neighbourhood​ ​guide​ ​-​ ​which​ ​areas​ ​are​ ​affordable​ ​and​ ​have​ ​good​ ​access​ ​to your​ ​office?
  • Recommend​ ​agents​ ​you​ ​trust​ ​(e.g.​ ​Those​ ​you​ ​and​ ​colleagues​ ​have​ ​used​ ​personally)
  • Inform​ ​about​ ​market​ ​quirks​ ​-​ ​E.g.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​agent​ ​fees​ ​are​ ​affordable​ ​compared​ ​to Germany.​ ​Assume​ ​zero​ ​prior​ ​knowledge.​ ​(You​ ​can​ ​copy​ ​existing​ ​online​ ​resources)
  • Get​ ​paperwork​ ​done​ ​in​ ​advance.​ ​Almost​ ​every​ ​property​ ​market​ ​requires​ ​proof​ ​of employment.​ ​Don’t​ ​make​ ​the​ ​employee​ ​request​ ​this​ ​-​ ​issue​ ​it​ ​as​ ​a​ ​matter​ ​of​ ​course.
  • Nudge​ ​the​ ​relocating​ ​employees​ ​towards​ ​doing​ ​viewings​ ​on​ ​evenings​ ​and​ ​weekends,​ ​if this​ ​is​ ​standard​ ​practice.
  • List​ ​standard​ ​clauses​ ​in​ ​a​ ​rental​ ​contract​ ​to​ ​minimise​ ​questions​ ​and​ ​surprises.

 

3.​ ​Provide​ ​a​ ​forum​ ​for​ ​easy​ ​crowdsourcing​ ​of​ ​solutions

Create​ ​a​ ​Facebook​ ​group,​ ​invite​ ​past​ ​relocators,​ ​and​ ​ask​ ​them​ ​to​ ​contribute.​ ​Invite​ ​all​ ​the currently​ ​relocating​ ​employees​ ​and​ ​encourage​ ​them​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​questions​ ​there.

In​ ​the​ ​early​ ​days,​ ​ensure​ ​there​ ​is​ ​enough​ ​engagement.​ ​When​ ​someone​ ​asks​ ​a​ ​question​ ​that doesn’t​ ​get​ ​answered,​ ​step​ ​in​ ​and​ ​try​ ​to​ ​find​ ​the​ ​answer​ ​yourself.​ ​Or​ ​encourage​ ​others​ ​who might​ ​know.

 

On​ ​a​ ​regular​ ​basis,​ ​regularly​ ​distill​ ​the​ ​lessons​ ​learned​ ​in​ ​the​ ​group​ ​and​ ​add​ ​them​ ​into​ ​the playbook.

 

4.​ ​Provide​ ​a​ ​named​ ​point​ ​of​ ​contact

This​ ​should​ ​go​ ​without​ ​saying,​ ​but​ ​many​ ​companies​ ​fail​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​it.​ ​

The​ ​employee​ ​should​ ​have one​ ​person​ ​to​ ​speak​ ​to.​ ​

He/She​ ​doesn’t​ ​need​ ​to​ ​solve​ ​everything​ ​but​ ​at​ ​least​ ​point​ ​the relocating​ ​employee​ ​in​ ​the​ ​right​ ​direction.

 

Conclusion

There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​unifying​ ​theme​ ​in​ ​the​ ​above​ ​advice:​ ​Show​ ​that​ ​you​ ​care.

A​ ​relocation​ ​is​ ​a​ ​unique​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​your​ ​employer​ ​brand.​ ​The​ ​employee​ ​will​ ​remember it​ ​if​ ​you​ ​were​ ​there​ ​for​ ​them​ ​in​ ​a​ ​time​ ​of​ ​stress.​ ​As​ ​Maya​ ​Angelou​ ​said,​ ​people​ ​will​ ​forget​ ​what you​ ​said​ ​and​ ​what​ ​you​ ​did​ ​-​ ​but​ ​they​ ​will​ ​always​ ​remember​ ​how​ ​you​ ​made​ ​them​ ​feel.

Don’t​ ​make​ ​your​ ​employees​ ​feel​ ​unsupported​ ​in​ ​their​ ​time​ ​of​ ​need.​ ​You​ ​will​ ​lose​ ​money​ ​and goodwill,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​will​ ​remember.

 

If you want to learn more about the studies we conducted and the methodology used, contact me on LinkedIn

​Thank you to the London Business School community who contributed to our research.

Download our eBook “The Art and Science of an Outstanding Welcome”

Author: Kate Thomas

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