Part 1 of a 3 Part Series on Corporate Relocation Services and Group Move Management
Relocating employees after a company acquisition can be a challenging task, especially when asking employees to relocate to a perceived undesirable location. When a longstanding TRC client headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota decided to acquire one of its competitors based in Denver, Colorado, they knew that employees could be reluctant to relocate. After evaluating its talent needs, the company decided to offer a domestic relocation package to 59 of its newly acquired employees and their families, based in either Colorado or Wyoming, to South Dakota.
Through employee interviews and discussions with acquired management staff, the client confirmed that the employees viewed the move with hesitation and reluctance. So as the offers were being made to key employee talent, it was important that as many accept the move as possible. To nurture a high acceptance rate, the company needed to be prepared to provide all the necessary information and support that would allow the employees to feel confident in accepting the move.
Planning a Pre-Decision Familiarization Trip
To help combat employee hesitation, TRC encouraged the client to plan a familiarization trip to Rapid City, SD and present it to the key talent when they receive their relocation offers. This visit would be a group trip, presented in the hope than everyone who received an offer to relocate would experience what the destination area had to offer. Although this would require a financial commitment from the client, TRC was able to demonstrate that the cost of such a trip would be much less than having to recruit locally or having voluntary terminations of employees who did relocate, but were not happy with the area after moving.
To deliver the optimal visitor experience, TRC developed an itinerary for the trip that included walking through the state-of-the-art client campus in the destination location and taking tours of neighborhoods and the surrounding area. In addition, to more thoroughly showcase the area, TRC planned a side trip to the Mt. Rushmore national monument, which included travel through breathtaking scenery and a stop for lunch in a popular, local eatery. TRC also enlisted mortgage banking and local destination service partners to take part in the trip, and they were on hand to answer questions from the prospective transferees.
Familiarization Trip Influences Final Acceptance Rate
Nearly all of the employees who received an offer to relocate participated in the familiarization trip to Rapid City. Most of those who did not attend had either made up their mind about the move one way or the other, or had already spent a good deal of time in Rapid City and were comfortable with the area. The final acceptance rate for the move overall was 50% of those who received an offer to relocate.
ROI of Pre-Decision Planning when Relocating Employees
Employee evaluations after the group move cited the familiarization trip as a positive factor in their decision to accept the move. In addition, TRC was able to save the client tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary employee turnover / recruitment costs and create a buzz of excitement around a move that employees initially viewed negatively.