Category: Corporate Relocation
Relocating abroad presents challenges, but often the most difficult part of an international assignment is returning to the home country. The sad reality is that more than 25% of international assignees leave their employer within two years of returning home.
With such a substantial investment in each international assignment, it’s wise for companies to plan for a successful re-entry from the beginning of the process. Aside from closing out the host country household and moving the family back to the home country, companies should consider potential reverse culture shock issues the assignee or family may experience as well as the employee’s career path. Read More
Employees on international assignments typically observe the holidays of their host country location, which is sometimes a bit of a surprise for the expats. They might be American citizens working for an American company in its Paris office, but they will be celebrating not U.S. Independence Day but French Bastille Day! They usually receive the same paid time off they received at the home location, but sometimes local laws or practices dictate a different arrangement. Employees on assignment also are given allowances for at least one trip home per year. Read More
Shipping personal goods can represent a significant expense for companies and a significant source of stress for expatriates. Careful counseling is important to ensure employees do not move goods they will not be able to use in the new location (e.g. televisions; excessive or very large furniture that will not fit in the destination housing; and very heavy and bulky items, like pool tables).
Most goods are typically shipped by sea, with a small air allowance for items that will be needed immediately.
The first few days of an international relocation tend to be exciting yet trying. To reduce stress and help employees adjust to their new environment, most companies provide a series of destination and settling in services to the families. Usually this means allowing employees to spend two to four days at their new location handling all of the time-consuming errands that need to happen before they can begin getting into a routine. Read More
Candidates for international assignments are, of course, chosen primarily based on their technical competence and the need for their skills and expertise in the global location. But it is critical that the employee and family are given an opportunity to experience the new location, and that they are thoroughly prepared for life in the new country before the leave home. Pre-Assignment assistance provides the candidate and family with the support needed for a smooth transition. This relatively small expense can safeguard the company’s substantial investment in the assignment. Read More
Employees who are embarking on a global assignment are usually expected to return home within 3-5 years. Under this scenario, property management is a practical alternative to homesale, since most assignees who expect to return home within a reasonable amount of time prefer to retain their home. Automobiles present another challenge for assignees, but companies typically assist with their disposal. Read More
Considering Employee Home Sales Support Programs
Though the trend has been to offer more lump sums and other relocation benefits short of a full home sale program, home sale services remain a central part of a well-rounded corporate relocation program. Lump sums can help to control costs, and they are certainly simple to administer, but the results are not always what the company and employee expect. Home sale assistance represents a greater commitment to the employee and his or her future with the organization—a fact that is not lost on the employee. And the economic ups and downs of the past decade have resulted in some innovative practices and approaches that allow employers to offer home sale assistance as part of their employee relocation packages while maintaining better control over costs.
Relocating employees are happiest, and costs are lowest, when they are settled into permanent housing as rapidly as possible.
When this is not possible, providing good temporary living services to employees becomes an important part of a successful relocation process. First impressions make a lasting impact, and for employees who are moving their whole lives to a new location, temporary housing will be their first foray into an unknown environment. Seamless planning and execution is crucial to ensure happy and productive employees.
Right Talent, Right Place, Right Time
Used strategically, employee relocation can positively impact a company’s competitive position and business performance by getting the right talent in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, the relocation process can be very complicated and stressful for both the employee and the company initiating it. For businesses, some key challenges are competitiveness, cost control, compliance, and employee resistance. For employees, spouse/partner careers, children, elder care responsibilities, real estate concerns, and family resistance are among the frequent challenges. Read More