Relocation policy - key factor in the success of a company's relocation program

According to Worldwide ERC, US companies alone spend $12.2 billion each year on corporate relocations. Companies that relocate or plan to relocate a large number of employees may find that putting in place a relocation policy is essential.

Each company's relocation policy can be different as it is tailored to suit the needs of the firm and their employees. This written policy serves as a foundation for each aspect of the relocation as it outlines the protocol to be used, the benefits offered, the different relocation packages provided, the partners used to assist and the people to contact at each step.

Relocating employees can cost upwards of $25,000 per employee and this cost can increase dramatically depending on the employee's position, family size etc. Despite this cost, it can sometimes be more cost effective to relocate existing employees rather than recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training a new employee.

In the case of relocating existing employees instead of new hires, businesses can continue operating as usual as the employees do not need training in order to start working efficiently. However, the transition to a new location can still be stressful for transferees and can therefore affect their productivity. In order to ensure that productivity levels stay high, having a good relocation policy that addresses all of the transferees needs inside as well as outside of the workplace is key.

Upcoming relocations can be daunting for employees; they therefore have many questions they require answers to regarding their move. Human Resources teams are often the ones these questions are directed at; a clearly set relocation policy therefore saves the HR department time, as it informs employees of what to expect during their relocation and reduces the need to answer so many questions.

Developing a relocation policy is therefore key to making corporate expansion run more smoothly, however the goals and benefits of the policy need to be fully defined before its implementation. 

Trailing spouses: an underestimated factor in a relocation's success

According to Alceis Global Nomads, Human ressources departments often underestimate the importance of the trailing spouse in the success of a relocation assignment.

Companies that wish to send their employees abroad now need to take into account the career of their employee but also the career of the employee's spouse. More and more companies are working to find a way for the spouse's transition to another country to be a smooth as possible. Some even reach out to head hunters in order for the spouse to find work in the destination country. According to research by Alceis, in France only 30% of expatriate spouses state not having had any assistance before leaving home, which shows that more and more companies are taking into account the importance of their employees' spouses. 

However, other factors are often overlooked by human resources departments. Finding work in the destination country is not the only factor in the spouse's happiness and therefore the overall success of the mission. Despite most expatriates being excited to venture abroad, they often do not realise how much of a change of lifestyle it can be and that it can be lonely and language barriers can cause issues.

The trailing spouse should also be a priority for companies at the same level as their employee as a relocation can depend on them. The spouse is often the assignees main support and makes sure that everyone in the family is settling in well in the destination country. Therefore if the spouse's needs are not taken into account and they are unhappy in the destination country, this can affect the assignee and the relocation mission can be cut short.

At Expat US, we work to ensure that the relocation of employees goes smoothly and that the entire family is satisfied in their new home. Should you wish to learn more about the services we provide to companies and their employees, please do not hesitate to contact us.



Source: Les Echos Business


Cost of Living index

It is sometimes hard to estimate the financial impact moving to a new city will have. Using cost of living indices allows you to compare the financial differences between two cities and get a better idea of what to expect.

The consumer price index is an indicator of the price of consumer goods, which includes groceries, restaurants, utilities and transportation, however this index does not include expenses linked to accomodation. Rent, restaurant and local purchasing power indices can also help can a bet overall view of the cost of living in a new city.

In the following table each index is relative to New York City, which means that all indices for NYC are 100. Therefore for example, if rent in another city has an index of 80, it means that on average rent in that city is 20% less expensive than in New York City.

Source of data: Numbeo

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