Managing Employee Location Mobility

I don’t know about you, but I believe it’s frustrating to move an employee from one location to another without the necessary support and resources.

The world of work is changing and one of those changes will see employees within an organization moving to other locations of the company to ensure that knowledge transfer happens, and that global standards and processes are communicated effectively by those individuals.

I faced a similar situation. I was a single mom moving with two girls, and I felt like a koi fish (yes, I am unique like that) tossed into muddy waters.

blogSo imagine challenges like finding an apartment, household goods, new schools and transportation. I lost weight, fell ill a couple of times and was for the most part irritable and frustrated. But what do you know, there are things we can do as an organization to ensure that moving employees have a smooth transition across borders.

Let’s take a small dive into some simple set-ups that HR can put in place to help our transiting colleagues:

  1. Partnerships: With the rapid movement now of employees across the world, we need to have partnerships with property agents, transport services (car for hire or car loans), movers and airlines. This way when a staff needs to make a move it’s not enough that they are entitled to a relocation fee, but they can get good rates from trusted vendors because you would have helped build that partnership for future employees. This might come as a shock but employees who move will find this to be a great benefit and show of care on the part of the employee that their welfare matters.
  2. Welcome directory: It might seem like a lot of work but its not a bad idea to build an in-house directory that maps out all the safe locations with a reasonable commute to the office and further map into that schools for consideration for those with children; health centers; shopping malls; and local markets. So, this way you don’t end up like me with three distant locations (home, office and school being miles away). With the directory you help the employees make the best decision.
  3. Support services: I mentioned earlier falling ill with one thing or the other. Sometimes these things happen when you change location. Your body might just need some time to adjust to the weather. In the meantime, organizations should build strong relationships with health providers and financial institutions to ensure that if in event the employee needs urgent attention they would not have to wait to get confirmation before being attended to, or at most they should have their ATMs and bank accounts opened in the shortest period to ensure they have access to funds.
  4. Meet and greet: This might seem odd on the list but trust me, most organizations leave employees to plan their arrival into a new country. This is not a good idea. Having someone meet the employee at the airport would make them feel much safer and get a sense of belonging. They should not be left to navigate and transport themselves in a new environment. Even as simple as having their SIM card functioning at the airport ensures they can reach their beneficiaries and not have to struggle with being unable to contact anyone.
  5. Employee resource board: This is a new one but very efficient. Its basically building a sort of intranet space where employees of similar interest gather in a forum. Also, for those who moved long ago, they can also post what worked for them, resources that came in handy, locations and all sorts of things. Think of it as your own internal employee location mobility resource where new employees have access and get trusted, firsthand information on where to go and whom to speak to. This also sets off a good buddy system because they can join forum where they have similar interests and start to feel at home.
  6. Cost of living statistics: This comes in handy before the employee steps into the country. They know what might likely be their biggest spend and start to think up best locations and how they can start planning their finances to manage such costs.

There are so many things to consider but these at least will be a good start for what to build into your employee location mobility structure. The goal is to keep the employee productive. They can only be so productive if they have the right landing.

If you don’t want to build your own structure feel free to hire an employee location mobility consultant.

I hope you found this helpful and look forward to seeing comments on what you are doing in your organization to help moving employees settle better.

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