More often we see companies tasked with the balancing act of developing a competitive global mobility program while maintaining/reducing costs. Mobility teams are challenged to act as business owners who do more with less, while simultaneously enhancing the mobility experience – which is at the center of all initiatives.
Here are some tips on how to enhance the mobility journey without adding costs to your program:
- Engage partners to do “homework” on the program elements they are responsible for. The intent of this exercise is to gather consultative advice relevant specifically to your program. This will help evaluate if the package offering is competitive and if all services are still adding value to the overall program. Encourage your partners to share what other companies are doing to fine-tune the program and stay agile.
- Review assignee feedback, either through the partner tools and resources or conducting your own additional internal survey to gather notes on what works and what doesn’t.
- Review your program exceptions to find process improvements that will allow you to manage the program more effectively and/or reduce costs. To give an example: your relocation exception data indicates that the top category of spend is for temporary living extension. Following close analysis, you find that families find it challenging to find new homes in that location due to limited destination support they receive through the current program. Because of this review, you decide to provide an additional day of home search support to future relocation packages, which is more cost effective than an additional month of corporate housing extension and helps to reduce the number and costs of these exceptions.
- Review actual benefit utilization. You may find that a certain benefit is underutilized; however, its cost opportunity is high. By removing it from the standard package, it will give you room for considering a different service in other area that would complement the assignee’s experience.
Say Yes to Technology
- New HR/Global Mobility technology solutions keep cropping up, which can give you a great view of your mobility program at your fingertips. This allows more room for you to be strategic, efficient, and consultative with the businesses you work with and to address more specific program requirements and changing needs.
- Review the needs and demographics of your managed population to evaluate how much of technology they need, and what type of service would be the right fit. For example, some assignees may find online language courses or web tool cultural training more attractive due to added flexibility of being able to use whilst still at their home location, in comparison to class-based or one-on-one sessions at the host location. Such an alternative solution would not only meet the individual assignee needs and demonstrate your program’s flexibility, but also would generate some cost savings as a technology solution.
- Embrace various additional technology resources, such as video surveys for the household goods move, especially if assignee has very few items to move. It takes less time out of their day to manage it, and the movers are well equipped in preparation. You may also create short videos to demonstrate what the new office location is like. The opportunities for technology are limitless.
- Consider offering flexibility to the relocating assignee, catering to their individual needs. As an example, we see a trend of people “traveling light.” For example, they may not require a 20-foot container, which the company budgeted for. Perhaps they can instead utilize a small air shipment or excess baggage in lieu of the full container shipment. Consider that they could also receive an additional flex-benefit to complement their individual needs, such as language training or reimbursement of a nanny or dog-sitter on the day they are moving.
Within the mobility packages, social integration is sometimes overlooked, even though it is a very important factor for the overall mobility experience of the relocating assignee and their family. Transferee surveys indicate that they often feel a sense of disconnection and loneliness when relocating. Here are some tips that will help boost morale and inclusion:
- Provide access to socializing and networking opportunities for the assignees, spouses/partners and children relocating to the same location. Perhaps sign them up for next 3 events.
- Share social company group pages if available.
- Offer corporate membership to expatriate organizations.
- Assign mentors in the office who may have gone through a similar relocating/ settling-in experience that they could connect with.
- Include spouses throughout the process, for them to feel just as much supported and connected.
Solutions are limitless. Explore the above initiatives, share your success stories with us, and surround yourself with innovative partners and program stakeholder to build and enhance your brand as the best employer. Keeping the businesses pleased with the most effective cost management.