Even with every step of a relocation going perfectly – seamless household goods move, wonderful temporary accommodations, the home sale and home purchase going smoothly – there are still stressors that come up on a personal level for the transferee and their family. Many times, the family is moving clear across the country for the transferee to take on a new job, sometimes with their current company and other times for a brand-new organization. Here are some of the things that you should consider while working with a transferee, especially as their stress levels are at an all-time high.
- They might be worried they are going to hate their new job!
It is hard to imagine that an employee would accept a job they didn’t love, especially if it involved relocation. The truth is they will not know if they love the job until they start the job. What if they dislike their new manager? If they are the manager, what if they don’t mesh with their new employees? The majority of the time, this is no more than an anxious thought that likely will not come to fruition; however, it is hard to level with a transferee if you don’t take this fear into consideration as you assist them with their relocation.
- Their partner may not love the new destination.
Alright – we have settled into the new location and, thankfully, the transferee loves their new job! The company is great, the employees rock, and they have never been happier in a career setting. Bonus! Worries over! Not quite. There is potentially a whole family that the transferee has to worry about, too. In a perfect world, as soon as the transferee arrives at destination, the spouse finds a job he or she loves, and the kids are outside playing with all of the new neighbors. Unfortunately, sometimes the world is a little less perfect. Fulfilling jobs aren’t always easy to come by. If the spouse is in a unique or specialized profession, it could be weeks, months, or even longer until they find a job they love, too! This can weigh on the transferring employee. They want their family to be as happy as they are and when the family isn’t happy, odds are the transferee isn’t either.
- The cost of living may not add up.
A relocation usually comes with a lot of perks, but it is not a guarantee that a raise in wages is one of them. Transferees have a lot of resources at their disposal and are counseled about all of the aspects of the destination, cost of living included. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a sticker shock when they go to the grocery store. There is a very big difference in the cost of housing and everyday goods when moving from, let’s say, Pittsburgh to New York or Chicago or San Francisco. The prudent transferee has run the numbers and maybe run them again and everything is going to be great in regard to their finances – until it isn’t! Money can be a very taboo subject and may not be something that the transferee wants to bring up to their counselor nor to their company. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a stressor for them – and a major one.
These are three common stressors in our industry, backed by many psychological and research-driven sources. Many times, the major stressors about relocating have nothing to do with the actual act of relocating, but rather the impact moving has on the transferee and family. It is very difficult to be able to calm the worried nerves of every relocating employee. Our recommendation is to overcommunicate to the transferee before the actual relocation about some of these potential stressors. Many times, companies will provide in-depth pre-decision assessments to the transferee to determine if the relocation makes sense overall. This step is often involved, but many employers use it to ensure a mutual benefit from the employee relocating to a new area.
At Aires, we work with a lot of great companies that care deeply for their employees. These companies work very hard to ensure a seamless relocation experience and strive to advance their employee’s careers past the initial relocation. Eliminating stressors and setting appropriate expectations will lead to a productive employee and a happy family to accompany them!