Last week, we discussed the many issues that can arise when planning for a group move. In the second half of Aires’ Group Move blog series, we have provided practical tips for preparing employees to ensure group move success.
Preparing Employees for the Group Move
Start Early: Don’t underestimate the complexity of preparation.
Gather Employee Data: Information to put together includes job position, nationality, immigration status, current/new compensation, and family information in order to determine the demographics of the impacted population. Utilize reporting analytics available to you.
Engage Strategic Partners: Connect early with area experts for immigration, tax, and relocation management companies for best practices and industry trends. Build up your knowledge through their educational content sharing; collaborate on presentations and reports.
Plan Boots-On-the-Ground: Schedule a tour of the new location with an on-the-ground specialist to understand the local market and what employees may practically need or alternatively lean on your partner network’s expertise to develop relevant materials.
Design Policy and Strategy: Policy consistency will be key, since the employees will talk to each other. Consider existing policy enhancements in order to meet the impacted groups’ needs and to heavily support talent retention goals. Consider a transition bonus.
Complete Cost Projections: Develop cost estimates based on proposed policy elements and review for leadership approvals to meet the allocated budgets for the project.
Develop Resource Pages for Employees: Prepare reorganizational FAQs for employees, partners, and management. With partner assistance, develop brochures on new location information. Allocate a web portal landing page to store all of that useful information in one place (either in-house or through partner resources), which will allow for simple employee information access.
Draft Employment Contracts: The first thing employee will want to see will be the offer letter and what benefits relocation has for them and their families.
Prepare Well for the Announcement: As soon as the email announcement regarding the group move is sent, employees start to web search the new location and discussions begin. Block calendars and define next steps within the announcement. Have initial materials ready (and consider including those in the calendar invite) to help put employees at ease.
Arrange Information Sessions On-Site: Bring area specialists to deliver presentations on the support the employee will receive and what to expect at the new location.
Schedule Change Management Sessions: Sessions should include topics such as resilience at work and outplacement services. Employees will likely be emotionally charged following the announcement. The coaching and guidance for how to deal with the next steps is critical. Focus on talent retention. If an employee’s role is made redundant, offer support in finding new career.
Prepare for loss of staff productivity. Work closely with managers and HR teams to allow space for the impacted employees to process the change and ensure they feel well supported.
Schedule Pre-Decision Trip(s): Offer an opportunity for the employee to visit the new location and assist them with booking travel. Engage your relocation partner to assist with a professional area tour to answer practical living questions, show neighborhoods, housing examples, etc. Allow spouses/partners to attend so they also know what to expect. Group tours can also be effective and allow for networking and securing strong connections with the relocating group.
Set Expectation for Deadline Decision: Setting proper deadlines after an employee has an offer and has completed the pre-decision trip ensures timelines are adhered to.
Set Up Hotline For Q&A: Define parties and provide contact information for employees to reach out to during the decision-making process.
After the Offer is Accepted
Track Offer Acceptance and Initiate Full Relocation Support: Put ownership on employees to communicate the decision in a timely fashion. Work with managers track progress. Ensure that the relocation support is not initiated last minute
Continue Working with Internal Functions Ffr Smooth Project Completion: Manage communication with your payroll team regarding start dates and/or transfer of any company allowances, your Legal team for contracts, and HR business partners regarding any challenges that arise.
Plan Post-Transfer Engagement: Create a “Welcome Team” to support employees at the new office location. Celebrate success with a move-in party. Schedule social events for relationship building that include spouses/partners.
Arrange Cultural Training Session: Understanding local traditions, norms, communication styles in business, and your employees’ personal issues allows for a much smoother transition into new location. Don’t underestimate cultural integration challenges in every location.
Above all, be prepared to make changes. Remain flexible and adapt the program and policies to the needs of your employees as the project progresses. In doing so, you will build a high-performance culture, retain top talent, and ensure that everyone feels they are moving from “good to great.”