Employee relocation from an HR perspective

Whilst offering relocation opportunities to your workforce can help you attract, retain and develop staff, relocation comes at a cost in time and finance to the organisation, whilst to the employee, there can be a great psychological impact.

Employee relocation from an HR perspective

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The psychological effects of relocation

Even if, alongside the relocation policy, a company has provided a comprehensive timeframe and processes for an employee’s relocation, there will inevitably be some ambivalence regarding the move from the employee. Moving house is a recognised stressful event in itself. Add to this commencing a new role or project, albeit it with the same company, plus the effects of the move on the employee’s family, as they too, struggle to settle into a new home, job or school.

As far back as 1967, psychologists Holmes and Rahe, listed ‘change of residence’ as a major life event in terms of stress, along with changes in working role and conditions. More recently, in 2013, The Telegraph found that two-thirds of poll respondents stated moving house as being at the very top of their list of stressors, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/online-estate-agent/reduce-stress-moving-home/.

It is, therefore, essential that the relocation process is managed carefully. It will also be beneficial to have a competitive relocation package set up, as this can relieve many worries of those relocating.

What to include in a competitive relocation package

There are many things to consider including in a relocation package and it may be prudent to engage a corporate relocation company to advise, for example http://www.dtmoving.com/relocation-services. Using such a service can minimise stress as the corporate relocation service will have extensive experience of all the factors that will need to be considered.

Key considerations include having in place equitable compensation adjustments, as the cost of living and local tax rates may be higher in the place that the employee is relocating to. Additionally, it will be beneficial to have an agreed amount of paid leave for the employee to house hunt, visit schools and for the actual move itself. Engaging a specialist relocation estate agent to support house hunting activities can be a welcome idea, as can setting an agreed amount towards the cost of professional moving services and travel expenses. Finally, it may also be worth having in place the opportunity for loss of sale reimbursement benefits linked to any sale of the employee’s home.

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