Shipping Your Star Employees Overseas? 5 Employee Relocation Best-Practices to Consider

relocation

If your employees have been knocking it out of the park and could benefit your company by transferring to a different location, relocation may be on your mind. Before deciding to take the leap and submit a relocation offer, there are a few pieces of information that you should keep in mind. 

Relocating is a huge industry and can cost a pretty penny, especially if your employee is a homeowner. The average cost to relocate a current employee that owns a home is $97,166, while a current employee that is a renter costs an average of $24,216. Relocating also requires unwavering patience and back-to-back planning sessions, which should be expected when uprooting your employees and their families. 

While some employees may be more adept at relocating than others, it takes approximately four weeks after accepting the transfer offer to move in and begin reporting for work. Despite the potential speed bumps, relocating an employee can be beneficial for both your company and the team member in question. 

Rather than hiring a new employee, relocation allows your current employees to grow where they’re planted and optimize productivity. Not to mention, cross-country moves are career development opportunities known to reenergize the employees exhausted by the monotony of their current position. Besides breathing life into staff members that have reverted to production-robot mode, relocations allow your company to retain hardworking employees for more extended periods. 

If you decide to submit a relocation offer formally, here are a few best-practices to ensure a smooth transition.

Guarantee comprehensive job relocation packages

The contents of a relocation package can make or break your employee’s decision to accept the offer. Even the most amenable employee would think twice about relocating if coordinating the move would lead to hassle and financial strain. A comprehensive relocation package should include the cost of enclosed auto transport, temporary housing, professional packing services, a highly-reviewed moving company, storage rental, airfare, and assistance to sell their home.

 If relocating them is what’s most beneficial for your company, then you should be willing to provide them with the resources necessary to make the relocation a worthwhile pursuit. 

Provide cultural resources

While moving triggers a domino effect of potentially disruptive change, no matter the circumstances, moving overseas can be especially dizzying. Learning a new language and set of customs requires time and resources, which should be provided by the company. 

Ensuring your employee has any necessary work permits, visas, a current passport, and understands their medical coverage are all excellent places to start. Covering the cost of one-on-one language mastery courses and allowing your key player to visit the area before moving can provide nervous professionals with the peace of mind needed to acclimate to these unfamiliar surroundings. 

Support their family 

Your employee might not be the only one making the trip overseas. Relocating spouses and children overseas poses a unique set of challenges. Remember, these potentially disgruntled family members will run up against the same language and cultural barriers, but potentially to a higher degree. That said, helping the entire family find childcare, secure a new job for their spouse, and navigate the education system will lighten the emotional load resting on their shoulders. 

For those employers tempted to zero-in a star employee’s needs (and push loved ones’ wishlists to the side), note that your employee can easily focus on the job at hand when their family can easily adjust to life in uncharted territory. 

Allow a flexible schedule 

While your employee may be ready to begin work reasonably quickly, cross-country or overseas relocations pose dilemmas that require an employee to maintain a flexible schedule. Mapping out their transportation to the workplace, visiting with schools for their family, appointments with realtors or healthcare providers are all necessary but may eat at their time for the first few weeks. Early on, being flexible with their work schedule may help your star employee get up to speed and prevent productivity-inhibiting burnout. 

Set them up for success

Moving overseas drives an unignorable wedge between your employee and their support system. Family and friends miles away from their loved ones may find it challenging to keep in contact with extended family members, especially in the face of cumbersome time differences. To stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation, put them in touch with other expatriates that work for your company and provide them with a point person at their workplace. 

Overall, fostering communication and connection allows your star employee around-the-clock access to continued support even after they’ve settled into their new home and workplace.

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