In the business world, that old saying rings true: “the only thing that is constant is change”. Companies move, offices expand, and at some point you find yourself navigating employee relocation. By now you are well aware that this can be a delicate subject, so we’ve created an employee relocations checklist for you to follow to ensure your employees feel supported and taken care of during domestic relocation.
1. Let your employees know well in advance
Change can be challenging for anyone, and asking your employees to move to a new city requires them to change a lot of things in their lives. They will need plenty of time to look for new housing, arrange their affairs in their current city, and prepare the family if they have children or a spouse. Let them know why you are asking them to move, as well as whether the move is considered permanent or temporary. They will appreciate as much advance notice as you can give them — especially if you take the next four steps, too.
2. Plan the company budget for employee relocation
Relocating an employee can be an expensive endeavor, but crunching the numbers well in advance will help both the company and the employee know what to expect. What is your company’s policy on covered expenses? Does your company reimburse, or pay for moving expenses directly? Is there a limit on expenses or a limit on budget categories? Clearly lay out how payment and compensations work so that everybody is on the same page as the move approaches. Many of Unpakt’s corporate relocation companies will already have a clearly laid out budgeting system to help you plan your costs.
3. Negotiate the relocation contract
There is a lot to consider when relocating an employee, and it is best to enter the negotiation conversation with a clear sense of what the company is willing to offer. If there will be a significant change in the cost of living, will you renegotiate the employee’s salary to adjust? Will you offer to find and pay for a rental for the first month or two while the employee finds a new home? If the employee has difficulty selling their current home, will the company offer to help? Will you offer pilot trips so they employee can go house hunting, check out school districts, and get acclimated to the new city? Many of these considerations likely depend on how large your company is, how many employees you are relocating, and what resources your company already has in place to support the relocation process.
4. Hire a moving company for the employee
Employee relocation costs can be greatly reduced by choosing a moving company that is professional, efficient, and will consolidate additional services under one full-service business. By taking care of choosing and contracting with the company, you can provide a great value to your employee and reduce their stress around the move. They can rest a little easier knowing that their belongings will be well cared for, and you can be assured that you won’t see hidden charges on invoices coming across your desk.
5. Prepare an information packet
Before your employee even has to start an internet search for taxis, school districts, and local restaurants, put together a list of information about their new city. Do they have children? Pets? Are they looking to buy or rent? All of these details can help you tailor a moving package to meet your employee’s needs and help them feel supported by your company in their move. Then choose a moving company that will help them land in their new home smoothly and easily so they can return to work with confidence and positivity! It’s the little things that count, and an employee who feels like you’ve made their move go smoothly will be happier at the office in the long run.
What about Corporate Housing?
We have found that while many travelers have been eager to cut costs and find more privacy on the road, they don’t know enough about the corporate housing market to see it as a viable alternative to the pricey full-service hotel or the cost-free (but horribly uncomfortable) friend’s couch.
Corporate housing usually entails a stay of at least 30 days and is typically much less costly than traditional hotels in the long term. Providers of this service (we call them hosts) include not only extended stay hotels but also furnished apartments and houses. And despite its name, corporate housing is NOT just for business travelers – it’s for anyone looking for an extended stay.