Global mobility is on an upward trend for companies across the globe. According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s 2014 Modern Mobility Survey, by 2020 the number of people embarking on global assignments will increase by 50 percent. As a result, your human resources department needs to be equipped with the best resources, tools and services to handle reassignments. It’s a big undertaking, so here are the top tips we suggest for HR professionals coordinating employee relocation.
Get to know your employees’ top priorities.
Is your employee single? Married with three kids? Allergic to dairy? Addicted to CrossFit? In getting to know what potential assignees prioritize outside of work - from their family life to eating habits to hobbies - you’ll be able to best cater your mobility efforts to make their assignment a success. Create a questionnaire for your employees to fill out with in-depth questions, then sit down with them and discuss their answers. This process will also help you to get to know your employee on a more personal level so that you’re better prepared to help them adapt to their new culture abroad. Use the knowledge you gain from these sessions to create a relocation strategy aligned with your employees’ priorities.
Understand all documents and paperwork.
There is a lot of paperwork that goes into reassignment. From applying for a work visa to getting taxes figured out, it can be daunting. If you have a strong understanding of what needs to be done, then your employee will feel more at peace. Set aside a large chunk of time to sift through all papers, fill them out yourself and call a support line for any questions you may have. Then, when it comes time for your employee to fill them out, you’ll have the personal background experience and insight on what needs to be done, along with the knowledge of how to submit everything. This is sure to take a lot of stress out of the process.
Connect employees with the new office as soon as possible.
When your assignee has accepted their new role, it’s important to connect them with their new office as soon as possible. Relationships will begin to develop, ultimately helping your relocating employee feel more comfortable and excited for their move. It might be wise to connect them with their onsite manager, HR manager and someone in their same position who is already working on location. The earlier conversations start between these parties, the earlier your employee will feel at ease with their new co-workers, which will likely decrease their adjustment period.
Set up regular phone calls.
When your employee first moves abroad, you’ll want to have consistent communication with them to ensure the move is going smoothly. Check out Google Hangout, Skype and other internet-based platforms that are cost-effective and make connecting overseas a breeze. Use this phone call to discuss any issues, questions or concerns, as well as a time for general briefing on how things are going. These regular phone calls will start to become less regular as time goes on, and eventually totally disappear, but they are imperative for the first few months of your assignee’s stay. Having someone back in their home office as an advocate and confidant will provide comfort and general peace of mind with all the changes they are going through.
Looking for more tips on how to best help your employees move abroad? Download our Global Mobility Checklist to get started on making all your assignees moves smooth and easy!