How to Make the Most of Your Global Mobility Program
Published: 10/19/2017 By: Rebecca McKinney
Let’s face facts: the majority of today’s relocating population fall into the millennial category. This generation is more open to the idea of not only relocating for the right job, but relocating abroad for said job. This fact, coupled with today’s perceived talent war/scarcity, is one of the reasons it is vital for companies to offer quality global mobility programs and it’s important to address both the needs of the employee (of course) as well as the company as a whole. Global programs require extra attention as you’ll need to consider tax and employment law compliance in addition to the standard relocation benefits. A quality relocation management company will aide their client partners in creating programs best suited for their corporate culture, the global climate and their desired talent but below are three primary characteristics that your global mobility program should embody no matter what. Your global mobility program should:
  1. Address and alleviate potential risks before problems arise
Relocation is an investment. Global relocation is an even bigger investment. The best way to get the largest return on that investment is to mitigate any potential risk before a problem actually surfaces. Not only will this help ensure that your employee follows through on his/her new role, but a seamless experience will add enthusiasm to your staff for any future undertakings as well. When developing (or revamping) a global program, be sure that all aspects are in compliance with local laws and regulations regarding tax, payroll, social security, healthcare and immigration. Lean on your RMC for help and verification! But legalities aren’t the only risks you need to address. These days, a relocation may not be the right choice for every employee. It’s better for everyone to identify potential pitfalls prior to the move. As such, pre-decision assessments are emerging as critical tools for the retention of talent and the successful management of corporate relocation programs. The services under this program should include:
  • A consultation with a relocation services manager to review the relocation package and explain how it all works, as well as any equity concerns
  • Market analyses of the home to determine value and equity
  • Destination counseling from a local relocation professional
  • Destination area information packet
  • Preferred lender pre-approval assistance
  • Cost of living community comparison
  1. Highlight your company’s strengths
The process of developing a quality global mobility program should actually double as a company strengths, weaknesses and needs assessment. Do you need to permanently transfer any employees or will an assignment do? A permanent transfer is a major commitment that will require a much deeper dive into a formal business strategy (think tax-equalizing remuneration packages) and a much larger investment. Your RMC can help you determine the ROI on shorter assignments combined with tax-equalizing benefits. Have you considered the difference between a 6 month assignment and a several year transfer?
  1. Assist in a smooth relocation
Moving anywhere is stressful and time consuming. Moving internationally is even more stressful and time consuming. A formal program is meant to facilitate and guide your employees’ move to a foreign country. Your program needs to help them navigate the logistics while maintaining productivity and comfort. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to overlook your employees’ family needs - spousal career coaching, school finding, dependent visa applications, healthcare, automobile leasing, language and cultural training, etc. An international move is much more than your standard household goods and home marketing assistance. You should also incorporate expatriate support and if applicable, repatriation assistance. There are many reasons why it’s imperative to offer an effective global mobility program and characteristics will vary company to company based on industry, culture and needs but the three items above span all of them. If global mobility is a new venture, or a future venture, it’s important to start working on your program early on so that you can:
  1. Address and alleviate potential risks
  2. Highlight your strengths and
  3. Assist in a smooth relocation
When was the last time you reviewed your global mobility program?
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