How Effective is Your Relocation Benefit Package?
For many companies, “relocation” means moving new hires and their families from Point A to Point B. The Company agrees to pick up the check and the movers do the rest. As an added bonus, many companies provide some kind of “lump sum” signing bonus for their transferee to use as they see fit during their transition. This is the extent of most relocation benefit packages.
What could possibly go wrong?
Let’s compare corporate relocation to the do-it-yourself travel process. When using a service like AirBnB, prospective travellers view photos of available homes to rent. They can narrow their search down by location (whether or not they have the entire home to themselves) and price. User ratings allow them to assess other guests’ experiences with the home. Ultimately, they make an educated guess and pull the trigger.
If the place isn’t great, you leave a bad review – chances are you’re probably going to spend most of your time outside the place anyway. You are on vacation after all.
Now imagine this same situation, except instead of a short-term rental, the individual is looking at a one or even two-year lease! All of a sudden, the stakes are much higher. Unlike AirBnB, most homes don’t have ratings from previous tenants available to review. Therefore, the decision boils down to photos, geography and price.
Now imagine this employee has never lived in LA before. Maybe they’ve never even been here. How intimidating a decision is that? Los Angeles is over 500 square miles. Compare that to San Francisco, which is just under 50! How many transferees do you think would appreciate the opportunity to have a Los Angeles local connection review these same listings, contact the owners, and go personally on-site to take photos and videos, allowing the employee to see their prospective home with their own eyes before making a decision?
Oh, I forgot to mention, the local connection isn’t a real estate agent trying to unload inventory. They are an impartial expert whose only motivation is to line up the best situation for your candidate.
Let’s suppose the person your company is relocating ends up in a home they are happy with, and they fit right in to the culture of your Company! Hooray! But, wait a minute…suppose the Spouse isn’t happy. While your new employee is putting in long hours at their new job, their spouse is at home dealing with the tasks of getting the children into school, finding services for the family, navigating the new neighborhood, finding furniture, etc.
Let’s say this spouse has no friends in Los Angeles. Do you think that might wear on them? Again, this is where having a seasoned Los Angeles local working for the family is so key. The Relocity Personal Host (our term for their dedicated consultant) essentially becomes the family’s first friend in Los Angeles. They are not only there to make sure the family gets the perfect home, but also to make sure that the family gets the most out of the Los Angeles experience.
Maybe the Spouse has always wanted to take an art class, but doesn’t have the time to look into it with all the chaos going on in their life. The Personal Host will not only assist with the chaos (schools, services, furniture, utilities), they can also assist with the little things like identifying activities that will enrich the lives of the transferee and their spouse. Your relocation benefit has now become a transformative lifeline.
When I moved to Los Angeles in 2003, I was a 23-year-old from a small town in Michigan. The biggest city I’d ever lived in was Ann Arbor. Needless to say, Los Angeles was a big change. Fortunately, I was young, courageous and found like-minded friends very easily. But not everyone can be 23 and care free.
Los Angeles is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world. Just about everyone is represented here. It’s the ultimate melting pot. Yet, for some transitioning here for the first time, it may be comforting to be around people who share a similar ethnic background, religion, heritage, and value-system, at least at first.
A big reason some individuals ultimately decide that a city isn’t for them is because they never really became a part of a community within that city. For people who are perhaps on the introverted side, this can be even more difficult.
A Personal Host can smooth the transition by working with an individual and their family to help them find a little piece of home in Los Angeles. This can be a crucial relocation benefit in some cases, especially in those first few months.
The bottom line is: there is so much more to relocation than just moving boxes. In fact, the move is just the beginning. How the first few months in a new city go for your transferee sets the tone for their overall happiness in their new environment. This is why a quality relocation benefit including concierge services such as those from Relocity makes a huge difference for your corporate culture.
No amount of free lunches or other perks will have as much of an impact on the transferee’s perception of their company as how the company took care of them during a stressful and life-changing time.