Having a relocation policy isn’t just for corporations with big HR departments – it’s an essential tool for any organization that offers incentives for employee relocation. While about 70% of U.S. companies provide relocation assistance to help pay for the transition, only one in five HR professionals rate their relocation program as “highly successful.”
A relocation policy that outlines the process, benefits, and points of contact along the way not only supports your employees, it helps keep your business running smoothly. A relocation strategy can save money, too. Statistics show that costs can range from $85,673 to relocate a current employee who’s a homeowner to $27,437 for a renter. That can really add up if you’re moving multiple employees to a new location.
Not sure where to begin formulating a corporate relocation policy? Here are three recommendations from the experts.
1. Consider the differences between relocating existing employees and new hires.
While there are times you’ll need to relocate a new employee, keep in mind that due to the costs of recruiting, hiring, training and relocating someone new, it can be less expensive to relocate a current employee. Relocating experienced employees who are familiar with your operations can smooth company expansion into a new office or to a new country, in the case of an international move.
2. Explore your options.
Is a single or tiered policy better for your company?
Single policies that apply to all employees are generally simpler, requiring less administrative work.
Tiered policies offer different benefits to different employees. They can be more complicated, but also allow for greater flexibility and cost control. Tiered policies can:
- Be based on employee status or homeowner status, giving your employees benefits that are more specifically tailored to their needs.
- Decrease the number of exception requests you often get with a single policy.
- Allow you to make sure you’re only paying for what each employee actually needs.
What payment method should you use?
Lump sum payments can be an amount that your employees manage themselves or can reimburse them for their moving expenses. Another way is to set up direct billing with vendors like moving services, or work with a relocation consultant. A consultant coordinates with the various suppliers and takes care of all costs, using company funds.
Some employees who are comfortable managing their money and who have a fairly simple relocation may prefer a cash payment or lump sum for expenses, while others may prefer the structure that direct billing provides. The employee can also benefit when the company pays for certain expenses directly, excluding that money from the employee’s taxable income. Having the flexibility to pay for some services and offering cash to the employee for other services can help you control costs.
You might also consider including a payback clause stating that employees will need to return some or all of their relocation money if they leave the company within a certain amount of time.
3. Evaluate your employee relocation policy by tracking your ROI.
Even though few companies successfully measure the ROI of their relocation activities, the information is definitely useful for illustrating the role of relocation policy in the overall company strategy. It can also provide data for refinement of relocation assistance programs.
Calculating how much relocation is costing your company starts with expense tracking and reporting, as well as:
- Noting policy exceptions and how they increase the bottom line
- Auditing vendor service expenditures
- Analyzing employee reimbursements
- Generating the required IRS tax forms
Bonus: Having an informative relocation brochure to give to employees can help them feel more knowledgeable and confident during the relocation process. Pointing them to tools for cost of living comparisons and finding the best schools for their children can go a long way in easing stress and anxiety.
Let DeWitt Guam Help!
We’re here to answer your questions about moving and storage, and work with you to help make the employee relocation process as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Whether it’s a local, long-distance, or international move, DeWitt Guam has the expertise to take care of your employees’ household goods, vehicle relocation, and storage needs. If your entire business is relocating, talk to us about our corporate office-moving services.
Contact DeWitt Guam for a quote today.