Four Best Practices for Relocating Employees Internationally
In today’s global world, more and more companies are leveraging their top talent by transferring them overseas, giving them an opportunity to take on a different challenge internationally. In fact, according to the 48th Annual Relocation Survey, the number of companies in the United States relocating employees has increased year-over-year and employers expect volumes to increase further overall and internationally.
If your company is transitioning an employee overseas, here are four tips to make sure it’s a successful move for the company and employee:
1) Provide a Clear and Customized Offer – While you should have a consistent relocation offer package overall, the individual circumstances and needs of the employee should be taken into consideration. For example, take into account the cost of living both where they’re living and moving to, whether the employee has family considerations (elderly parents, a significant other, children) and real estate. Be sure to communicate any expectations up front, such as whether the position has a contract duration, what relocation expenses will be covered by the company, the resources and support that will be provided, and whether the employee’s current position is guaranteed if they move back. Also be willing to be flexible and negotiate. This will help the employee and their loved ones feel supported and make an informed decision.
2) Arrange Housing – A crucial aspect of relocation is simply having a place to live during and after the transition. Whatever level of support your company chooses to provide in this area, make sure your employee has support in finding convenient temporary and long-term housing in the new location, which can be tricky overseas when there’s limited knowledge of the geographic area and how the process works. Consider whether you’ll cover closing costs if the employee has to sell their current home or if you’ll help them cover the cost of breaking a lease if they rent.
3) Offer Cultural Resources– From offering language lessons to covering costs for the employee and their significant other to visit the country ahead of time to help identify the best school system for the employee’s children, make sure they have all the support they need to acclimate once they arrive in the new country. Help simplify the process leading up to the move – from making sure they have up-to-date passports, visas and work permits, to ensuring they understand the medical system. Do everything you can to help the employee deal with the new country’s nuances.
4) Continue Support Post-Relocation – Once an employee has relocated, make sure the support continues, as living in a new country can be isolating for some people until they acclimate. Set them up with fellow expatriates that work for the company or provide them with a mentor at the new office location. Help their significant other find a new position if they’ve also relocated and ensure they have a contact they can go to at any time to help them overcome any hurdles or to provide much-needed resources and advice.
Relocation is exciting for an employer and the employee taking on the new opportunity. Following the guidelines above can help to make the transition go more smoothly ensuring they can focus on getting right to work in an exciting new country and position.