This article was updated on August 20, 2018.
When it comes to talent mobility, there are many tips for HR on office relocation, but how can HR leaders alleviate the change their employees face because of a move?
First, it's important to announce the reason for an office relocation. Next, identify which employees will be affected by the relocation. For example, will all staff be moving to a new location or will just some relocate while the others are laid off? Or do you only need a few highly respected employees to move temporarily in order to open a new location? Talent mobility brings up many questions for an HR office.
Here are four tips to keep in mind.
1. Take Ownership of the Move
One of the biggest morale crushers is an ill-informed staff. Rumors spread quickly, so take ownership of the information that's being shared about your firm's location change. Keep all employees in the loop of the how, why, when and where. Details are important, so send regular emails, post updates on the corporate intranet and build a representative team to act as ambassadors during the move.
2. Individualize Relocation Packages
Gone are the days when a one-size-fits-all relocation package can address all business workplace strategies. It doesn't matter if you're moving staff to a different office in the same state or across the globe — tailor your offer to meet your current talent mobility needs. There's no magic formula for what to include in a relocation package, but a domestic relocation program should include these incentives:
- Location visits
- Relocation bonuses or pay adjustments
- Real estate assistance
- Legal assistance (for help to get out of leases)
- Moving expenses
- Family support
- Payback clauses, if permitted by state law
Relocation packages with additional considerations should be offered for global relocation. For example, offer language training, appointments with established financial and tax professionals and assistance with small projects like finding personal storage facilities abroad. Finally, realize that all relocation packages can be tailored to different groups of employees, such as new hires, established employees and executives.
3. Provide Cultural Training
One of the most important tips for HR on office relocation is to consider the role culture plays in global expansion. Language training isn't the only thing needed when relocating staff to a different country or hiring a new employee from overseas. Study the cultural norms of your new location and immerse your staff — and their families if necessary — in cultural training. Cultural norms affect your employees' personal and professional lives, so make the transition as easy as possible. It pays off in the long run to get everyone comfortable from the get-go.
4. Play Tour Guide
Go the extra step for employees by providing them with information about their new location. Create a list of local businesses your employees may need, such as banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, auto mechanics and more. You can even include fun items such as well-known tourist attractions, movie theaters, comedy clubs or fitness centers.
As it relates to employees and office relocation, the more specific and all-encompassing the information you provide to your staff is, the better they'll fit into their new home and the happier and more productive they'll be in the workplace.