How to Stay Cost-Conscious When Developing a Mobility Policy for Employees

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How do you build a successful mobility policy, while trying to remain cost-conscious?  That might seem like the million-dollar question, but trust us, it can be done.

Basically, it’s all a matter of balance.

And, to achieve this balance, you have to look at the elements that you want to include in your mobility policy and weigh them against the potential costs to your organization.  At the same time, you have to look at the broad reaching impact that these policies will likely have on your mobile employees, and what that means in terms of your recruitment and retention efforts.

Perhaps the best place to start is by looking at all of your must-have, key policy elements, and evaluating the cost of each item in terms of overall benefits to your organization and mobile workforce.

Whether you are working with a Relocation Management Company (RMC) to develop those policies, or developing them internally for your organization, the evaluation process will help guide you as to where to spend and where to “slack.”

Let’s have a look at some of the important considerations.

Important Considerations for a Mobility Policy

One of the most important considerations by today’s standards has to do with the changing needs of a new generation of mobile employees, and what that means for domestic relocations and the next generation of international assignments.

Millennials, who are rapidly replacing retiring Baby Boomers within the workplace, have their own career aspirations and priorities, which are much different than their predecessors.  As such, Millennials are causing a widespread shift in company culture, and the way in which employee benefits and policies are being created and managed.  This, in turn, is causing a ripple effect within the entire global mobility industry.

Meanwhile, the nature of global assignments has also changed to incorporate more business travel, short-term assignments, and rotational assignments. So, it’s critical that you develop a robust policy framework that aligns with the changing needs of your mobile workforce, as well as the strategic objectives of your organization.

Thus, when you examine the components that are typically included within a mobility policy, you should do so with both your existing needs and potential future needs in mind.  Then evaluate the costs against the potential benefits of the policy.

Spend Where it Counts

When it comes to your mobility policy, you want to make sure that you are spending where it counts.  There will obviously be some big-ticket items that you will want to include in your policy, such as the packing and moving of household goods or home sale benefits.

It may also be important for your organization to cover other out-of-pocket relocation costs that an employee might incur as a result of a transfer.  That could include a homefinding trip to the new location, or a temporary housing allowance, or many other such expenses related to the move.

But, keep in mind that a one-size-fits-all approach can be a recipe for over-spending.  This is because of the fact that every relocation benefit isn’t necessarily the right fit or even needed for every employee.  They all have unique needs and circumstances, and should be treated as such.

It is also important to consider the drawbacks of using a lump sum to manage relocation, which can appear to be effective but should be avoided.

Impact on Employee Recruitment and Retention

The impact on recruitment and retention cannot be over-emphasized.  While trying to develop a mobility policy that is cost-conscious, you have to be careful that you do not cut corners at the expense of your relocating employees.  If an employee does not feel well-taken care of before, during and after their relocation, then you might run the risk of losing that employee altogether.  That could end up costing your organization much more money in the long run, not to mention the loss of a valuable employee.

In the same regard, having a robust mobility policy can be a huge boost to your recruitment strategy and give you a leg up when competing for key talent within your industry.

Flexibility is the Key

There should also be a certain amount of flexibility in your mobility policy.  This can be the most important aspect in providing the typical, base-level relocation benefits, while offering additional benefits in the most cost-effective way.

This goes back to the idea that each employee has different needs and might not need the same relocation benefits.  As a result, core-flex relocation policies have gained popularity over the years, because they offer the best of both worlds.  With a core-flex mobility policy, you can include a base or core offering of relocation benefits, as well as various flexible elements that can be chosen and added based on the individualized needs of the employee and/or their family.

While most employees will require the same core benefits, not all will need the same additional benefits.  Those additional benefits can be provided as warranted, but otherwise offer cost-savings as a result of the flexibility of the policy.

So, staying cost-conscious while developing a mobility policy is definitely possible, and can best be achieved through a healthy balance of the inclusion of standardized benefits, and built-in flexibility.

Are you looking for guidance with your mobility policy?  Please contact VERSA anytime so that we can help you develop a cost-conscious mobility program for your organization.

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