Planning an international employee move can be complex and daunting. Organising a group relocation will even be more challenging, complicated, and wearisome.
This is because the logistics of moving a group of people includes several additional elements. Moreover, since there are more persons involved, you have to customise more relocation plans to meet the individual needs of each employee.
Planning a group relocation for employees, though, does not have to be a tedious and complicated process. With the right strategies and tips, you can organise an international move that will go well for you and your team.
Planning an International Move for a Group of Employees
If you are relocating to Dubai with several employees in one go, below are five tips that can help you streamline the process and ensure its success:
1. Select the right employees for your move.
If you haven’t chosen the employees you want to appoint for an international assignment, complete this step first before moving on to the others.
Keep in mind that selecting the right employees is crucial since not everyone has the desire or plans to work abroad.
Even if you need staff with a particular expertise to take a position in your overseas branch, they may turn down your offer no matter how attractive the relocation package is. Therefore, you need to ensure that everyone in your international staff roster is onboard before making any arrangements.
Conducting in-depth, one-to-one meetings with every employee you want to assign to an international post can help you choose the right people and ensure they will take on this assignment wholeheartedly.
During these meetings, explain your goals and the reason behind your plans of relocating them. Ensure they understand everything you discuss and ask them if they want to be part of achieving those company objectives.
If they are open to the idea, discuss their role and responsibilities with them. Also, make sure you share some essential details about their destination. These would include an overview of the city, culture, predominant language, climate, popular attractions, and other relevant information.
If an employee has a family, discuss the option of having their spouse and children move with them and the amount of support you will provide them. You can also touch on the quality of education and healthcare, public transportation, recreational activities, and other interesting things they can expect when they relocate.
However, make sure you do not sugar-coat anything. You need to be honest and upfront about everything the employees should expect. Also, if you are unsure about something or can’t answer their questions now, tell them that you will get back to them later.
An informative, open, and two-way meeting with your shortlisted employees can help you decide if they are the best fit for the international assignment or if you need to look for others.
2. Set a budget.
There is no going around the fact that moving a group of employees can be costly.
However, if the move fails, it can be more expensive, with possibly lost revenue adding to the cost.
Establishing a budget for the international relocation can ensure you avoid breaking the bank for this endeavour.
Create a realistic, workable budget. You can do this by running cost estimate scenarios, which should cover attrition and retention approximations. Additionally, it must also include relocation, severance, and other pre-decision activities.
If you think you cannot handle all processes involved in international relocation, consider including additional services offered by a moving company that can make the entire endeavour go smoother. Examples of these are home search, settling in, and language and cultural orientation.
Lastly, make sure to avoid underestimating the budget since this can result in problems later.
3. Create a strategic plan.
Advanced and strategic planning are crucial for facilitating a successful group move.
Ideally, you should start planning your employees’ move as soon as they agree to it.
A good moving plan includes these key elements:
● A timeline
● Relocation package
● Employee relocation management
● Communication strategies and plan
● Pre-move orientation
● Evaluation and feedback
The moving timeline depends greatly on the date when your employees formally accept your offer. If you are still waiting for their decision, be careful about setting a deadline: giving them too little or too much time can negatively affect retention goals.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to give employees sufficient time to absorb the news and the information they need to make an informed decision. Two to five weeks after the announcement date is usually enough for them to mull things over and decide.
4. Practise open communication.
Communication is one of the most crucial components of an effective moving plan due to different reasons.
Employees relocating overseas do not want to be surprised by unpleasant or unexpected news, especially when they are close to their date of flight. This can impact their morale, which will also affect their transition.
Moreover, your employees want to have a say in some important decisions, such as their salary rate, benefits, and prospective home. By keeping them updated and involved, you’ll make them feel more excited about the move and boost their morale.
Speak with your employees personally or send them or emails or messages about important updates regularly.
Also, remember that open communication also involves listening to your relocating employees. If you are still looking for their accommodation, ask for their input or preferences regarding the shortlisted rentals.
Your communication plan should also incorporate external messages, such as employee relocation announcements, FAQs, and newsletters, among others.
5. Implement the relocation plan.
Once you have ironed out all the details of the relocation package and have a feasible moving plan, it’s time to implement it.
Provide each relocating employee with the agreed-upon moving timetable. Implement a weekly check-in with them to see if everything is going as scheduled.
Also, find out what kind of assistance your employees still need. These may include help with packing, choosing the right travel insurance, or searching for the right schools for their children.
As you get the relocation plan in motion, recommend tools that can help the concerned employees organise their upcoming move more efficiently. Also, share informative links to helpful websites and forums where they can get more information about their destination.
Lastly, remember to be flexible and open-minded. Although you have a well-thought-out plan, problems can arise.
Always speak with your moving employees regarding the best possible solutions for any unexpected problems to minimise stress and inconvenience.
A successful international corporate group move is possible by considering various key factors.
Ensure these steps are covered when relocating a team by having a well-organised plan for their move.