Moving employees around are essential for any expanding business that wants to find and keep the best people in the proper positions. Companies can better utilize human resources, reinforce several business sites, motivate employees, and recruit top talent by relocating them.
Group migrations are a specialized form of employee relocation. It is called a “group move” when ten or more workers are transferred from one location to another inside the same company.
There are several reasons why a business would need to organize a group relocation, including but not limited to mergers and acquisitions, facility consolidation, office relocation, expansion into new regions, and the introduction of new goods. Because of the greater scope and inherent difficulty of a group relocation, more advanced preparation is required.
Employees’ morale and cooperation might be negatively affected by the context in which a group transfer is being planned. This includes worries about upcoming changes, potential job loss, and the prospect of moving to a new site.
What Are The Big Challenges of a Group Move
It’s vital to be well-prepared for a wide range of challenges that may or may not be directly related to the move itself, given that the need to relocate a large group typically comes during significant changes in the development of a corporation. Among them are some of the following:
- A setback in corporate operations
- Skill drain
- Team morale is lower than usual.
- Excessive spending
It’s also important to be wary of certain problems that can arise throughout the moving process’s own preparation. Inevitably, there will be challenges and complications while planning, packing, and transporting a large group of people. The following are the most prevalent problems that arise during the preparation and execution of group relocations:
- There hasn’t been enough time for people to get on board or prepare for the transition before it’s published.
- Unable to properly coordinate the relocation of all of the staff members.
- No consideration has been given to the wants and dynamics of the team of workers who are relocating.
- No well-defined goals for the change have been established.
- The actual relocation has not been given enough thought or time.
- When business leadership or political pressure leads to the use of unqualified suppliers.
- There was a lack of leadership and direction from above.
How To Plan a Seamless Group Move
Adhering to these guidelines can reduce the likelihood of the problems mentioned above occurring and make preparations for a group relocation less stressful.
Start Planning Early
Do not procrastinate in the planning stages of a group relocation just because it looks like you have plenty of time to do so. The logistics of a group move are complex. The earlier you start planning, the more time you’ll have to deal with any unforeseen problems that may develop.
Postpone The News
You could think the opposite, that it’s better to offer as much advance notice as possible. You probably shouldn’t make the announcement of relocation too close to the actual moving date. But it’s also true that doing so will likely raise more questions than answers. That’s why, before making any announcements, you need to spend a lot of time upfront figuring out the specifics that your relocating personnel needs to know.
Provide a Detailed Explanation When You Break The News
Where and why staff are moving should be clarified as soon as possible. Make sure you have a solid rationale for the business decision and can articulate how this change will benefit the organization as a whole. It’s also crucial to be open and honest about the number of potential alternatives explored before deciding on a new site. It’s important to consider things like the housing market, the cost of living, and the overall quality of life. Explain to them what you expect to see in these and other areas.
Have The Right Teams
There should be two distinct teams when making a group move. The key members of the team who would be actively planning and working on the transfer itself day-to-day make up the “working team.” The working team often consists of key players like the relocation manager, HR, your relocation service provider, and finance.
Payroll, accounting, IT, marketing, public relations, and managers who aren’t on the move make up the bulk of the “guidance review team.” Although members of the guidance review team may not need to be present at every meeting, it is important to keep them informed throughout the relocation process in case they need to take any action at any point. The working team participates in all phases of the transfer, from initial planning to final clean-up.
Develop a Project Plan
After the deadline for the relocation has been set by company leadership and the team has established that it is possible, they should create a timeline for the move. Project planning, program creation and communication, pre-move orientation, personnel relocation management, evaluation, and feedback should all be included in your timeline. This table breaks down what needs to be done during each of these stages.
Have a Good Understanding Of Who’s Moving
Information on the individuals who will be impacted by the move is crucial for assessing how the relocation will affect the company’s operations. You will need more specifics about who is relocating and who is not. Gather as much data as possible about the departing workers, including their new and old jobs, length of service, current and new salaries, current and new managers, personal details (such as if they are homeowners or renters), current residence, and anticipated moving date.
Know The Relocation Policy
It is possible that your company’s relocation policy won’t accommodate your group’s unique needs. Now is the moment to assess whether or not your organization’s present relocation policy needs any modifications or additions to better serve the interests of its members. How many and what kind of places are part of the group transfer will determine many of these factors.
Suppose many employees are relocating from a small town, for example, and all want to sell their homes. Would they be compensated for the possibility that their properties’ values will drop because of the resulting increase in supply? Do you need extra money for the employees’ temporary housing or any other inducement for them to relocate? If you want your company’s relocation policy to be effective during this larger-scale move, you need to give careful thought to these and similar questions.
Gather As Much Information As Possible
You’ll need information on both the current and potential future workplaces, as well as input from employees. Ask your staff what they need from the company’s relocation policy to help them make the transition. When developing the survey questions, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the types of benefits and exceptions that will not be granted.
It’s also a good time to assess your organization’s level of flexibility and identify any areas where benefit trading could be applicable. It’s important to think about scenarios like these, where childcare benefits are used to pay the cost of a family’s relocation expenses.
Plan market research of both the current and potential new sites, either in-house or by a third-party agency. In order to estimate real estate commissions, reimbursement of closing costs, and other location-dependent line items that will affect budget and cost overruns, your team will need to conduct market research to learn the price and availability of homes.
Create a Preliminary Budget
When moving a large group, unexpected costs can quickly add up, which is why it’s important to put together a baseline budget. In addition to knowing how much money needs to be set aside for the group relocation, you need to know what estimates were used while making those forecasts.
Start by determining how much each line item will cost and when you expect it to be spent. Relocation expenses may come at inconvenient times, especially when home-sale assistance programs are involved.
The following are some examples of common expenditure categories to include in your preliminary budget for your group transfer:
- Special events,
- Supplementary travel,
- Retention bonuses.
Bring Management Into The Process
It’s important to formalize your relocation policy with management now that you know what people will need to move, what adjustments need to be made to your current relocation policy, and what unexpected costs and special market concerns may arise.
Put together a presentation that details the advantages you think should be provided and the reasons why. Because of the possibility of special circumstances and last-minute adjustments during the actual relocation, it’s important to employ cost estimates that span a larger range than the final price tag.
Announce the Move Through a Comprehensive Communication Plan
Make a decision on the informational resources that must be made available to workers in preparation for the announcement, and put together a packet of materials, including a frequently asked questions page. Find a suitable location for the announcement, as well as catering, handouts, and a schedule for the day.
Make sure the person making the announcement knows what they should say, how to respond to questions that may arise, and not to make any false promises.
An agenda, schedule of events, copy of the announcement, information on the new location, highlights of the relocation policy and the policy itself, travel and expense reimbursement policy, key contact information, and the frequently asked questions sheet are all essential components of the package given to employees.
Employees are given time to make a decision after they have been briefed on the change, the announcement has been made, and the bulk of their questions have been addressed. Some employers only give workers two days to make up their minds about the relocation.
Make sure that employees who are relocating have access to a relocation or resource room as well as other forms of assistance, such as informational connections to helpful websites and scheduled times when they may ask additional questions. A helpline is offered by some businesses to give workers access to pre-decision counseling.
To ensure a smooth transition and satisfied workers, be sure to organize informational and evaluation activities in advance, both at the old and new locations. On the following page, you’ll find a handy chart showing some of the activities you should think about arranging and where they would be most appropriate.
Without a doubt, organizing a group relocation requires a lot of time and effort. For this reason, having reliable access to a relocation service provider is essential. In order to free up your team to focus on other parts of the move, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the services offered by your moving company.
Relocation companies offer a wide variety of optional extras to make your office move easier to organize. Services like calculating how much money would be needed for a move, designing a policy, giving talks to staff, setting up a relocation hub with all the tools they’ll need, and providing welcome packets and tours of the neighborhood are only the beginning.