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Employee relocation is a significant investment, and measuring its success is crucial to ensure it’s worth it for your company. As with many metrics in the people business, however, “success” can be difficult to measure or even define. How do you know if you’re getting your money’s worth out of your relocation program?
Let’s dig into it.
Employee relocation—what, why, and how?
Relocation packages don’t only come in different shapes and sizes—they also have vastly varying purposes. From enticing new employees to retaining and engaging existing ones, relocation is an umbrella term that encompasses many strategic ways to build a strong, engaged workforce.
A typical relocation package can vary depending on the company and the specific needs of the employee, but the most common items that get mixed and matched into an average package include (but are not limited to):
- Moving expenses: The company may cover the costs of packing, transporting, and unpacking the employee's belongings.
- Temporary housing: The employee may be provided with temporary housing while they search for a new home.
- Spousal employment assistance: The company may provide assistance with finding employment for the employee's spouse.
- Relocation allowance: The employee may be given a lump sum of money to cover the cost of the move.
- Temporary storage: The company may cover the cost of temporary storage for the employee's belongings.
- Transportation expenses: The employer can cover transportation expenses such as airfare, rental car, or mileage.
- Tax assistance: The company may provide tax assistance to help the employee navigate the tax implications of the relocation.
- Cultural training: If the employee is relocating to a new country or culture, the company may provide cultural training to help them adjust.
- Language training: The company may provide language training if the employee needs to learn a new language to work in the new location.
- Last but absolutely not least, visa and immigration assistance: If the employee is relocating to a new country, the company can (and should) provide assistance with visas and immigration.
That’s a lot of moving parts and expenses that can add up quickly. So how can you begin to evaluate if the investment is paying off? Let’s take a closer look at some things to track when measuring the success of your relocation efforts.
How to measure the success of your employee relocation program
- Time to fill vacancies: A major driver of the growth of employee relocation programs is the global talent shortage and increasing difficulties hiring locally. In today's labor market—where skilled professionals can freely choose where they want to work—a good relocation can help you fill jobs more easily. Measuring the time to fill vacancies before and after implementing the relocation program can help determine its success.
- Costs: Another critical factor in measuring the success of your employee relocation program is, of course, the cost. Relocation costs seem daunting up front, but how are they comparing to what you might expect to spend on filling a position locally? The prevailing idea that relocation is prohibitively expensive is gradually being dismantled, as traditional relocation services are being replaced by automation—with Jobbatical’s relocation software, it’s possible to move employees from A to B at just a third of the price of legacy providers. And once you also start factoring in increased employee engagement and productivity, you’ll start getting the complete picture of how the one-time expenses associated with relocation can have ripple effects throughout your organization and the bottom line.
- Retention rates: Another key reason for offering employee relocation programs is to retain top talent. Tracking retention rates of relocated employees can help measure the success, but be careful with relying too heavily on retention numbers alone. As HR legend Patty McCord put it in an interview earlier this year, “Sometimes I think we get lost in measurable, numeric data.” Employee turnover isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself—sometimes people leave due to restructuring, or because a certain role is no longer a fit, thereby making room for more successful hires. To counterbalance the reliance on pure numbers in a people-centered industry, McCord stresses the importance of looking at human behavior as data as well.
- Employee satisfaction: Speaking of human behavior, employee satisfaction surveys are an excellent tool to measure the success of relocation programs. These surveys can help identify employee satisfaction levels with the relocation process, including support received from the company and overall experience of relocating. Employees who have good relocation experiences can become fantastic brand ambassadors. To give your relocating employees a smooth experience from day zero, it’s worth looking into settle-in services like Jobbatical’s, which cover all the mundane necessities of getting started in a new location—from accommodation search to tax registration and beyond. Starting off on the right foot will help ensure that your new arrivals are set up for success. Speaking of which:
- Productivity levels: Track the productivity levels of relocated employees to determine the success of your relocation program. If the productivity levels of relocated employees are the same or higher than the “average” employee, it’s a good indication that the relocation program is working as intended.
- Employee engagement: Employee engagement is a critical factor in measuring the success of any program. Tracking the engagement levels of relocated employees and looking at them in the greater context of your organization can give you many insights into how your relocation packages and experience are measuring up.
The Jobbatical platform makes employee relocation twice as fast and three times more budget-friendly, with AI-powered automation that takes care of the more labor-intensive tasks and activities normally vulnerable to human error.
If you’re ready to increase the success of your employee relocation program, speak to us today.