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4 Surprising Findings About the Employee Relocation Experience

4 Surprising Findings About the Employee Relocation Experience

As an HR leader, your goal is to get the right people to all the right places to grow your business. But, it’s important to realize you’re not moving goods – you’re moving people! Amidst the trials, chaos, and excitement of moving, what matters most to their relocation success? Unique challenges face each employee and family. If unaddressed, these challenges can threaten their ability to thrive – derailing momentum.

After surveying 3,078 employees and spouses/partners we supported across the globe, surprising trends emerged on what exactly relocating talent needs to flourish in the new location.

1. When well supported, engagement soars for transferees. In fact, 75% of transferees report being Highly Engaged post-move! Against the national U.S. average of 33%1 and the global average of 15%2, this is astounding considering the day-to-day challenges, hoops, and roadblocks they encounter even during the smoothest of relocations.

What’s making them so engaged? Seventy-nine (79%) of relocating employees report integration services save them time during the move, and 73% share that the services allow them to be more productive at work. When personal and company success hinge on transferees being able to focus on their new role, taking the extra step to ensure their needs are met at home is a game-changer.


Relocation Motivators

  • 51% Personal career development
  • 22% Promotion/necessary for promotion
  • 15% Other
  • 7% Fear of job loss
  • 5% Spirit of adventure

Career development is a key driver for this high engagement rate, as well. Fifty-one percent (51%) of transferees cite Personal Career Development as their #1 reason for accepting the move. This is especially eye-opening as only 6% indicate an Attractive Compensation Package moves them to relocate.

2. The number of single relocating employees is trending up. While 67% of single employees accept the move for Personal Career Development, their career isn’t top of mind when it comes to relocation concerns. Forty-one percent (41%) worry about making friends in the new area. So many positive things in life are tied to strong relationships. It’s no wonder single transferees want help establishing new bonds.

Employees under the age of 30 comprise almost half of respondents who receive Singles Integration Assistance programs. The needs of these younger, highly educated, and more ethnically diverse transferees are unique in one integral way – the newness of it all. They report dealing with many new situations – new job, new financial stressors, as well as new life apart from family and friends. Like the overall population, Personal Career Development is the top reason 67% of Singles accept the move.


Single Employee Relocation Motivators

  • 67% Personal Career development
  • 10% Compensation
  • 8% Fear of job loss
  • 5% Spirit of adventure
  • 4% Family-related reason
  • 2% Cost of living

3. Your employees’ spouses/partners desire career growth, too. Most families depend on a second incoming, meaning partners need to re-establish their career fast in the new location. Overall, 61% of US couples3, 69% of Canadian couples4, and 75% of European couples5 are dual-income. So, there’s the emotional need for a job as well as the financial necessity for it. In fact, the mean salary for relocating spouses is $71,500 USD.

With one-on-one career coaching support, spouses/partners achieve a significant increase in their skills, knowledge, and confidence. After working with a one-on-one career coach, spouses/partners consistently report triple-digit increases in Above Average Knowledge for these key job search areas:

  • Résumé/CV: 309% increase in skills
  • Social Media: 267% increase in skills
  • Networking: 175% increase in skills
  • Interviewing: 118% increase in skills
  • Negotiating: 147% increase in skills

4. The whole family saves time settling in to their community and is happier when Integration Assistance is added to the benefit. With 79% of families reporting Integration services saved them time and 92% reporting they are happy post-move, it’s worth exploring how these family-centered services positively impact the success of your transferees.


Who moves with the employee?

  • 89% move with spouse/partner
  • 52% move with kids
  • 33% move with pets
  • 9% move alone
  • 2% move with elders and parents

Relocation brings a roller coaster of emotions, often changing daily. Excitement and Fear creep in prior to the move, with Loneliness taking over after the move. These emotions affect the settling in process, but kids are more resilient than we give them credit for. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of IMPACT Group’s participants report their kids adjusted to their new community in less than 6 months. When it’s all said and done, 92% of families consider the relocation a success and 82% would relocate again.

Coaching support can and does empower people to find and grow great careers. Addressing the professional and personal aspects of relocation results in increased productivity for the employee, a new career for the spouse, and more time for everyone in the family.

At IMPACT Group, we help individuals and families settle into their new life quicker so they can make new memories faster. Discover how we can partner together to build a better world for your employees and your organization

Keep learning! Download a copy of our full People Perspective on Relocation report here.

 

1 2017 State of the American Workplace Study, Gallup.com
2 2017 State of the Global Workplace Study, Gallup.com
3 Employment Characteristics of Families, Bureau of Labor Statistics
4 Percentage of Dual-Income Families Nearly Doubled in Last 40 Years, The Globe and Mail
5 Emerging trends in earnings structures of couples in Europe, European Commission


Contribution by Ed Marshall.

Ed is a Practice Leader for Global Mobility at IMPACT Group. A member of Worldwide ERC®, Ed is a designated Senior Global Mobility Specialist-Talent (SGMS-T) and a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP). Connect with Ed on LinkedIn today.

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