An employee relocation always has to be handled carefully, because if the news is communicated tactlessly, the whole process can end with the employee refusing to go or agreeing reluctantly to go but in a negative frame of mind.
Alternatively, get it right and the employee may feel they’re being given a unique opportunity and that the employer is bending over backwards to be helpful and make a success of the new posting. They’ll approach the new job with a positive attitude which in itself will help to make a success of the new opportunity.
Start Engaging Early
Start the process objectively by explaining the business case for the relocation, as this stops people feeling that they are being singled out for unfair treatment. Let them know that relocation is a possibility a good while in advance of the actual move. This allows them to come to terms with it, and to discuss any particular personal difficulties with their manager.
It’s sometimes assumed that it’s far more difficult for spouses with children to move, and that therefore if anyone has to move, it should be the single employees. However, single people may find it harder to integrate into a different community, since they don’t have the network of schools and other parents to link into.
Nevertheless, it’s true that a common reason for the failure of a relocation is that the employee’s spouse or children are unhappy, and this will need to be taken into consideration.
Be Flexible and Sell the New Location
Today, opportunities for home working, flexible working and remote working mean that people may be able to take on a new responsibility without moving – they may be prepared to do a long commute on a couple of days a week, in order to stay in their current location the rest of the time.
Be prepared to put some effort into “selling” the new location – a corporate relocation company such as http://www.dtmoving.com/relocation-services will help you to put together a package that highlights all the good things about working and living in the new place. Arrange a coach tour around the nicest bits of town, take a look at the surrounding countryside and show people the new office.
And if at all possible, add some sweeteners such as fare reimbursement.