Tag Archives: ArmstrongRelocation

How heavy is your glass?

Have you ever held a glass of water in front of you for a few minutes without setting it down on table? How about 30 minutes? I’m sure your arm would be getting tired due to the glass of water feeling like it’s getting heavier. How about a few hours? By then, you would probably need to call 911 due to your arm feeling like it was going to fall off. You see, the weight of the water never changes. But it continues to get heavier the longer you hold it.

This is what it can feel like when an employee receives a lump sum to relocate or provided minimal relocation support for the family. When an employee is relocating on a lump sum, the family is often the one asked to hold the glass of water. 

A lump sum relocation is not anything new. This has been around for many years and is the easiest way to manage a relocation for an employee moving from one city to another. BUT there can be consequences. The employee takes a new position, then begins the new job in the new city while the spouse is tasked with managing the relocation. Selling the home, finding a new home, coordinate the household goods move, and helping kids transition along the way. This can become a very stressful time for everyone involved when you don’t have the right relocation support.

So what can you/we do to remove the burden and elevate the onboarding experience for families relocating?

  1. Assist employee with home marketing… even if you only provide a lump sum relocation.
  2. Partner with a moving company. This is a non-taxable expense to employee when direct billed to the company and lifts the stress for a family trying to select a moving provider.
  3. Include a house hunting trip, or provide new community information to include everyone.

Call to action: Reach out to your moving partner this month to discuss strategies to help your employees this summer. If you know someone that needs a partner, please share this information with them. They will appreciate the referral and so will their employees.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “How heavy is your glass” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
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Want a better experience for candidates moving this summer? Consider these mobility strategies…

The month of May marks the beginning of peak moving season! Schools out and families take advantage of the summer months to relocate and settle in their new city before school starts in September.

Based on different sources, there are approximately 40 million families moving annually or 10-15% of US population. However only about 15 million families are moving to a different county, state, or country while the remaining population moving is locally within same county.

There are also approximately 8000 moving companies in the US, with approx. 50% of them (4000) that belong to AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association) and have authority registered to service long distance or nationwide moves. This means (based on my calculations) that household goods moving companies will relocate an average of 18 families per day from May through August compared to averaging 6 families per day from September through April. Statistics will fluctuate based on the size of the moving office, but either way — WOW! That is 3 times more volume moving each day during the summer! The peak moving summer season can make moving more complex and requires precision moving coordination.

Therefore, it’s important to approach your move differently during this time of the year. Here are a few tips to think about sharing with your team to have the best experience when moving this summer:

  1. If you don’t have a relocation partner, get one! Capacity drives up move cost, even when you get bids… and partners will often find ways to help your team when you get in a tough spot!
  2. Advise your employees to schedule the household goods move survey BEFORE home sells. This is a great time to discuss move plan expectations to be prepared when the home sells.
  3. Communicate that preferred moving dates need to be made at least 14 days prior to moving. Some cases less time and others may be 2-3 weeks due to the location.
  4. Consider a container move approach for small apartments or when moving less items. Benefits include a guaranteed delivery date and free storage while traveling to destination.
  5. Prepare employees for increased transit times for the household goods delivery in the summer due to driver hours of service regulations.

Also, be sure to ASK your moving partner about other relocation referrals and assistance including new community information. They can help ease the complexities for your team!

Call to action: Reach out to your moving partner this month to discuss strategies to help your employees this summer. If you know someone that needs a partner, please share this information with them. They will appreciate the referral and so will their employees.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Beginning of Peak Season Moving Tips” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
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Are you pushing or pulling?

Have you ever wondered what separates the good employees from the great employees? It will often point to PERCEPTION. You may have a team of great employees but some may not be perceived great if they don’t understand the value of pushing information. We have all experienced working with an employee that didn’t understand the importance of sharing key updates before we asked for them which created a concern – even when things may have been going well. When we have to pull information, there is a sense of negative perception, as well as a sense that the employee is being micro managed, even when that’s not the case.

Creating a great customer experience is about anticipating or pushing information to others before they have to ask for it. This creates positive perception and drives a better experience for both internal and external employees. 

For example, when an airline texts the customer flight information or a gate change before the customer has to call to confirm information for their flight creates the perception of a great company and drives a better experience for the customer.

In relocation, the move coordinator and driver will call or text the customer to notify arrival times during the moving process and confirm alignment with employees expectations. However, if the customer has to call the company to ask when the moving truck will arrive, it often creates a less than great experience. Everything could have been going well, but the perception is driving the experience!

Here are a few ways for you to elevate the perception and move from good to great in any role:

  • Sending the weekly, or monthly report before your boss or customer asks for it.
  • Sharing an idea for improvement with leadership when you see a gap in the process.
  • Sharing information you learned at a recent conference to help others in your network.
  • Responding to an email even if you don’t have the information to acknowledge received.
  • Routinely updating new sales activity with the sales manager before he asks.

When we are able to anticipate questions, or customer concerns and push information they may need, we are “perceived” to be on top of our game. Employees can also be looked at negatively when we are always asking or pulling information from them during the process and often creates a concern only due to lack of awareness during the process.

When you want to move from good to great, anticipate the questions or situation before others reach out to you and watch the perception of your role elevate to another level!

Call to action: Reach out to your business partner or a co-worker to discuss strategies to help you move the perception of your role, your team, or your program from good to great… or SHARE this post with others to help them anticipate and elevate for success!

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “pushing versus pulling” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.

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3 ways to be more competitive in candidate driven market…

One of the hottest topics in HR continues to be the war on talent. Companies continue to pursue the best candidates in a competitive environment to help meet year end goals and objectives. Many times a new hire or pivoting leadership positions will require a relocation. This could involve home marketing assistance to help sell their home at origin as quickly as possible as well as support to find a new home. It often includes moving the household goods along with storage and short term temporary housing as well.

For companies that have not invested time to explore advantages of relocation services in the past, there may be some alternative ways to help lure the best talent during the recruiting process to be competitive in the market. Here are 3 benefits to consider when your next hire requires a relocation which will elevate the onboarding experience with minimal costs…

  1. Area orientation. This benefit is designed to help the family view different areas in the new city. An area orientation program helps the employee with support to plan a productive trip to search preferred neighborhoods and schools near the office.
  2. Expense Management. Do you have challenges with keeping up with taxable and non-taxable relocation expenses? How about getting employees or new candidates not on the payroll reimbursed quickly? This is a great service that might help your team with support.
  3. Lump sum support. Many times the company will cut the employee a check without realizing the favorable tax benefits which can lead to big savings when you gross up, or ways to stretch the lump sum amount for the employee while giving them a professional to assist them along the way. You can turn an average move into a great moving experience for the employee and family with coaching and support from your preferred partner.

It’s a very competitive candidate driven market today, and these relocation benefits just might be a way to help land your next big candidate while providing them with a great onboarding experience during the relocation process!

Call to action: Invest some time this week to reach out to your relocation provider and request a 30 minute meeting to review these strategies to be more competitive when recruiting the best talent. You will be glad you invested the time, and so will your employees moving.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Recruiting strategies to be more competitive” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!

Getting out of the boat in 2017!

Taking action can change your career…

Have you ever wished you had a different schedule, or could take a vacation, or know you needed to make a change in your company policy but just haven’t made the time to take action?

Many people think and dream about a lot of things, but never take action because of various reasons. Why is this? Many times it is easy just accepting the way things are. In 2004, I was thinking about making a career change. I wasn’t really motivated in my current leadership position and was stuck wondering what I could do to experience more joy in my career. I was in a rut and wasn’t doing much about it other than thinking about how I wish things were different.brucetruck

My wife and I were attending church one Sunday morning when a man walked up on stage to give his personal testimony. This is the time when people will stand up to share their journey of faith. He shared a book he had been reading by John Ortberg called “If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat”. I remember thinking God was talking directly to me that Sunday morning. I reflected about this moment over the next couple of days and went to purchase the book to explore what this was all about. Life is full of defining moments and this was one of them. I immediately saw the payoff of taking action would be so much better than the current situation even if it was going to take time and effort. It was time to take action in my life.

So many times we accept the status quo because it is so much easier and painless to not do anything about it. Make a change takes time and effort. However, if we focus on the end result, taking action will be more motivating and fulfilling once you can achieve the results.

Is there something you wanted to achieve in 2016 that just didn’t get done because it was so much easier to not do anything? It’s a New Year and great time to put this on your list of action items. One way to create momentum is to start sharing with people close to you about why you want to make a change and get feedback. Accepting the status quo isn’t helping you or anyone around you. Make 2017 the year you decided to get out of the boat.

“Your actions are so loud I can’t hear you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Call to action: What is one thing you need to change? Maybe its a new job, or changing a process to elevate the experience for you or others in your company. Write it down and take action over the next 90 days and include others on your journey. This is a great way to create momentum in your career or in your personal life!

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Taking Action” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!

What’s on your Christmas List? 3 HR benefits to add for a better mobility experience.

Some of my best memories as a child was writing my Christmas list and leaving cookies and milk for good old Saint Nick! As we help companies onboard employees that need mobility, we often hear from HR and employees wishing for more benefits that provides a better experience and doesn’t elevate the cost.finalxmas_brucesanta-2016

So this month, I want to share three things that can do just that…

  1. New Area Orientation. When a new candidate is considering making a move to a new city, they want to check out the lay of the land to see where they are going to work, live, send their kids to school, etc.… However, they need a coach to show them around. A relocation professional can elevate the experience with setting up half and full day tours to equip them with information to make the best decision.
  2. Expense Management Reporting. Are you still keeping track of employee expenses on an excel spreadsheet? There is a better way when you outsource this to a relocation professional. They can help pay your employees quicker and also assist you with proper coding taxable and non-taxable relocation expenses for payroll team.
  3. Lump Sum Support. Many times companies will provide a check to the employee for moving. This may sound like a good strategy because it is easy to administer and puts the decision in the employee’s hands. However, there are many disadvantages such as the employee not being available to coordinate the move which leaves it up to the spouse, and the lump sum payment is taxable which leave the employee less dollars for relocation. When you direct bill the household goods move, it becomes non-taxable income to the employee and saves money for the company if they are grossing up the lump sum payment too.

What are some of the things you would like to add to your Christmas list when relocating employees?

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” Napoleon Hill

Call to action: Reach out to your relocation partner and request a client review. Ask about these strategies and others that might help you when pursing a candidate with mobility needs. You will be glad you did, and so will your employee relocating.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Christmas Wish List” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!

The GOAL is bigger than the ROLE!

When I was in high school, I always wanted to play quarterback. Our coach positioned me to play quarterback for our practice squad offense to help make the first string defense better. I knew the ultimate role for me personally was to play as the first string quarterback where I could throw that game winning touchdown and lead our team to victory, but our team also needed someone to run plays during practice to help make our primary defense better. The most important thing was for me to understand that the goal was team first, and not worry about which role I played as long as I was committed to helping our team succeed. cropped-bruce2013.jpg

It’s the same way in business, or possible in your community where there is a bigger outcome when the group pulls together and plays their role. Another word we often hear when talking about pursuing goals is collaboration. When the team pulls together, we are stronger and have a better chance of achieving big things. The people that inspire me the most are the ones that raise their hand and say I will help however you need me, not the person that says I will help as long as…

When moving an employee’s household goods, it takes several members on the team to deliver a successful relocation. It starts with the salesperson to surveyor to move coordinator to operations planners to driver/moving crews to accounting and finance to claims management. Everyone on the team has a unique role, but only one goal – to deliver a great moving experience for the customer!

What is your role in the organization and what can you do as a business leader or even a volunteer in your community to help advance achieving a goal? It may be assisting the salesperson with a new client, volunteering to help raise money for a charitable organization, or getting a community baseball field ready for the season opener.

Whatever it is, know that the goal is more important than the role to achieve team success. Just keep learning, and growing to be ready when your time comes for the next opportunity.

Call to Action: What are some of the goals in your organization? Reach out to others and find your lane to support the team for maximum success. Tomorrow you just may be the leader!

This has been “a Relocation Minute” on “goal bigger than role” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!