Tag Archives: communication

Questions from the “lens” of your talent relocating.

I remember relocating from Oklahoma to Texas over 20 years ago. My wife and I had so many questions from the process of selling our home at origin to where we would live in the Dallas area. The best thing a company can do for their candidates relocating is develop a partnership with a company to help guide the candidate/family during the transition. There are so many questions needing to be answered and many times the spouse is left coordinating the move. …and change creates “fear of the unknown” especially with when relocating to a new city for a new opportunity.

One of the tasks a candidate thinks about when accepting a new job that requires relocation is the movement of the household goods. The key to any successful household goods move ALWAYS starts with the “pre-move survey” which is the first touch point following the introductory call. This is an area I enjoy about my role in relocation, because it allows me to learn first hand about what’s most important to the employee/spouse during their upcoming relocation. I hear questions from “how will my personal items will be packed?” to “how long it take to pick up and deliver for planning”? I will be sharing questions during peak season from the employee lens to help equip you and your employees with relocation resources. I hope you find it helpful!

This weeks question from the customer…

“I am wanting to move next Tuesday from Dallas to Houston. Can I have delivery on the following Saturday? If not on Saturday, then can you hold my household goods for 2 weeks because I start my first day on Monday then I’m traveling for 10 days before I can accept my shipment?”

Answer…

Interstate and intrastate move transit times are based on the weight of the shipment and miles to destination. In this scenario, the move delivery spread is generally 2-4 days to allow the van operator time to load additional shipments to maximize his trailer. This means the delivery would be scheduled for Friday or Saturday depending on van operator assignment. Many times with a “short distance” move, the preferred delivery day can be planned for a one day delivery which is what we were able to achieve for a great customer experience.

In some cases, we would need to place the household goods in storage, then plan the delivery once the employee returned from traveling unless her or she would be able to have a family member it friend accept delivery! The key is to listen, learn, and respond with best approach for the best customer experience on every relocation.

Quote of the week… “The first step in leadership is not action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

Call to Action:  Delivery guidelines change when peak season begins in May and run through September. Reach out to your preferred relocation partner to discuss strategies for best employee relocation experience. …or send me a note for questions. I’m always glad to help!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “questions from customer lens – delivery time” with  Bruce Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

Use these 10 C’s when considering CHANGE in any organization!

Are you responsible for recruiting or mobility on your HR team? Do you feel like your on-boarding program continues to evolve when relocating talent or needs a refresh? If you say evolving, I say keep going! Unfortunately, the response I hear most often is… we really need a refresh. However, a refresh often requires an investment of time and energy during the assessment, then more time and energy “selling” to leadership. Sound familiar? This is why the majority of companies that need a refresh settle for the status quo.

This is similar to the time and energy it takes to recruit and develop talent in any organization as well… you just have to “C” (see) it from your (internal) customer lens. In other words, if you were relocating to a new city for a new role, are you doing everything you can to make it a great on-boarding experience for your team members or just using the “we’ve always done it that way” approach because you lack resources? Next time you sense a need to change or improve the experience for your teammates relocating, consider pulling in some of your stakeholders and use these 10 C’s below. Using a status quo approach could actually be costing you more “time and money” than you think.

  1. Be Committed to the development of the policy and partnership. This may take some time, but it is the heartbeat to any successful program.
  2. Be Consistent managing policy which may include “exceptions”. Tracking exceptions can be a game changer each year during the client review. Know whats driving these needs.
  3. Collaborate with all stakeholders this includes HR, Recruiters, Business Unit leaders, Vendors, Executives, etc… Be open to hearing other leadership perspectives.
  4. Continuously improve and evolve your program. Attend local relocation conferences as well as invest in WorldwideERC for an assortment of mobility resources.
  5. Have the Courage to BE BOLD and make adjustments during the process. Every relocation has different elements.
  6. Be an Champion of the program so other team members understand the on-boarding impact. Once you have established your program, meet with stakeholders to share success.
  7. Communication is key with all stakeholders even when you have bad news. Be proactive and push information rather than pulling.
  8. Change policy when needed. Sometimes there is no need to wait for an end of year review when a change is immediate.
  9. Challenge the status quo. Your employees and family relocating will appreciate this approach. Develop a passion for providing a great experience no matter the challenges.
  10. Have Compassion and empathy for family challenges along the way. All moves are not created equal. Family issues are one of the biggest reasons for a failing assignment.

…and most importantly, be Calm… Relocation can be stressful, especially when you are in reactive mode. However, it is minimized when you have a purposeful program. Everyone understands the process and is in alignment with expectations which leads to more positive outcomes for the team members and their family.

Call to Action: Schedule a client review and find out what other options are out there to elevate the experience for your team… or consider attending the next relocation meeting in your area. Visit WorldwideERC.org for mobility resources and for local chapter information. In Dallas, check out NorthTexasRelcoationProfessionals.org

Quote of the Week… “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “10 C’s to CHANGE” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

2018 brings opportunities and changes when relocating talent in the US.

Each New Year always brings many opportunities and challenges for all of us in business and in our personal life. The key to success is how we adapt and respond to change. In 2018, there are some changes that will impact your company when relocating talent in the US. Some of these changes will include the $1.5 Trillion “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, as well as the FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Device mandate for owner operators in the trucking industry. 

In the book “The 4-hour work week” by Tim Ferris, he shares an email from a friend that reminds me of the best approach when facing any new changes:

“While many are ringing their hands, I recall the 1970’s when we were suffering from an oil shock causing long lines at the gas station, rationing and 55 mph speed limits on federal highways, a recession, very little venture capital, and what President Carter (wearing a sweater while addressing the nation on TV because he had turned down the heat in the White House) called a “malaise”. It was during those times that two kids without any real college education, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, started companies that did pretty well. Opportunities abound in bad times as well as good times. In fact, the opportunities are even greater when the conventional wisdom is that everything is going into the toilet. … we can look forward to a new year filled with opportunities as well as stimulating challenges.”

So what are these changes and how will they impact employee relocation?

  1. The Moving Expense Deduction: The moving expense tax deduction will be suspended until the year 2025. This means that companies that gross up the relocation expense will need to plan on an increase for the household goods move, 30 days of storage and final move trip. Since this is no longer an excludable tax deduction, the moving expense will now show as income to the employee. (*Exceptions will be for a military relocation). There are other areas of impact for relocation expenses as well which include supplemental rate changes, mortgage insurance, home sale capital gains reduction, and others. The bill does not seem to effect the tax on relocation home sale transaction expense completed by an RMC. Please consult with your tax firm for making any changes to your current program.
  2. Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate: The Federal Carrier Motor Safety Act (FMSCA) has now mandated the use of ELD’s for all truck drivers including household goods van operators. This device will sync with the van operators working / driving hours. What does this mean for corporate relocation? It could mean longer transit times up to 2 days due to the hours of service rules, increase temp housing, and an increase in transportation costs. The key to success will be communicating expectations during the relocation. Companies and their suppliers must be proactive, more now than ever when communicating with employee/family moving for a successful relocation.

Call to Action: Reach out to your tax consultant for the latest tax law changes and update your policy as soon as possible. Q1 would be a great time to review any changes with your suppliers and partners. If you don’t a partner, invest in one for 2018! You will appreciate the single point resource and so will your employees relocating.

“The first step to leadership is no action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Relocation Changes in 2018” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page. 

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Cost alignment is key, but this component is just as important when relocating talent!

Over the last few years, we have heard about the importance of cost alignment from companies when relocating their employees. Many companies base their policy on a cost budget approach when relocating talent. However, the talent management shortage has also played a vital role lately for companies wanting to be competitive when hiring talent that requires a relocation.

Today, companies expect another component when relocating talent known as “the experience”. The employee experience is about employee engagement from the time an employee connects with the provider for their relocation. I recently heard one of our leaders share a poll that stated 80% of companies think they are providing superior service when look through their eyes, and only 8% of the customers think they are receiving superior service. Wow, that is a 72% difference! Delivering an experience starts with understanding the needs of the customer. 

So what experiences are customers looking for?

Customers have different needs. Some are looking for a specific moving dates, or budget options to consider when selecting services. Some like the new virtual survey concept because it is convenient, while others don’t feel like it is safe or as accurate as a visual survey. Some customers just want a warm smile and trust in their moving coordinator and driver. Whatever the case may be, the key to providing a great experience always starts with asking questions to determine expectations. If customer has needs that are not aligned with services, then they will most likely not have a great experience. However, if you can identify what’s important, and build a plan around their answer, then you just might deliver the experience they are looking for and create a customer for life!

“The first step in leadership is not action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

Call to Action: What makes a great experience for your team? Identify three things this week that might elevate the experience for your employees relocating and share with your relocation partner. Send me an email and share with me too! I would enjoy hearing your feedback!

This has been “A Relocation MinuteThe Customer Experience” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media facebook and twitter page.

JOIN US WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 20 AT SUPERIORHIRE IN DALLAS FOR BRUCE WALLER BOOK LAUNCH… SEND BWALLER@GOARMSTRONG.COM TO RSVP. HOPE TOP SEE YOU THERE!

Don’t forget to include this critical component when relocating key talent!

Relocation can be a very stressful event, especially if there is a spouse and or children involved in the transition. Recently, I connected with Elizabeth Lions, a business coach, author, and leader in the community. When talking about the importance of a relocation for a company and the employee, she also mentioned the importance of including the trailing spouse. Elizabeth has experienced the long distance relocation journey, so I asked her to share some lessons we can all learn from in this week’s “A Relocation Minute”. 

Three Ways to Prepare and Comfort a Trailing Spouse

by Elizabeth Lions

You got the job!
But it so happens it’s 2,000 miles away, in an unknown city and you’ll have to move your family.
Now what?
Here are three ways to prepare and comfort your trailing spouse:

  1. Include in the move. By include, I mean every aspect. Don’t just dump the moving truck and packing on your spouse while you tie up loose ends. Include your spouse by engaging them in being excited about the change. Ask them or include them is some fun research. Look at the things you love to do in your hometown now and try to duplicate those treasured activities there. For example, if as a family you love the outdoors, find some cool trails that you can explore. If you like fine dining and art, look up the local hot spots. Find the common denominators now before you move. The transition will be easier.
  2. Listen to their fears. All sorts of strong feelings can surface the moment you announce that you are uprooting the family. Grief, resentment and isolation are common feelings for every trailing spouse. Take time to listen to them and allow them to sort out their feelings of fear. They have to let go of their life and follow your career path. Be overly sensitive and not swept up in your promotion. If you are unavailable to provide support, find them someone that can help them work through their feelings. It won’t’ be good if you are trying to start a new job and your mind is back at home, worrying about how they are coping with a new day in a new city.
  3. Team Effort Remember, The trailing spouse now is in a precarious position. There is an imbalance in the couple which will be pronounced due to financial dependence. The trailing spouse may have to give up their own job, status and established position in order for you to move ahead. This can be humbling in the best case and cause divorce in the worst case. Balance the scales when you divide up duties around the move. Give them support and help them find resources to get back to work after the family is settled. Using words like we and team and never using ‘I’ goes a long way during the transition.

Lastly, remember this is just transition. If you were to map your whole life on a radar screen from the time you were born to the time you die, this transition doesn’t even make a blip on the screen. Try not to have this life transition chew up your marriage, but instead make it an adventure for the entire family.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Elizabeth. If you or someone you know would like to connect with Elizabeth, check out her website www.elizabethlions.com or send email to Elizabeth.lions@gmail.com. You will enjoy connecting with her!

Call to action: A great relocation starts with great communication. Ask your employee what you might do to help make the transition smooth for the spouse/family, then reach out to your moving partner for options. It could make the difference for a successful relocation.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Trailing Spouse” 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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