Tag Archives: Corporate Relocation

Consider these strategies to onboard your candidates… especially when they need to relocate!

In my book, “Find Your Lane”, I share an experience that my son and I had with Patty Farr, the wonderful rental car agent that went above and beyond to help us find a hotel for the Big 12 Championship game in Kansas City, Missouri. This was a memorable moment because it was not expected and outside the scope of our expectations during a stressful time since it was a last minute decision for us to make the trip. Memorable experiences are the best because they are embedded in our minds for life and triggered during reflection from time to time to share with others. This goes for both good and bad experiences.

Recently, I was reading the “Sapling Blog” about companies that invest in the experience to onboard their employees. Onboarding starts from the time the candidate says YES to the new job offer to help him/her assimilate into new role. Here are a few of the onboarding strategies that I found interesting on their blog to help elevate the experience for their candidates.

  1. Twitter: From YES to DESK! Before the employee sits down, they receive email address, t-shirt, and bottle of wine. Their desks are also strategically placed close to experienced employees for support. They also have breakfast with CEO and tour facility.
  2. LinkedIn: New hires start with ice breakers and then attend session called “Investing in you” which includes tour, and an orientation to learn more about the company.
  3. Zappos: This Company thrives on protecting the culture. After 30 days, if employees say they are not a good fit, they are offered $2000 to leave the company. Wow!

…BUT what about the employee that has to relocate for the new position. Many times the employee is already working and the spouse is left to coordinate the relocation. In fact, a recent survey showed one of the biggest challenges to hire talent was a family reluctance to relocate.

What are you doing to elevate the onboarding experience for your candidates relocating? Some ideas might include:

  • How about starting with an email introduction from you and the relocation team explaining process and expectations. Include pictures and maybe even a short welcome video.
  • What about including a welcome packet for the family including community info?
  • How about sending a video with information for the new area and providing an area orientation trip INCLUDING a PAID extended vacation for the family?

Now that might be memorable and an experience they share with other potential candidates to help build your culture when it comes to mobility. What do you do to help onboard the relocating family for best experience? Share your ideas and let’s collaborate and find ways to implement new strategies for us to include MOBILITY when we think about ONBOARDING a new hire! It will make a difference for the family and your organization!

“The customer experience will never exceed the employee experience.” Tony Bridwell

Call to Action: Reach out to your partner and discuss ideas to elevate the experience when onboarding your candidates relocating. Identify a strategy that works for your organization and drive mobility with purpose when hiring relocating talent.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Onboard strategies for better experience when relocating talent” 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 http://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!

Drive the candidate experience with purpose when relocating talent this summer

In Chapter 6 of my book “Find Your Lane”, I share the importance of driving with purpose.

“When you drive or lead with purpose, you are committed. Commitment is the key to getting through the tough days and making it to your destination. You can’t be half in or even 90%, you have to own it!  Whether it’s finishing college, advancing in your career, or improving your marriage, you will need to be committed all the way for the most effective results.”

This is also the case when you are trying to relocate talent for your company.  For example, Tax reform has created a lot of questions and is driving conversation around changing mobility programs to a “lump sum” benefit which often places the burden on employee (and spouse in most situations) to manage the relocation on their own. This will decrease the experience in most cases since the majority of families need support during this difficult transition. They need a concierge and a coach to help elevate the onboarding and relocation experience.

Did you know over 40 million families move each year in the US and the majority of these moves happen in the summer from the time school gets out in May until school resumes in September?

This brings many challenges that requires comprehensive and many times complex coordination by relocation and transportation companies to meet customer expectations and make each move a great experience for each family. This time of year is more important than ever to have a partner you work with that you know and trust.

As we get ready for the upcoming summer peak moving season, let me share 10 things to consider as you drive your program with purpose to make it a great moving experience for your employees moving:

  1. Schedule the moving survey as early as possible. A successful move starts with a successful move plan.
  2. Reserve moving dates 2-3 weeks prior to your loading dates. Don’t wait. Many areas of the country close dates early especially during the summer.
  3. Stay away from “bidding” moves during peak moving season. Capacity pricing actually drives pricing up and employees and relocation companies aren’t committed until the customers says yes which can be too late to get their preferred dates.
  4. Some “difficult to service” areas may require a “virtual survey”.
  5. Need one day delivery? Ask about small shipment container options. Some include free storage up to 3 weeks.
  6. Transit spreads will be longer due to driver “hours of service” regulations and ELD mandates.
  7. Make sure you have full replacement valuation coverage.
  8. Want your boxes picked up after unpacking, ask about getting a debris pickups.
  9. Ask about other relocation services when moving such as home marketing assistance and home searches in new location.
  10. Draft or update your policy… Discuss with your partner for expertise and support!

Quote of the week: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Albert Einstein)

Call to Action: Have questions when moving your talent to elevate the onboarding experience? Reach out to a partner to help you achieve your business needs this summer! The return will significantly exceed the time invested.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “drive with purpose when relocating talent” 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 http://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!

Who moved my “mobility” cheese?

As Hem saw his friend getting into his running gear, he said “you’re not really going out into the maze again, are you? Why don’t you wait here with me until they put the cheese back?” “ Because you just don’t get it”, Hem said. “I didn’t want to see it either, but now I realize they’re never going to put yesterday’s cheese back. It’s time to find New Cheese.”

I love the book “Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D.. It’s a great story about an  amazing way to deal with change in the workplace and in your life. We are currently dealing with change today in many industries including the mobility industry with the new tax cuts and jobs act law implemented this year which is creating a lot of “buzz” around change and the process of relocating talent. Many companies are reviewing their program and discussing ideas and strategies with their partners for policy alignment with the new tax laws, and their business goals.

Here are a few questions I have been asked this month about new mobility tax laws that might help your team in 2018…

  1. Can a corporation still deduct moving expenses when relocating talent? Yes, employee relocation is still considered a business expense. However, corporations are now taxed on all relocation expenses and will need “gross up” the costs to make the employee whole on his/her W2 for tax purposes. Corporation tax has also been reduced from 35% to 21% providing $140,000 of windfall for every $1,000,000 taxable income to help offset costs.
  2. What relocation expenses are tax deductible? Most relocation expenses are now taxable income for employees except for members of military on active duty moving for military orders, as well as tax protected home sale programs (BVO and GBO) as long as they meet WorldwideERC 11 key elements under IRS Revenue Ruling 2005-74.
  3. Does the time and distance rules still impact relocation taxes? Since the moving deduction is no longer viable for household goods and storage for 30 days, you no longer need to include 50 mile / 39 week rule in your policy. However, many companies are revising their policy by taking out “IRS” and changing to “Company” to give them a guide for employees eligible for a corporate relocation.

Quote of the week: “There is always new cheese out there whether you recognize it or not. And you are rewarded with it when you go past your fear and enjoy the adventure.” (Haw)

Call to Action: What questions do you have about employee relocation? Reach out to your relocation partner to discuss and develop strategy for an effective program when onboarding talent needing to relocate their family. They will appreciate having new cheese, and so will you!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “who moved the mobility cheese” 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 http://www.BruceWaller.com to order or review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

2018 Texas Relocation Network (TRN) Conference Takeaways

I recently attended TRN’s annual Texas Relocation Network Conference which was held in The Colony, Texas. More than 100 relocation professionals traveled to north Texas to hear about the latest trends in relocation, and to network with some of the best of the best in mobility. TRN did not disappoint as they provided a great keynote speaker to share perspective from a mortgage lens, corporate relocation panels, and speakers to inspire attendees during the conference. The theme this year was Partners in Progress: Collaboration, Motivation, and Innovation.

Here are a few of my takeaways to share with others:

Scott Eggen, EVP PrimeLending kicked off the conference sharing perspective on relocation in north Texas and surrounding states:

  • Current demand will carry new construction thru 2021
  • Lack of labor holding back new housing, and driving prices up.
  • Lumber is at its highest cost of all time.
  • Mortgage rates expected to increase up to 5% by 2020.

COLLABORATION
Corporate Panel led by Cartus, OEG, Aires, and Toyota discussed Group Moves:

  • Policy was created or modified for group move.
  • Bus tours can be very challenging due to delays.
  • Special needs children can be a challenge for family relocating.
  • Geographic area needs to be considered when helping family search for home.
  • Other factors include weather (Oklahoma) and property taxes (Houston)
  • Group move conversations should be started early with providers.

MOTIVATION
Bruce Waller, VP Armstrong Relocation and author of “Find Your Lane” presented “Find Your Lane: Change your GPS and Experience Success”

  • Maintain your vehicle by investing in yourself
  • Plan your road map through goal setting
  • Take the The Carpool Lane and expand your network

INNOVATION
Corporate Panel led by Acosta, Shell, and American Heart Association

  • Chabot’s, Machine Learning, & Artificial intelligence leading the way for talent acquisition
  • Employment Branding is critical (Social media aggregation)
  • Sourcing strategy should include texting recruits
  • Permanent Solutions for temporary assignments makes a difference for Shell in West Tx
  • Its more than housing: Safety and dangerous roads can be a factor in rural areas

Petey Parker closed the conference with an inspiring presentation to encourage everyone to “Write Your Story”!

THANK YOU to everyone involved for making this another great conference!

Until next time… Be Partners in Progress!

Call to Action: Check out Texas Relocation Network for more information. You can also check out other relocation education at North Texas Relocation Professionals or WorldwideERC. Let me know if you have any questions about these groups or how to get involved. Reach out and “Partner for Progress”!

Quote of the Week… “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (Abraham Lincoln)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “TRN Conference 2018 Takeaways” 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 www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Also available on Kindle!

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!

NTRP is Driving Relocation in North Texas with Purpose

Do you have Mobility responsibility in your organization? If so, you need to “plug in” and connect with the North Texas Relocation Professionals, a WorldwideERC chapter in North Texas! On Feb 7, NTRP kicked off 2018 with some great speakers to share information about relocating in North Texas with Purpose. Special thanks to Jessica Heer, VP Talent Acquisition, Dallas Regional Chamber for sharing information with our members on “Say Yes to Dallas” campaign, and David Arbuckle, Vice President-External Affairs with Texas Central as he shared information on “The Bullet Train” project. Both speakers brought a wealth of information and value for our members and guests…

Here are a few takeaways for you to review too!

Jessica Heer, Dallas Regional Chamber

  • More than 70 HQ relocations in last 5 years. (it’s actually over 100 now!)
  • Why is Dallas so attractive? Economy, Airports, College Graduates, and Affordability
  • Recently launched http://www.SAYYESTODALLAS.com campaign on twitter and Instagram
  • 2017 Nationwide Survey for Millennials (19-37 years old)
    • 4 in 10 looking to relocate
    • Cool, fun, innovative, progressive, and affordable
    • Dallas ranked #9 (Denver #1)
  • Website also includes a cost calculator
  • Traffic congestions has decreased significantly on I-35 and I-635 with Texas Express
  • Over 380 outdoor parks to enjoy in Dallas
  • Dallas Essentials Guide in a must review – check it out on the website!

David Arbuckle, Texas Central

  • The Texas Bullet Train is good for Texas
  • Dallas to Houston in 1.5 Hours / 200 MPH
  • Trains run every 30 minutes / Always on / seats every 30 minutes
  • 53 Year Safety Record in Japan
  • $10 Billion investment / $36 Billion Impact for Texas
  • Create 10,000 Jobs / 1500 once completed
  • Shuts down at night for maintenance
  • No road crossings / either up over highway, or below highway
  • Breaking ground 2019
  • Opens 2024

Our members/guests asked some great questions during the meeting including questions about safety, capacity pricing, carry-on limits, and terminal parking. David did a wonderful job responding to each question including something we don’t think about when it comes to parking. He mentioned there will be enough parking, but we really don’t know if there will be as many people driving cars in next 6-8 years with carpooling playing a big transit role to and from airports. Parking space at terminal is still in review. For more information, check out our website http://www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org We hope to see you at our next meeting on April 19th as we discuss Tax Reform challenges and success stories with Relocation Management Company leaders in North Texas at Omni Hotel in Frisco, Texas.

Call to Action: Check out www.sayyestodallas.com to review/share information for employees moving to Dallas, or www.TexasCentral.com to access Bullet Train project forum.

Quote of the Week… “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” (Henry Ford)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “NTRP is Driving Relocation with Purpose 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 www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

It’s time to “HIT REFRESH” on your relocation policy…

In his new book “Hit Refresh”, author and CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella shares a story about transformation at Microsoft and the quest for new energy, new ideas, and renewal. When you hit refresh, it’s not about starting over, but “clearing the clutter” for a refreshed update. 

Since the elimination of the moving deduction in the recent “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, it’s time to refresh your relocation policy. One suggestion is to remove the moving deduction language being an “IRS requirement” since it is no longer a tax deduction. However, you may want to keep the “time and distance” content as a parameter as a guide for mobility benefits. Based on feedback from WorldwideERC members on the community forum, many plan to keep the time and distance content as a guide for their program as you can see from a few examples below:

  • We are still using the distance test as an eligibility requirement.
  • We are still using it as an eligibility for relocation benefits. The business needs some sort of guidance so easier to just maintain it irrelevant of tax ability.
  • Most of our clients are electing to leave the distance test in their policies, removing all reference to IRS guidelines and calling it a company requirement for eligibility of relocation benefits. They are also keeping in the 1 year from the new job start date for completion of benefits also as a company requirement.

It is getting more difficult to hire the best candidates and employee relocation will continue to be a significant part of the process to attract and retain key talent. What will your company be doing to elevate the onboarding experience for your relocating employees in 2018?

If you would like to access this information or more on the moving deduction feedback, visit WorldwideERC community https://www.worldwideerc.org

Call to Action: Review your relocation policy with your partners to confirm the verbiage that you would like to communicate with your candidates as well as other potential changes in 2018. It’s a great idea to review or HIT REFRESH on your policy each year…

Quote of the week: “A team is a not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.” (Simon Sinek)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Its time to hit refresh on your policy” 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!