Tag Archives: NTRP

What’s disrupting mobility for your organization?

One of the buzzwords I hear often is “Disruption”. According to Mr. Webster, it means “a disturbance or problem that interrupts an event, activity, or process”. Many industries are experiencing disruption including the mobility industry. However, disruptors can lead to innovative ideas and breakthroughs for companies that turn into a next level company or experience for a customer. Consider these companies that have disrupted our economy: Airbnb, Lyft, WeWork, and so many more… I really think that when we look back 10 years from now, 2017 might be tagged as the year of disruption.

On April 19, the North Texas Relocation Professionals hosted a breakfast at “The Star” in Frisco, Texas to tackle some of the disruptions in mobility which have included:

• 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which impacted the moving deduction and other areas aligned with relocation.
• The driver shortage in the household goods industry
• …and Tariff / Pricing Model changes to simplified tariffs

We enjoyed discussing these disruptors and more led by a block buster panel of experts which included Dalia Begin (Cartus), Kathy Trachta (Altair Global), and Rick Bruce (CapRelo), and facilitated by Bruce Waller (Armstrong Relocation).

Our NTRP theme this year is “Driving Mobility with Purpose in North Texas” and this panel was ready to tackle tough questions to help corporations better align their programs for best candidate experience when relocating talent.

Some of the questions were centered on the following:

  1. Can you share what impact the new tax laws are having with your clients regarding the elimination of the moving deduction?
  2. WorldwideERC recently shared a survey showing 50% of companies plan to gross up household goods moving expenses, but there are some that are still undecided on how they will handle tax… For clients that make the decision to not gross up for the employee, do you anticipate “push back” to relocate since this will be counting as income to pay additional taxes for the transferee?
  3. Since we understand that Home purchase programs have not been affected such as Guaranteed Buyouts, Buyer Value Options, do you anticipate more clients adding these programs to save costs?
  4. Considering the increasing government regulations on drivers, e.g. electronic logging device (ELD) or increasing emission standards, and the decline of the 401N tariff, do you see more lump sums as a relocation solution?”
  5. Have you seen any impact on international relocation?
  6. How do you envision the landscape of RMC’s will change, if any, over the next few years?
  7. Are there other mobility services you see clients requesting or possibly need to consider as we continue to look into the crystal ball for HR and Talent Management leaders around the world?

We all had some great dialogue around these questions with excellent insight and perspective from our outstanding panelists. Some of the panelists talked about how change has impacted budgeting tools since tax reform, which has created some challenges. We also heard about future trends such as flex programs, and being focused on a person to policy vs the policy to person approach. Change in technology with a self-serve options will play a role for some levels, and the ability to be more agile and compliant with emphasis on data analytics to drive programs as we move forward. What does the crystal ball say in your industry?

Thanks again to our panelists for helping us “Drive Mobility with Purpose in North Texas.

Quote of the week: “When you learn, Teach. When you get, Give.” (Maya Angelou)

Call to Action: What questions would you ask to continue the conversation? We would enjoy hearing from you. Reach out to your partner and ask how they would answer these questions. It might be a great opportunity to start some dialogue about disruptor’s in mobility to help you drive your program with purpose when relocating talent.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Disrupting Mobility in North Texas” 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!

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!

Are you pursuing mobility excellence? 3 takeaways for your HR and Talent Acquisition teams!

Are you in HR or support talent with mobility needs? The North Texas Relocation Professionals (NTRP), a local relocation chapter in North Texas for WorldwideERC recently hosted a corporate panel meeting for members and guests to share “Pursuing Mobility Excellence from a Corporate Perspective”. NTRP members represent different relocation verticals in real estate, temporary housing, household goods moving, and HR managing mobility for different companies. This is an excellent organization to expand your education and mobility network! 

Our corporate panel was represented by companies with both US domestic and global mobility responsibilities including Sabre, Tenet Healthcare, BNSF Railway, and Dell. Some of the areas discussed during the meeting were: Policy Development and Review, Request for Proposals, and What keeps Corporate Mobility Professionals up at night.

Here are a few takeaways that might be relevant to your program:

  1. Bring facts and data to help corporate mobility professionals when you see an area to add value.
  2. Be brief and follow agenda for RFP’s!
  3. Relationships and collaboration are critical for great partnerships.

Others takeaways included:

  • Review policy often for exceptions
  • Collaborate with all of your stakeholders
  • Engage in partners that are “thinkers” and that understand process
  • Focus more on “cost to outcome” driven policies
  • Be transparent when challenges occur
  • Be brief on the RFP – adding footnotes when needed for pricing
  • Immigration and travel ban continue to keep us up at night

For more information on NTRP visit http://www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org/ or find us in Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter!

For more information on WorldwideERC, visit http://www.worldwideerc.org/

Call to action: Visit NTRP and WorldwideERC and browse website for resources to help you expand your employee relocation program. You can find many resources from benchmarking to a forum for corporate discussion. Also, sign up for the WorldwideERC global conference in Chicago, or our next NTRP meeting in Dallas!

“When you limit the people around you, then you limit yourself.” (John McCaa)

This has been a “A Relocation Minute” on NTRP Corporate Panel “” 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! 

Looking Through the Corporate Lens! 5 questions to consider when reviewing your mobility program.

Looking Through the Corporate Lens! 

5 questions to consider when reviewing your mobility program.

I recently attended the North Texas Relocation Professionals, (a local chapter of WorldwideERC) August luncheon meeting which included a talented corporate panel of mobility professionals sharing their perspectives on corporate relocation this year. As we continue to find ways to elevate the mobility profession, I want to share some of my takeaways that might help you look at your corporate relocation program from a different lens to also help you improve your onboarding program when a relocation is involved.

Here are my 5 takeaways that might help you when reviewing your next employee relocation:brucetruck

1. Do you have a payback agreement?

This seems to vary from company to company and from US domestic to international expats. 1-2 years seems most common including a sliding scale based on time with company. Some companies strictly enforce payback while others process on a case by case basis.

2. How do you handle exceptions to the policy?

This is always a hot topic and often includes things such as household goods crating, or corporate housing. Companies typically rely on their vendor partners to guide their policy and company as needed. One of the takeaways included using a “three step approach process”.

  • Is the exception reasonable? Employee needs upgrade for corporate housing with larger family.
  • Is the exception questionable? The home is not ready and employee needing to extend temporary housing or household goods storage.
  • Is the exception NOT reasonable? Employee requests to transport a horse or something.

3. How has relocation been for you this summer?

Most companies mentioned they have heard less “noise” this summer. Some areas of challenge includes real estate home sale such as Midland, Texas, or finding a home in Dallas market challenging because of inventory shortages.

4. What are some trends you are seeing?

Companies are seeing more lump sums in their programs. Many use this for entry level moves and some are even looking at ways to incorporate the non-exec moves. Benchmarking continues to be important to stay competitive in the market especially in oil and gas. With the generational shift, the core-flex policy is gaining traction since each employee has different need. Creating a user experience is also very important to the company.

5. What are some things you are doing to be more proactive and less reactive?

Preparing employee for an international assignments, cultural assessments, and repatriation support in key to being proactive, as well as localization in US.

Quote of the day: “Build from the bottom up and not from the top down.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

If you want to find out more information about the North Texas Relocation Professionals, check out the website at http://www.NorthTexasRelocationProfessionals.org.

Call to action: Reach out to your relocation vendor partner today to discuss these questions, and strategies to help elevate your relocation program. You will be glad you did!

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

Meet Peggy Smith, Worldwide ERC® President and CEO. BeALifter Leadership Series #4: 10 questions with Bruce Waller

BeALifter Leadership Series: Sharing Leadership Lessons with Bruce Waller…

Jim Rohn once said, “Your success in the next 5 years will be determined by the books you read and the people you meet.”

This is a testimony to my personal leadership growth over the past 20 years. I continue to learn each day by connecting with some of the most talented people in business. In this series, I want to introduce you to leaders that will share challenges, successes, and perspective to help you grow on your journey as a business leader or in your personal life. So let’s get started…

Today, we are going to hear from Peggy Smith, SCRP, SGMS-T , Worldwide ERC® President and CEO. I met Peggy about 10 years ago when attending a national relocation conference in Dallas before her current leadership role. She is making impact for so many in the relocation industry with her leadership approach which includes being authentic, caring, interested, visionary, and strategic. She is someone that is making a difference in the talent management mobility space all over the world and you will learn some of the reasons why as you read her responses below…

Now, let’s hear from Peggy… Peggy Smith 2016 Headshot 4-2016

1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and Danville, KY.

2. How did you get started in business/career?
I had moved to Los Angeles, CA and was working for RR Donnelley, the communications and print company. I actually started off bagging mail! RR Donnelley gave me a great business foundation, because I was exposed to so many different areas. I worked my way up through magazine bindery operations to data processing. Then I became a production planner for pre-press, press, and bindery; moved into customer service; and transitioned to sales, offering software packaged solutions for all OEM products distributed in the APAC region.

3. Do you remember a challenge or life lesson that you had to overcome early in your career which made you a better leader?
I was working for someone whom I really enjoyed as my boss, and we also became great friends. Along the way, there was a situation that came up: I requested the opportunity to go to part-time so that I could go back to school to get my MBA – and around that same period, another employee requested part-time after having a baby. She was permitted to transition to part-time, but I was not. I’m sure there were strong business reasons for this outcome, but I was hurt, and eventually, I left the company. However, I wanted to understand it – and once I got over the bad feelings that lingered, I was able to put this in perspective. I learned that it’s important to enjoy your coworkers and direct reports, but it’s also important to know the difference between friendship and management, for both employees and managers. And there’s one more thing I learned from this experience: your best friendships are the ones that grow with you. My former boss and I both learned that we could keep the connection that we valued so highly; today, she is still one of my closest friends.

4. What was that moment when you knew that you had found your lane, your purpose?
From Donnelley, I went to Microsoft, a company that as we all know drives for results – it was a dynamic environment, full of opportunity. Eventually, I landed in a mobility-related position, and got my first sense of the possibilities in our industry. Then I was offered a double promotion – but it meant I’d be making a decision to go back into sales. The chance to move up two levels was not a common event at Microsoft, and might have been an easy choice for some, but I couldn’t ignore the hold that mobility had on me. I loved what I was doing, and wanted to know more and do more. That’s when I decided to go all in – in 2004, I studied and sat for my CRP® designation, started volunteering on committees and task forces, was fortunate to be recruited for the Board of Directors, and in time, had the honor of serving as President and Chairman.

5. What is your most favorite achievement in your current role?
I like seeing what Oprah calls a “full circle moment.” When I came to Worldwide ERC® as a newly minted CEO, I didn’t fully understand what it would take to transition from my Microsoft management mindset to lead a membership association staff. I made mistakes; I didn’t understand how very deeply culture can be rooted, and how much it can impact even seemingly simple transitions and how people communicate with each other. I tore a lot of muscle! Now that I’ve gained more understanding, and found my stride – while I won’t say my journey is complete – I am watching our team flourish, and that’s a pleasure to see.

6. Is there any one person that inspired or mentored you along the way?
Aside from my husband Greg, I would name two people – Bill Graebel, CEO of Graebel Companies, and my former Worldwide ERC® colleague, Anita Brienza. Bill has been a great mentor to me and is my “go to” for guidance in business; in organizational strategy; in seeing the big picture. Anita has been a trusted advisor to me in the “people zone:” she helps me understand some of my blind spots when it comes to relationship-building, and provides communications coaching for the best approach and outcome to a situation. As leaders, we sometimes lose the people we might have sought out and confided in along the way because we are moving into different opportunities, yet we often need a good sounding board more than ever as we take on more responsibility. No matter where we are in our careers, we all need mentors and guides who help us become the best versions of ourselves.

7. Do you have a saying or mantra that you live by?
I often say that every day I get up on this side of Mother Earth, the rest is easy! It is a privilege to have good work and good health – I don’t take that lightly. I have been told that I always seem happy and cheerful. I do feel that way – I love what I’m doing, I work with some of the finest minds in our industry, I have a great family, and I believe that the work we are doing in the talent management space is making the world a better place for businesses and employees.

8. What book are you reading or audio to help grow your leadership right now?
When I first answered this question, I jokingly said “Dr. Seuss,” but the truth is – and I think this is the reality for many of us – no one book or presentation grows our leadership… they all do. We are all exposed to so much amazing information, and it is so easily accessible, we can be trained and coached by some of the masters in a way that wasn’t possible just a few short years ago.

9. Can you share any of your daily disciplines that help you stay focused as a leader?
Two things come to mind. First, I am accomplished at “triage”- I’m able to quickly assess what needs my immediate attention, be it an email or a request, and what can wait for a less urgent time. And I am an avid reader of news – all types of news. This is largely a personal preference and interest, but it’s also important when managing a global organization to have a well-rounded understanding of what’s happening in different parts of the world.

10. What advice would you give others to help them on their leadership journey?
Find your own voice; find people who model that voice, and take into consideration what they tell you; then incorporate it if it’s a fit for your career and personal brand. Being a lifelong learner is key, no matter your role. I still learn every day from the people around me, and I value those who spend time with me to make me a better person.

Thank you for inspiring us and sharing your wisdom, Peggy. We can all appreciate knowing the difference between friends and managers in the workplace, as well as those “full circle moments” which might include mistakes and “torn muscle” that make us better leaders. We all need mentors and guides to help us become better leaders, to see the “big picture” and help us with blind spots and the “people zone” too. Lastly, finding your voice, and incorporating it into your personal brand, as well as being a lifelong learner is key no matter your role! So true! Thanks again for sharing and being “a lifter” in my life too, Peggy! YOU make a difference…

If you would like to find out more about WorldwideERC, visit their website at http://www.worldwideerc.org/

Bruce Waller, CRP, PHR, SHRM-CP is the Vice President of Armstrong Relocation and Companies in Dallas, Texas. You can visit his BLOG “A Relocation Minute Update” with Bruce Waller at https://brucewaller.wordpress.com/ for more information on employee relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow @brucewaller on Twitter too!