Tag Archives: policy

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!

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!

Self Storage or Van Line Storage? 4 things to know!

One of the exciting things about a great economy is a robust housing market and being able to sell your home quickly. We are seeing this across several US markets. Sometimes, it’s so quick that you don’t have a new home to move into, which may require you to place move your personal household goods into short term storage until you can close on your new home.

Many times an employee relocation will include short-term storage with the van line while the employee searches for a new home. However, there are times when the family will be responsible for storage costs because the storage is not included in relocation policy, or the company may have provided a lump sum for the employee relocation which leads to a question I hear many times during the year: Should we use van line storage, or find a self-storage unit to minimize costs?

When helping families relocate, I often share the information below to help customers make an informed decision on this important topic. Consider these 4 points next time you or someone you know is moving into storage.

  1. Estimated Cost… A visual survey provided by the van line surveyor can help determine not only the estimated cost for the van line storage, but will also provide you with the information needed to determine self-storage unit size which is needed to compare costs. If the storage unit doesn’t have trailer access, there may be additional fees for smaller truck to “shuttle” for unloading too.
  2. Valuation Coverage… if you decide to use personal storage, be sure and check all items as they are unloaded into the storage unit for damage. When using van line storage, items are checked in / out storage for continuous coverage. Items placed in personal storage are typically not covered once unloaded.
  3. Protection… If customer decides to use personal storage, be sure to have plenty of blankets on hand to protect furniture items when unloaded. When items are placed in van line storage, blankets are provided for protection to minimize any damage while in storage.
  4. Access… When household goods are placed in van line storage, they are “vaulted” (loaded in a secure wooden box) for security, which doesn’t provide immediate access customer. You will need to call in and schedule appointment 24-48 hours so staff can locate your vaults for access. The advantage is minimal handling to prevent damage during storage to delivery.

Depending on where items are being stored, storage costs will vary from city to city. So be sure to look at all variables to make the best decision for your family. Many times, the van line storage will provide more advantages, as well as make it easier to coordinate the delivery when the new home at destination is ready!

“Policies are great, but without flexibility, you might lose your talent.” (Joe Crumly)

Call to action: Contact your relocation partner to confirm advantages and disadvantages for storage to share with your teammates relocating. With low inventory, storage is on the rise!

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

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Taking ownership can make the difference for your candidates relocating.

In my latest book, “Find Your Lane”, I share a story about when my two year old daughter got out of her car seat and put my vehicle in gear only to roll into and damage a new car in the dealership parking lot. I had just told my four year old son to watch his sister while I stepped out of my vehicle for a few seconds. When I asked him why he let her get out of her car seat, he said “I didn’t know she could drive”. After smiling, I realized that I had control over the situation and needed to be accountable for the situation. 

As HR professionals handling mobility, we must also take ownership when we see something that needs to be adjusted or changed for a family relocating. Many times I hear someone comment they only give our employees $3,000 or $5,000 for their relocation and let them handle the moving. Unfortunately a household goods move will probably cost between $5,000 and $10,000 on the average. What about the other relocation needs for the employee such as lease breakage, temp housing, or a home finding trip?

If you are relocating a candidate just out of college, then a U-Haul move or small moving budget may be in order. But if you are helping a family of any size, there is probably more assistance needed from the household goods move to new home search to possibly childcare.

So what can you do when helping your next employee relocating?

  1. Ask a colleague or friend for a referral to help your teammates. Some companies can provide more relocation support along with additional services added with no extra cost.
  2. Update your policy. Don’t just settle because someone else has always done it that way. If you feel it’s important, let your team know the results or outcome a change could bring.
  3. Ask for options. Ask questions when your employee needs better transit time or a tighter budget for self-packing. Many times there are options that could elevate the experience while maintaining or even reducing costs. If not, the awareness is out there.

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

Call to action: Reach out this month to benchmark your current policy. There may be some cost savings or benefits to add for a better experience.

This has been a “A Relocation Minute” with Bruce Waller on Accountabilty, 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!

A strategic approach can elevate your international mobility program.

PWC recently released their international Modern Mobility Survey called “Moving People with Purpose”. In this survey, 193 executives from both small and large global organizations responded to a survey on the current landscape for international mobility and where organizations should be focusing over the next five years. 89% of organizations responded international assignments expect an increase to meet their business needs. Shifting from being operations to a more strategic approach will result in a more successful program and allow organizations to move quicker in the global space. A strategic approach involves building partnerships with key stakeholders that will allow you to plan effectively and anticipate upcoming talent needs in the workplace. It also demands data and measurements to justify spending. Some of the challenges include freeing up resources and obtaining right data for a strategic approach.Services_int_Destination

Some of the top reasons for mobility include short term assignments and business travelers. Developmental assignments, and talent swaps are on the rise. Permanent transfers are more selective. The service led economy makes it critical to get the right people in place.

Top priorities for mobility teams include: Managing compliance effectively, managing costs, aligning talent, and improving the assignees experience. Here are a few additional takeaways from the survey:

  1. Growth Locations are changing. Tax and immigration are the leading challenges for organizations entering new markets. Security and pension benefits are cited as well. Out of 4,000 college graduates surveyed, 70% responded they would be willing to work abroad. While this is great news for the battle for talent, many do not have some of the emerging markets targeted for growth on their list of favored destinations.
  2. Develop the right policies for your program. 57% of the executives agree their policies meet their needs. However, a one size fits all approach no longer is adequate in the mobility space. A purpose driven policy approach will help drive mobility alignment for key projects, skills, and development. Pay is not the only incentive. Many of the millennials are more interested in experience and development.
  3. Securing Business BUY-IN. Mobility should be viewed as an investment, not a cost. This demands data – clear costs and return on investment to track and justify spending. Understanding views of key stakeholders can help anticipate and plan how to support growth. This will require a more integrated approach across HR, pulling in mobility, talent, resourcing, and succession planning expertise

Call to action: Contact your mobility stakeholders to schedule a review and plan ways to have a more strategic approach to mobility. Teamwork makes the dream work!

This has been a “Relocation Minute” update on “International Mobility Strategies” 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.