Tag Archives: relocation coach

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.

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.

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

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!

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!

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!

This strategy can help lift your team to achieve success in 2018!

As I continue sharing HR strategies to help you achieve your business goals in 2018, I came across a story from my book, “Find Your Lane” that just might illustrate the importance of accountability and lift your team members to success in 2018… Find your lane and drive your goals with purpose! 

“Hold Yourself Accountable to the Plan; De La Salle High School, in Concord, California, was recently featured in the movie When the Game Stands Tall, featuring head football coach Bob Ladouceur’s teams, which won 151 consecutive high school football games from 1992 to 2004—a winning streak that stands today.
One of my favorite parts of the movie (and most impacting) is how the team prepared for the season during practice. Each player wrote down his commitment for the week on a small index card and shared it with another player. The other player would say that he accepted the commitment and they’d shake hands. Talk about POWERFUL!
What if we all shared a commitment with our colleagues each week in business? It might be a commitment to getting reports in on time, returning all customer calls within a certain time period, or commitment to spending 30 minutes with a different employee each week to learn more about their story and how you might better support them.
When you prepare and hold each other accountable, you can accomplish things that you didn’t think would be possible. It may be preparing for a job interview, or a sales presentation, or teaching a class. When you plan, you have a compass to guide you along the way.” (Excerpt from Book; Find Your Lane)

“Plans are nothing; Planning is everything.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 

Processed with MOLDIV

Call to Action: Share your business plan with colleagues to get input for 2018. Ask someone to hold you accountable. You might even want your team members to complete a commitment card for one of your most important goals and share with a colleague or friend. It just might be what you need to achieve your goals!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Commitment Cards” 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!

Find your lane when onboarding talent that requires relocation.

Companies come in all shapes and sizes. There are large organizations with complex organizational structures to smaller companies that have only a few employees. One common thread is the need to achieve business goals which requires attracting talent. Many times the best talent can be found locally, but often requires mobility for a new candidate, an executive opening a new office, or even an employee in a developmental role.

When relocating employees, we have learned that different lanes will yield different experiences for the employee and family. There are basically three lanes to consider when managing a relocation for both US domestic and international. Each each lane has many  positives, but can also present potholes and the opportunity for detours to help make each relocation a better experience for the employee and family. Some employees don’t have the time or expertise to manage a lump sum relocation which creates challenges trying to get family transitioned,, while other employees are looking for a great experience, but the company doesn’t have the bench strength to manage the program and need a relo partner for support.

So which lane are you in?

  1. Lane 1 Lump Sum Relocation
    This lane is easy to manage/administer, but can be costly due to taxable income for companies when grossing up or to employee receiving non-taxable income. There is a  lump sum “plus” program that can be less costly and a detour to consider for best experience.
  2. Lane 2 In House Relocation program managed partnerships by HR staff.  Managing relocation takes expertise and bench strength, but can yield great results for the relocating employee working with partners they know and trust. The pothole to avoid is bidding moves during the summer peak season. Investing time identifying partners for the employee and family and using a distribution model will elevate the experience for everyone.
  3. Lane 3 Outsourcing / Partnering with Relocation Management Company. This is a great option when you have limited resources to manage and support executives with home sale purchase, as well as capturing expenses for tax reporting and more flexible. The key is to align with the RMC that best fits your program goals and culture.

Call to Action: Do you want to learn more about potholes and some of the detours available for your team? Attend HRSouthwest Conference on October 2, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas to attend my session. Register at http://www.HRSouthwest.com.  If you can’t make it to the conference, reach out to your partner to identify potholes and the best way to navigate around them, detour, or just change lanes for best experience.

“If you could get all of the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” (Patrick Lencioni)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Find your lane onboarding talent” 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!

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.