Tag Archives: Strategy

What’s Your Brand? Consider this strategy to position your brand for success…

Have you ever reached out to someone and not received a response? Have you ever been copied on an email only to wonder if the email received any follow up? How people respond is often how we view their brand.

Nike, Southwest Airlines, Google, McDonalds, and LinkedIn are some of the most well known employment brands in the world. When you see or hear about these companies, you immediately know what these brands represent.

…but what about your personal brand? Each company is made up of employees that have a personal brand that often reflects the employment brand or values of the company such as attitude, accountability, and relationships to name a few. How you communicate with others could position you as a leader of excellence which just might drive future opportunities for you in the organization. It could also reflect a negative perception even if you complete your daily tasks.

Have you ever thought about your personal brand? Your brand isn’t what YOU think it is, it’s what OTHERS think it is when THEY see you or hear your name.

What brand do you represent when you show up at work as the HR leader, or as a sales leader making a call, or as a volunteer in your community, or at your gym to workout, or in your community, or even at home with your family after work? How do you communicate with others? How about your approach to social media? Are you a learner, and a resource to share with others? … or a leader or influencer in your industry?

You see, we all have a brand whether we think we do or not. People that have met you have a thought or opinion when they see you or hear your name. What are people saying about you? One of the ways we learn about our brand is to evaluate feedback which can help us decide if we should continue building on our current brand or if we should consider a strategy to reshape or re-purpose our brand for excellence.

So how do we know what our brand positioning is as a leader or future leader? Some of the well known brands above invest and position their brand to attract others. We should also invest in our brand to attract others to join our teams or partner with our organization. Engagement on social media posts can be a marker as we are now more social than ever. We can also learn from LinkedIn recommendations when people share comments about working with you? However, the best way is to simply ask some of your colleagues and business partners!

Here are two (2) questions to consider asking…

  1. What words would you use to describe my brand as an employee or business partner?
  2. What is the best thing you like about my brand for me to keep working on as a leader?

In my book, “Find Your Lane” I talk about the importance of “investing in your people zone” to help you steer toward the Lane of Fulfillment. Today, I challenge you to reach out to three (3) people and ask them the questions above.. It might provide you some insight to help calibrate your “career GPS” to drive your brand with purpose and make the most of your leadership journey!

So how would you describe my brand? I would enjoy seeing your response in comments below. It’s a great time to position our brands to help others drive leadership with purpose…

Quote of the week: “Feedback is a gift” (Shelley Zajic, Global Head of HR)

Call to Action: Have the courage this week to reach out to three (3) people close to you and ask about your brand and decide if you like the brand or if you should consider reshaping it for the future. Let me know how it goes. … or just start a conversation with someone you know. I am confident it will have impact on you as you continue driving your career with purpose.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “what’s your brand” 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!

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!

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!

Would you be invited to “The Masters” in your profession?

In the words of Jim Nance, “The Masters is a tradition like no other”. This is a major golf championship tournament played each year on a legendary golf course where only the best of the best in golf are invited to play for this prestigious championship. It’s always fun watching the leaderboard on the final day as players move up and down chasing the title. These players are the best in the world which is why they are called “The Masters”.

These professionals didn’t become masters overnight. Many have been working on their craft since childhood putting in the work to one day be reassured for the championship. It’s a dream for the winner to be able to put on “the green jacket” to mark being a “masters” champion leaving their legacy in the history books.

As I watch these players on the final day, I observed many common threads these “masters” have in common that we can all learn from so we can work each day to be masters business leaders in our organizations.

So what are they?

Here are six traits to help you start a conversation about goals to work toward “the masters” in your profession!

  1. Focus. Before the day, each player plans a strategy on how they want to play the golf course and stay focused on execution of every shot! What strategies are you focused on each day to help you achieve year end results?
  2. Resilient. When a player has a bad hole, they understand how to regroup and continue their focus on making good shots through the round. Sometimes we have a bad day in HR with an unexpected outcome or a salesperson might lose a sell that he/she was counting on. We need to be resilient and keep working toward our desired outcomes.
  3. Commitment. It takes years of practice to become a master. Players hit shot after shot from sunrise to sunset. What do you practice each day as a daily discipline? Are you networking, working on an important presentation, or preparing for that next big meeting? There are some days when you may not feel like putting in the work… Do it anyway!
  4. Desire. To be “master” takes a burning desire to be the best! If you want to elevate your leadership, you need to have a strong anchor or “WHY” to drive each day with purpose. When Patrick Reed, 2018 Masters Champion was interviewed, he shared that he had a goals of winning in 2018 including a major. What are your goals? Write them down and review to make sure you have an anchor!
  5. Collaborative. Each player has a caddie to talk with during the round to discuss strategy and alignment with execution. Who are you talking with each day in your office. Do you have a mentor, business partner or group of leaders to meet with during the week? If you manage HR, are you collaborating with each of your stakeholders and business partners to achieve best results when on boarding, relocating, or developing talent?
  6. Continuous Improvement. One of the questions for the runner up was, “what can you learn from this tournament?” I love this question and listen closely to the response because this is where the power lies. Masters players always have something they want to work on to improve. They are always working on their grip, their swing, their putting and more everyday. They never accept “having arrived”. What is a skill or discipline that you can work on this week or this month to move you closer to mastery? The habit of continues improvement will move you closer to becoming “master” in your profession!

Oh… and they work really hard everyday!

Do you have any other traits that you add to this list? Please share in the comments.

Quote of the week: “We can issue you everything, but desire!” -Walter Causey

Call to Action: Do you have a mentor or someone to collaborate with? What are your goals? Ask them to help you identify a skill that will help you get closer to your goals. You might be closer to “The Masters” than you think! Find your lane and Drive with purpose!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “The Masters” 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!

What is success to you?

In his new book, Million Dollar Habits, Brian Tracy defines success as follows:

“Success is the ability to live your life the way you want to love it, doing what you most enjoy, surrounded by people you admire and respect.”

I absolutely love this. It doesn’t say anything about money or fame… it’s about living life the way you want it. Yes, money gives you options and fame often gives you a platform to share your message, but at the end of the day… it’s about how you want to live your life. 

This is the essence of my book, Find Your Lane… the ability to navigate your career that gives you a chance to experience success as described above. It starts with you. I call it maintaining your vehicle, which is the importance of investing in yourself. If you want to experience success, then you must find a way to define what it means to you…

Here are 3 things that may help you on your journey…

  1. Perspective… Be intentional each day by creating time in the morning or evening to read and think about whats important to you. This will lead to fresh ideas and strategies to apply for acceleration in your career.
  2. Plan. Be purposeful and invest time to plan and set goals each week that will be most  meaningful. Invest 15 minutes to review expected outcomes at end of each day. It is like planning your road map on a trip. It will make the difference in your results.
  3. People. In my book, I call this “Investing in your people zone“. Be purposeful and open minded as you connect with people. Find common threads and look for ways to be open minded and transparent to help each other. Remember that “Your network will be your net worth”. Relationships really do matter!

Quote of the week: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” -Maya Angelou

Call to Action: What is your definition of success? Write it down and share with others… I would really enjoy hearing your perspective! Send me an email bwaller@goarmstrong.com

This has been A Relocation Minute on “what is success ” 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!