Tag Archives: Trends

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!

2018 Texas Relocation Network (TRN) Conference Takeaways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time… Be Partners in Progress!

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

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

This has been A Relocation Minute on “TRN Conference 2018 Takeaways” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Also available on Kindle!

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!

These innovations can change the experience for your talent relocating in the US or abroad in 2018!

I recently read a story about when Henry Ford manufactured his first automobile, it didn’t include a gear for reverse. Can you imagine what it would be like if he decided to quit improving the experience at that point? Do you remember some of the first cell phones? They were so big that they couldn’t fit in our pockets to carry around and were heavy as a brick. The technology was fascinating, but nothing like the improved phones we have in our pockets today. Great companies evolve because they have a continuous improvement mindset, and create a culture of accountability to always be looking for ways to better the product, or service which ultimately leads to a better experience for the customer.

In the recent BRGS “Talent Mobility Trends Survey” posted in January 18, 2018 edition of WorldwideERC “Mobility” magazine, 63% of companies have mobility high on their organizational agenda. In fact, 85% say they have made changes, plan to make changes, or are planning to make changes to the way employee mobility is managed to better align overall with the business strategy, develop innovative strategies, and help business leaders achieve their goals and objectives for success.

Some of the changes companies have made, or plan to make to enhance the mobile employee experience include:

  • Develop mobility intranet pages
  • Work with leadership to promote mobility
  • Launch employee satisfaction surveys / focus groups
  • Increase transparency into the career benefits of mobility
  • Improve frequency if communications
  • Invest in employee facing technology / apps
  • Set up a mentor / spouse program
  • Publish more success stories

What plans for innovation does your company have in 2018?

It really doesn’t matter if you relocate 5 or 50 employees / families each year, they are ALL important. Focusing on improving the customer experience is on the forefront of many industries today including mobility, and it will take innovative changes to make significant impact for the employee and family relocating.

Quote of the Week... “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)

Call to Action: Review the list and add at least one innovative strategy to consider for 2018. Share with your team and see if you can create positive impact for your program. Your employees will appreciate it and so will your mobility team!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “BRGS Survey Talent Mobility Trends” 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.

When you grow in your leadership, everything around you will grow too! Check out http://www.BruceWaller.com to review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon and DRIVE with PURPOSE!

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!

3 Takeaways from WorldwideERC Global Workforce Symposium 2017!

The last week of September, I enjoyed the opportunity to spend 4 days in the city of Chicago attending WorldwideERC’s Global Workforce Symposium annual conference. The week started with partner meetings and the opening of the marketplace where exhibitors get to share their latest products and services. I always enjoy attending the marketplace because it is a great opportunity to not only learn about new services, but a chance to meet up with past friends and meet new ones too while having great conversation around the industry we enjoy called RELOCATION. 

Anytime I attend a conference, I always try to achieve 2 objectives. The first objective is to expand my network. This takes time and courage to step out and say hello to someone you don’t really know, but want to connect with because of the common thread of relocation. Your network will allow you to be more resourceful and give you another channel to verify and validate throughout the process of helping clients and business partners.

The second objective is to learn something new to apply for myself, or someone I know. This takes investing time to attend the educational sessions offered during the conference. I really enjoy the sessions that share trendsetters, and things to be watching for in the industry.

Today, I want to share 3 conference takeaways that you might be interested in learning about as well.

  1. Technology continues to enhance our industry. I enjoyed the sessions “Has Technology replaced service” which was quite fascinating hearing from a panel of experts. Some of the technologies discussed included email picture signatures, video surveys, 24/7 platforms, gaining efficiencies, generational differences, AI, Augmented Reality, and security. Another interesting note was the idea of hiring talent with technology experience and training the relocation skills.
  2. Duty of Care continues to be a hot topic especially during a time of natural disasters. This is the importance of Risk and Compliance obligation. What are we doing as corporations, and supply chain to engage in the process? Interesting note that 80% of ee think the company has a legal obligation, while 46% of companies actually have a policy. Some of the other notes in this area included the temp housing security such as air B&B. Be on the lookout for continued conversation around this topic.
  3. Lastly, BE BOLD! We all enjoyed hearing from an expert corporate panel facilitated by Peggy Smith, President and CEO of WorldwideERC. Peggy helped drive some real conversation around the topic of being bold… from corporate leaders to partners. Imagine the possibility of corporations including their partners for onboarding just like their new employee population. Imagine the possibility of driving business strategy in the mobility space. Maybe it’s time for us to “hit refresh” and be bold to start the next conversation.

Bonus was hearing from Mitch Joel. He shared some much about disruption, transformation, and innovation. But the takeaway for me was around marketing and the 3 components needed for success. These included Image, Mobile First, and the important of being social.

Call to action: Let me know if would like to learn more about the conference, consider registering for NTRP event on October 18 to hear Peggy Smith in Dallas. You can register at http://www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org or you can visit WorldwideERC at  http://www.worldwideerc.org for more information. It’s time to be bold and refresh our thinking in mobility!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “WorldwideERC Global Symposium” 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!