Tag Archives: WorldwideERC

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!

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!

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!

This US Tax Reform proposal could impact your corporate relocation budget in 2018!

Did you know… there is currently a house bill on the table for US tax reform that if passed, will make all relocation expenses taxable income for your employees relocating? This includes the movement of household goods and storage. The repeal of these moving expense provisions would greatly increase gross-up expenses for your employees relocating. 

WorldwideERC website states “The Senate plan released on November 9 repeals the moving expense deduction, as well as the exclusion for moving expenses paid or reimbursed by an employer, effective January 1, 2018. The moving expense deduction makes relocation more affordable for businesses and individuals and spurs economic growth. Without the deduction, a relocation will be costlier for companies and employees, and will impact decisions on whether the move makes sense.”

There is an exception for US military and the bill will not affect expats and their employers. You can read more information about this tax reform on the WorldwideERC website.

Call to Action: Write a letter to your congressman ASAP requesting that they help restore this tool vital to workforce mobility. You can access this information at WorldwideERC or American Moving and Storage Association.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “US Tax Reform” 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 information on my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!