Whether your company has one location or several, 50 employees or 5,000, sooner or later the director of human resources will ask the question: Do we need a formal move policy? And, after doing a little homework on the subject matter, most often the answer is yes.
For companies large or small, there are three main benefits for creating a formal move policy:
Recruitment: The move policy is an important tool for HR departments during the recruitment process. As the economy has improved, so has the competition for talent. A move policy can play a major role when a prospect is considering offers from multiple companies, as it provides soft benefits in addition to their base compensation and benefit plan.
Job Simplification: Most HR professionals find that a formal policy simplifies their job when it comes to relocating a new or existing employee. The policy provides a framework of authorized services and expenses so that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every move.
Cost Control: Move policies help prevent relocation costs from spinning out of control for the same reason. Depending on the scope of the policy, they may identify what the company will/will not cover related to expenses, including temporary living, travel expenses, household moving and/or storage, and real estate transactions.
While corporate moving policies offer a number of benefits for companies, they also provide perks for the transferee, including household moving services. A major component of moving policies, this service covers packing/unpacking services, household good and automobile transportation, storage and insurance (valuation). But there may be up to 25 to 30 ancillary services that you may clarify your company’s position on. Then once a move policy has been formulated, selecting the right moving company will play a major role in the successful implementation of that policy. What are the most important considerations when selecting a mover to handle your corporate relocations?
Select a professional moving company that has proven experience in handling corporate transferees. If you select a carrier where corporate relocations makes up only 10 percent of their business mix, that could be a potential red flag. Corporate relocations should be the bread and butter of your chosen vendor, not just an ancillary service they offer.
Strong Customer Service Process
Select a mover that has a clearly defined national account relocation coordination process and will dedicate a specific move coordinator to service your account. The move coordinator plays a huge role in consulting with the transferee on the relocation process and implementing your move policy. A good coordinator will maintain move policy discipline and act as a conduit of information between you, the transferee and the van operator.
Selecting a carrier that has the capacity to not only book the business, but also service it is critical. Following corporate move policy guidelines is best accomplished when your carrier books, coordinates and services the moves. Be wary if a carrier simply books your business but depends on other affiliates to service the moves. Ask interested parties what percentage of “self-haul” they will commit to for your moves. This is especially important when moving employees during the peak spring and summer seasons.
As always, quality of service should be an important consideration when selecting a carrier. Move policies infer that you are a quality organization worth working for, and the moving vendor has to support that. A poor moving experience will reflect on the HR department. Select a carrier that has excellent verifiable scores in customer satisfaction, self-haul percentage, on-time performance, claims history, etc.—and don’t settle for less.
Alternative Service Options
Gaining popularity are “tiered” move policies that provide different levels of benefits or service depending on the employee’s position within the company. Portable containers, in which companies provide a weatherproof container for the employee to load and unload at their own pace, are seeing increased use for entry-level positions and recent college graduates. Different moving vendors will offer alternative service options that may improve service and/or reduce cost.
With a formal corporate move policy in place, and serviced by a top quality professional mover, your ability to recruit and retain valuable employees will be enhanced, regardless if your company is large or small. Convinced a move policy might benefit your company, but you don’t know where to go for information? Consider participating in your local Employee Relocation Council (ERC) or Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). You will find HR professionals that will share different ideas on how to construct a formal policy and make your job a lot less complicated.