We recently sat down with our CEO and Chair Bill Graebel and President Ron Dunlap to discuss their insights for talent mobility in the year ahead, as well as their plans for Graebel. Our industry and company are undergoing change to stay ahead of the evolving workforce and workplace. This new landscape is causing shifts in our industry’s business model, advocating for more flexibility and individual choice and reimagining the role and use of technology. There’s a sense of excitement and optimism as Graebel plans for opportunities in 2024 and beyond, building on the progress made and challenges overcome in 2023.
In 2024, Graebel will be focusing on “Innovating for the New World of Talent Mobility.” With this in mind, we stand ready to support and collaborate with clients, supplier partners and our team, as we continue to adapt to the challenges and changes of recent years by innovating and investing to accelerate our evolution in the coming years.
Here's what Ron and Bill were eager to share about delivering unparalleled service to clients and their mobile employees, prioritizing employee well-being and optimizing business operations with suppliers and stakeholders.
How will the mobility industry need to adapt and innovate in the future, and how is Graebel approaching this opportunity?
Ron: Macroeconomic and societal forces are driving dramatic, permanent change in workplace culture and the workforce, which inherently impacts global relocation. The pandemic opened up a new world of hybrid and remote work, one that affords more choice to individuals. Organizations are navigating this shift from work being a place-centric activity to something that employees can choose to do from anywhere in the world. But employers still see the value in getting employees together to build culture and relationships. That intrinsic human desire for connection bodes well for talent mobility.
"Mobility isn’t going away – it’s just going to be different. We’re actively assisting our clients and supplier partners with ways to re-imagine talent mobility and to find their way forward. To do that, we’ll need to stay nimble and embrace change – which is in Graebel’s DNA"
Bill: As the workforce and workplace continue to change, it’s clear that hybrid and remote work are here to stay. Businesses who want employees to come into the office need to "earn the commute” expected of talent by providing an appealing office experience. Adapting to the evolving needs of the workforce – our clients’ and our own – is a core focus for us in 2024. We’re looking at the tools and operating systems we use to deliver options for our clients’ mobile employees while still providing exceptional experiences. We’re confident our investments in technology, process improvement, training and career progression will pay off – now and in the future.
To Ron’s point, re-invention is not optional, for our clients’ mobility programs and for Graebel. We must adapt to take advantage of the opportunities we know are coming our way. The businesses most likely to survive and thrive in dynamic industries like ours view re-invention as a job that will never be done, and I find that continual growth and evolution exciting.
What are the conclusions you draw from Graebel’s experiences of the past two years – good experiences and challenges, too – and how are they informing your team’s vision and strategy for 2024?
Bill: There's a substantial opportunity to continue the shift of the perception of mobility from an expense to be managed to a strategic investment that can be leveraged. By guiding mobility professionals in developing strategic, data-driven programs with tangible goals and offering leading technology and personalized guidance, we can create efficiencies and exceptional experiences. On top of that, through ROI metrics tailored to company leaders, we can demonstrate the role of talent mobility in providing long-term value to help client companies reach their business goals.
"Beyond that, as I think over the last few years, my immediate sentiment is one of gratitude."
I’m grateful for our exceptional employees, leadership team and board. The alignment we see among these stakeholders has helped us weather a volatile business landscape over the last few years and come out stronger. In the face of adversity, our collective commitment to the company's mission, vision and values has remained strong.
I’m also grateful for collaboration with our clients and our supplier partners. Together, we’ve explored innovations, launched new initiatives and fine-tuned routine processes to reach mutually beneficial goals. Through these partnerships, we’ve been very effective in new technology and process deployments, which have led to company-high service scores and customer satisfaction scores. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in the future.
My primary takeaway from the last few years is that while the how and what of our operations will continue to evolve in 2024 and beyond, our enduring purpose, centered on service and supporting the most valuable resource of the world’s most valuable companies – that is, people – has proven resilient. We will continue to embrace change and remain agile despite the fluid mobility landscape, which in turn will position us for success and its rewards for many years to come.
Ron: As an industry – clients, suppliers, and relocation management companies – we've navigated significant shifts in our economic model and in client and mobile employee needs, like providing value and generating results with fewer resources, offering more personalized solutions and tailored guidance and rising supply chain and labor costs.
The most important thing for us at Graebel, as an industry leader, is to accelerate our evolution to meet these challenges without losing who we are. To do that, we’re expanding the capabilities of our people-first technology to offer options; create efficient, value-added mobility programs; and drive cost savings for new and existing clients, while still creating exceptional relocation experiences and supporting organizational goals. Our vision is to be recognized as the most trusted relocation management company with the best technology, the most efficient processes, with the best culture and people. As a result of strategic investments, hard work and sacrifices in 2023, we’re well on our way and we’ll make further progress in 2024.
In fact, onboarding or expanding our portfolio of clients with some of the most recognized brands in the world alone has set us up for future success.
Our investment in continuous technology and cyber-security advancement will continue to be a priority in 2024 and our commitment to delivering the human element of relocation services remains steady.
Talent mobility has to remain a people-first industry, and it’s our people, using the right technology, who will carry us forward.
Our clients are always at the forefront of our strategy and for the year ahead, we want to focus on helping mobility professionals ‘change the conversation’ by providing irrefutable data-driven proof of mobility’s value, tied directly to business goals.
At a time of disruption, uncertainty and change, are there any enduring “truths” about mobility and Graebel that people should remember?
Ron: The fundamental reality is that mobility will always be needed; people will always seek new job opportunities and diverse experiences, leading to a natural occurrence of migration. As a result, any company that recognizes the mission-critical need to attract and retain top talent will offer mobility solutions, and we will be there to help.
Bill: Excellence is expected, and we should never stop chasing it. If we aren’t an excellent employer, people won’t want to work for us; if we aren’t an excellent partner, suppliers won’t want to collaborate with us; and if we aren’t an excellent relocation management company, clients won’t turn to us to support their mobile employees.
"By putting people first, operating and communicating transparently and holding ourselves and the industry accountable, I’m confident we can continue Graebel’s history of excellence."
Learn more about how Graebel is leading the conversation in talent mobility in 2024 by following our blog and diving deeper into industry insights, emerging trends and company news.