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Top Five Ways to Quantify Talent Mobility’s Impact

Businesswoman presenting the Return on Mobility


Every responsible company has an eye trained on Return on Investment (ROI). However, calculating the ROI of your Mobility program is more nuanced than dividing the benefit by the cost of the investment. The intangible benefits of a strong Mobility program are harder to measure, like the value of employee job satisfaction, recruitment, efficiency of implementation, leadership development potential, etc.

We’ve been partnering with Mobility professionals to quantify their program’s Return on Mobility (ROM). Our consulting team works with multinational companies to validate their efforts and turn their discipline into a strategic advantage. It’s no easy feat. Analysts have been trying to prove the value of Mobility since the industry’s inception, with very little success. We’ve taken a new approach, creating tools to make calculating ROM more digestible, doable, and transparent.


Telling the Story of Mobility

We’ve turned the focus of calculating ROI from pure number-crunching to an opportunity to develop a narrative for your program. Start by examining your important stakeholders, considering their questions and their common misconceptions. From there, you can set goals and decide what data is relevant to them. Ultimately, your Mobility team should have a shared definition of “success” and a strategy to measure it.

By connecting multiple data points into powerful “stories,” you can demonstrate your program’s ROI in a richer, more meaningful way. Below, we explore a way of measuring and quantifying that will not only prove value to your organization, but also garner the attention and support of stakeholders – a critical, often excluded step.

Here are a few building blocks that will guide the development of your ROM story:


1. Employee Results – The True Value of Human Capital

This includes not only your employee’s performance, but also their engagement in the Mobility program and promotion rates within your company. Retention and attrition should be considered, as well as assignment completions.


2. Relocation or Assignment Cost – It’s More than Relocation

Cost of the assignment is a key factor to consider. While this may seem like the metric that senior leadership focuses on the most, it’s important to measure this in combination with other metrics to tell the complete story. Demonstrating how your investment in Mobility positively impacts other key strategic company initiatives is an excellent way to prove that your program’s value goes beyond the numbers.


3. Business Results – More Than a Cost Benefit Analysis

Look beyond cost data and link other measurements you control with key strategic company initiatives, for example:

  • Engaged relocated employees contribute to increased sales and profits
  • Responsive assignments can enable efficient roll out of new product launches and implementations
  • Mobility’s positive brand within the company results in higher fulfillment and completion rates


4. Quality – Creating Happy Customers and Partners

Quality metrics like satisfaction ratings, service level agreement scores from suppliers, consistent policy exceptions, self-service versus full-service relocations, and the number of defects or tax overpayments should be incorporated into the Mobility story.


5. Volume – Quantity or Quality?

Volume is a key metric to measure, specifically focusing on new hires. It’s important to evaluate active versus completed assignments to benchmark your data. Volume by policy, business unit, region, and initiative should all be considered in the data mix.


To do the story of Mobility justice, these metrics must be put in conversation with one another. Data owned by other departments – like HR, Finance, Immigration, or Tax – should be used to fill gaps in the narrative.

In their attempt to assess the real value of Mobility, some people over complicate things and give up. Others perceive the job as so daunting that they never start.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Start small. Build one story at a time, demonstrating what matters to your business and its overall goals.

Need assistance scripting your ROM story and Action Plan? We can help! Our Graebel Mobility PathBuilderSM program can help you create compelling, data-driven answers to questions like, Do we relocate the right people? Does our intern Mobility program help us attract future full-time employees?

The path to quantifying Return on Mobility is possible. It simply begins with a plan.