This article was updated on January 25, 2023
Global mobility activity is still facing new challenges. At the same time, mobility teams are stretched thin due to staffing shortages caused by the “Great Resignation” and complications from global socio-political and economic factors.
Moving forward, global mobility managers will need to be even more resourceful, taking advantage of every possible efficiency strategy they can, while maintaining safe and exceptional employee experiences. To do this, they can and should rely on their relocation management company (RMC) like never before.
The evolution of mobility’s role
Mobility teams continue to perform exceptionally as they address the implications of global mobility challenges facing their organizations and mobile employees. These external factors include:
- Supply chain blockages that are causing relocation duration extensions
- Shortages of suitable housing, making placements more difficult and costly
- Emergency repatriations due to localized health concerns and geopolitical conflicts
- Border restrictions that are complicating or preventing the movement of mobile employees
In addition, mobility teams have recently been taking on new, essential internal organizational responsibilities such as:
- Clarifying policies and monitoring compliance regarding remote/hybrid work arrangements, to ensure employees are complying with HR organizational policies and legal obligations
- Engaging in strategic planning matters across their organizations; a function that will expand and will be institutionalized in the years ahead
- Engaging with mobile employees with an extra measure of emotional intelligence at a time when attention to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), personal health and welfare and other similar initiatives are imperative
As they balance these priorities, mobility leaders know that the resignation of just one member of their mobility team could complicate matters – and their efficiency – that much more. Their teams, no matter how talented, are already stretched thin, facing a mobility landscape that changes faster and more often than they can keep up with.
Mobility Perspectives: Doing More with Less
Global Mobility & HR leaders Robert Klemm and Marie Bezdicek talk about how they look at their policies through the lens of not only cost but also the employee experience. They emphasize the importance of setting realistic expectations for an ever-evolving and diverse mobile employee population.
Meet the challenge
Over the past three years, mobility managers quickly adopted innovative strategies to not only manage complex situations but also to address their own dramatically increased workloads.
In fact, as we’ve seen and heard from clients recently, many of these approaches have been integrated into the new remote/hybrid working world, including: conducting more personal interactions through videoconferences, simplifying mobility policies and packages and spending more time negotiating and clarifying assignee packages upfront to minimize subsequent exceptions.
In addition, there’s never been a more important time for organizations to gather, analyze and act on company data in real time than right now. By tapping into mobility program data and technology to enhance communication and program- and company-related decisions, mobile employees can expect better service and better experiences at every stage of their mobility journey.
But there’s one additional efficiency strategy most mobility teams could employ to an even greater extent. They should determine if they’re fully utilizing the wide range of services offered by their RMC.
Create an ideal partnership synergy
With the wealth of mobility industry knowledge, expertise and support systems that they have in place, your RMC ideally should serve as a:
- Strategic partner – Helping you design and maintain an ideal, customized mobility program
- Functional partner – Providing programmatic and operational support to the greatest extent possible
The question is, have you taken the opportunity to shift the bulk of your time-consuming, functional tasks to your RMC? You might be surprised at the scope of services that they can administer on your behalf.
For example, when coordinating with your RMC, consider the following services to lighten your load:
- Pre-decision counseling – Communicating with each employee regarding departure and destination locations; providing an overview of available benefits; identifying potential areas of concern; compiling a summary of the employee’s needs
- Authorization initiations – Entering the employee’s initiation details into the mobility technology platform being utilized
- Assignment letter administration – Drafting an assignment letter that reflects your policy and approved exceptions
- Cost estimation – Preparing a comprehensive estimate of the full cost of the relocation or assignment (including taxes) for domestic or international relocations, so the organization has solid data for high-level budget planning
- Employee expense reimbursement – Auditing and reimbursing the employee’s eligible out-of-pocket expenses
- Payment of recurring allowances and per diems – Facilitating payments in local currency to the employee for authorized allowances and per diem expenses
- Visa and immigration services – Coordinating with your visa and immigration provider to ensure timely compliance with applicable laws and regulations; tracking visa expiration and renewal dates; initiating deregistration services
- Compensation accumulation & reporting - Collecting all global compensation payments from sources such as multiple payroll systems, accounts payable and third-party service providers; converting payments into home/host currency as required; reporting payments to the third-party tax provider or applicable payroll providers for inclusion into wages
- Onsite/contingent staffing – Assigning one of the RMC’s internal team members to directly support your program and manage specific tasks
These days, it’s more important than ever for mobility leaders to enhance program efficiencies and empower their teams to be successful. An organization can benefit greatly by relying on their RMC to address both the important, daily, functional details across their entire mobility program and guidance toward the innovative program solutions that make a mobile employee's journey an exceptional one.
Ultimately, partnering with an RMC on these strategic matters can result in higher employee morale, increased company productivity and efficiencies and the internal team's ability to have the time to focus more intently on company-related goals and objectives.
Our commitment to your success
By treating each interaction that we have with clients and prospects as an evolving partnership, and leveraging Graebel’s People-first Mobility approach, we help you find efficiencies that you may not have known existed and move toward a common goal to help make your short-term and long-term mobility program goals a success.