How To Help Your Employee Adjust To A New Location

March 7, 2019
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In the first half of 2018, 10% of job seekers relocated for their careers. It’s hard enough for employees to get used to a new job, but when they need to acclimate to a new city or state as well, they can experience extreme stress.

For businesses, moving new hires or employees to new locations can also be a challenge. After asking a professional to relocate, HR departments want to see their protégés succeed as quickly as possible, both at work and within their new communities.

However, with a bit of planning, you can master the art of moving employees to a new location, enabling them to acclimate to their new home—and their new job—quickly and easily.

Provide Pre-Move Guidance

Your employee will need to deal with many logistical tasks already, from packing up their possessions to finding a new doctor in town. To ease their workload and reduce stress, provide them with as much pre-move guidance as possible.

Connect them with a reliable moving company. Conduct extensive research; Find a service that offers licensed, insured, and professional movers. It will be helpful for your HR and accounting teams if this service is well-versed in employment-related relocations. If this is the case, the company will be able to work with you to customize relocation packages and facilitate convenient direct billing or split invoicing between your company and your employee.

Provide or recommend a spousal career service. If your new employee has a significant other, you may want to suggest they use a career coaching service to find a new job in their new location. This will take pressure off your significant other and facilitate a harmonious move.

Identify suitable housing locations and services. While you will want to either provide or recommend temporary housing services, think ahead to permanent housing as well. Create a list of local real estate agents and rental agencies based on positive reviews, and help your new employee decide where to live in his or her new location by creating a comprehensive guide to the area. Highlight local neighborhoods, dining options, convenience factors, entertainment options, commute distances, and prices.    

Reducing the amount of work your new employee will have to do once he or she arrives will both demonstrate that you value him or her and also facilitate expedited job success.

Select A Welcome Team

Choosing a welcome team is a vital part of easing your employee’s transition. There will be three main aspects to your team: an HR point-person, a team-specific mentor, and a small team of individuals from each department.

The HR point-person will be a seasoned employee who your new employee relies on for everything from company paperwork instructions to recommendations for takeout places on the day of the move. Ensure this person has the time (and know-how) to answer both company-related questions and location-related questions.

The team mentor will be a member of your new employee’s direct team. This person will focus on catching your new employee up on current team projects, processes, and goals. While this person can be his or her manager, it may help to select an employee with the same type of job to complete this task, so the employee feels more comfortable asking questions.

The small team of individuals will comprise of people from each department. Arrange short meetings (or coffee runs if that’s more in line with your culture) with each individual, so they can let your new employee know how his or her department fits within the business as a whole. Connections throughout your company will encourage the new employee to work cross-departmentally in the future.

Create A Company-Wide Welcome Strategy

Once you have your individual welcome teams in place, it’s time to create a strategy to immerse your new employee in the company culture. Not only will your employee feel comfortable quickly, but highly engaged teams show a 21% greater profitability.

Inform current employees about your new employee. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to let everyone in the company (especially in a small office) know about your new employee. If they are aware that he or she is new, they will feel comfortable introducing themselves.

Encourage office mingling. Call in doughnuts and coffee before a big meeting so your new team member can mingle. If it’s acceptable within your company culture, organize an in-office cocktail party. Any chance for your employee to get to know his or her team members is a chance to improve his or her experience.

Host company outings. For more in-depth bonding, host a company-wide outing to an entertainment venue, such as a bowling alley or mini golf course. Out-of-office events are relatively cheap, but provide high ROI in company culture.

After you follow these tips for moving employees to a new location, they will be feeling right at home within weeks. Interested in learning more about employee relocation? We carried out a survey where we asked relocation professionals the tough questions about employee relocation — everything from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to how relocation packages can affect talent recruiting and development. Download the extensive report.

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