Beyond the practical move, ensuring relocation success pre-assignment and post-arrival
With all relocations businesses are looking to harness the potential of getting talented employees to work in key locations to fulfill strategic business needs. Fundamental and complementary to the success of a relocation is not only the positive outcome of the actual move, but also your employee’s sense of reassurance and happiness, as well as that of their family, with their new location, both pre-assignment and post arrival.
All our destination services can be accompanied by support programmes in the host location. They can be offered as stand-alone services or selected to work together as packages. This ability to offer a combination of services gives us the agility and flexibility to create tailored solutions that accurately reflect your business and employee needs.
Assured short-term accommodation sourced on your behalf, mitigating safety and cost risks
The global mobility industry is seeing increasing trends in shorter term assignments where relocating employees keep their home properties and secure temporary accommodation at their destination, sometimes without the need of shipping all of their belongings. This can work well for organisations with a focus on early career employees and short projects, but it can also carry a considerable level of safety and cost risk, as well as distraction, if everything is left to the relocating employee to source and organise without the help of expert advice. Withdrawing from lease terms and upfront rental payments, if the accommodation isn’t suitable, can be an expensive mistake to make.
At K2, our specialists work with your relocating employee to identify their needs and research the market to secure short-term serviced accommodation, in line with specified requirements and policy parameters. We work with our vetted global network of corporate temporary housing providers to pre-select approved serviced apartments, manage the booking for you and provide your relocating employee with clear move-in instructions. The pre-selected accommodation is secured on terms which offer both security and flexibility, taking into consideration all other key aspects of your employee’s move and your agreed approval process.
Once the chosen property is secured, our consultants undertake all communication with the service provider, insulating your relocating employee from the process and potential distraction, up to, and including co-ordination of the check-in. We can also provide clear and transparent control of costs and payments through our technology platform, Ascent.
Aspects of our service include:
- Needs analysis – confirming important specifications such as budget and housing preferences and maximum length of commute to workplace.
- Market search for serviced accommodation options – in accordance with preferences and budget.
- Accommodation client preview – to ensure properties meet standards and employee requirements prior to being presented as an option.
- Provision of vetted options – with full descriptions and colour photographs sent via email with an appropriate recommendation.
- Booking management – including preferred terms to offer both security and flexibility.
- Key handover co-ordination on the arrival date.
- Invoice processing and payment.
- Reporting – end date tracking, providing updates to your HR/global mobility team.
- Employee liaison – for any issue resolution or lease extension.
Home search – long-term rental
Mitigating costs longer term, finding the ideal home for your relocating employee
Long-term accommodation can often be more beneficial when trying to balance costs and avoid tie-ins to more expensive temporary accommodation.
Our home search service is provided to source and secure suitable long-term accommodation for your relocating employees. We research the current housing rental market thoroughly based on any set company budgets and policy parameters, local contexts, and your employee’s individual and family housing needs and preferences.
We work with reputable, trusted and vetted real estate agents via our Global Accredited Partner Programme, who can provide local and knowledgeable assistance to source suitable available properties and arrange viewings as soon as possible at your employee’s convenience.
Once we have researched thoroughly, we confirm the appointment times for all suitable properties and draw up a full itinerary. A K2 consultant will accompany your relocating employee to the property viewings and be on hand to provide any useful advice and information. Once a suitable home is selected, our consultant will secure the property, negotiate the terms with the landlord/real estate agent, liaise with your employee to draw up the lease, and ensure that the property is prepared and ready for occupation on the start date.
We will also arrange for a representative to attend the property check on behalf of the employee at the start date of the lease, to ensure the property is up to the standard it should be and to note any defects. Any defects or works that need to be attended to will be reported to the landlord for immediate attention. By doing so, when the property is vacated, it will be checked-out in conjunction with the property check-in report, allowing for fair wear and tear and a clear and transparent discussion regarding deposit return.
Aspects of our service include:
- Accommodation needs analysis – thorough briefing call and completion of a questionnaire to ensure that the property search is tailored to specific requirements and needs. This also helps us to proactively manage expectations of property availability and type in the host location.
- Suitable accommodation sourcing – preparation of a comprehensive range of properties to view, according to specified budgets and requirements.
- Viewing support and guidance – planned itinerary provided and during the viewings, our consultant will familiarise your employee and their family with general information about the different areas visited, and provide general orientation to facilitate a decision on which area they would prefer to settle in.
- Preparation of lease documentation and review of the lease – including a written offer and any specific requirements to confirm the details with all parties before any documentation is signed, undertaking any necessary negotiation with the landlord to secure the best terms and conditions, as well as overseeing lease signing to ensure standard terms and practices are used.
- Repair and enhancement work – we can ensure that all remediation work agreed with the landlord in advance is completed prior to occupation.
- Assistance and/or guidance with the connection of utilities – including electric, gas, water, telephone, internet options and cable/satellite TV.
We can also provide tenancy and utilities management over the period of the assignment, reducing the administrative burden for your HR/global mobility team and relocating employee. We ensure repairs and maintenance activities are undertaken correctly and in a timely manner, lease dates are tracked, payments are made, and all contractual commitments are in order.
We can consolidate all ongoing rental housing payments such as rental and utilities and track key dates, renewal options, manage repairs and maintenance and any potential contentions of contracts. We have local expertise and regularly benchmark our service providers costs to ensure the best market deals and contracts available.
We also work with dedicated furniture rental providers as part of our Global Accredited Partner Programme. They can help facilitate the furnishing of long-term accommodation whilst your relocating employee’s goods arrive from shipment. This is often more suitable and flexible rather than using expensive temporary accommodation.
Taking care of the detail, facilitating a successful school move
Parents are naturally concerned about obtaining good education and schooling for their children when making the important decision to relocate for work. We understand this and have designed a programme to assist relocating employees to ensure that the securing of school and pre-school places is handled professionally and with sensitivity.
A specialist consultant is assigned to work closely with your relocating employee to co-ordinate securing a school in line their with specific needs and requirements. Where possible, this will be co-ordinated with any orientation or home search tours, to best ensure all elements of the relocation are delivered at the applicable time and help avoid the need for your employee and their family to undertake multiple time-consuming trips.
Aspects of our school search service include:
- Needs analysis – to determine schooling requirements and provide an outline of the destination location schooling landscape.
- Thorough availability review – to provide a short-list of appropriate schools, based on the requirements and needs confirmed in advance. This also takes into account any medical needs of each child and identify schools that are most suited to support their needs.
- School visit co-ordination – in line with the family’s preferences.
- Follow-up assistance – to ensure the family has all necessary information to be able to make the appropriate school choice.
- Application support.
- Follow-up support – through to the child’s start date in new school.
- Payment of registration fees.
Supporting successful relocations, facilitating decisions to relocate and settling-in
An orientation visit prior to, or at the start of, a new relocation is an efficient and cost-effective way to ensure a relocating employee and their family are comfortable with their decision to move, clear on their needs and preferences, and well prepared for life at their new location and ready to settle-in to their new role from the outset. It can also help enhance the appeal of a necessary business critical relocation and aid decision making of prospective talent to a role in a new location to support business growth or improvements in a certain market.
Our orientation service is designed to provide information and guidance on daily life in the new location, with emphasis on one or more key areas to visit, seeing preferable or recommended neighbourhoods, example properties, and local amenities.
The tour is compiled and conducted by a specialist, experienced local area consultant who tailors each tour to the personal interests and concerns of the employee and family. The orientation is often scheduled to coincide with business trips and can be delivered as a stand-alone service, or together with a home search package. A K2 consultant, or member of our Global Accredited Partner Programme accompany your relocating on their orientation tour and provide relevant advice and support.
In the case of group moves, information on possible host locations can be delivered in the origin location as a collective session and can be combined to help support recruitment efforts. This service can also be provided prior to the relocation offer being accepted. In the event that the relocating employee is unsure about making the move, the orientation is also a worthwhile tool to encourage a positive decision, and investment in ensuring the assignment is a long-term success.
Aspects of our orientation service include:
- A thorough assessment of trip requirements.
- A hosting a call with your relocating employee and destination service providers to align expectations and key activities for the trip.
- Co-ordination of visit components including general orientation, housing, schooling and lifestyle elements.
- Co-ordination with destination service partners for seamless execution of requirements and daily updates to ensure every element is on track for the tour.
More than just the move, supporting a successful and happy assignment
Even though your relocating employee has successfully arrived at their destination and moved in, it can still take a while to really feel settled.
To help speed up the settling-in process for your relocating employee and their family, we have designed a service to support them with the small details of day-to-day life. Each programme is tailored to individual needs and are designed to ensure they are comfortable and in the right frame of mind in their new home and surroundings. Our aim is to take away the distraction of trying to figure everything out on their own and enabling them to focus on enjoying their new location and role.
Aspects of our settling-in service include:
- A compatible settling-in consultant – to build a relationship early on and also provide support post move.
- Utility connection check – to ensure all elements are completed, including internet and telephone set up.
- Property welcome pack – including a home guide with operation manuals and detailed information of all components, as well as a property run through.
- Local area information pack – created in line with family needs.
- Neighbourhood tour – including any specific points of interest and locations for buying basic essentials such as food, appliances, clothing and furniture.
- Social and company network support – enabling relocating employees to quickly establish support and social networks with key groups.
- Assistance with identifying and registering with doctors and dentists.
- Advice and accompanied support where appropriate to open bank accounts.
- Research and options for health club, gym, or other club memberships.
- Refurbishment of property support.
- Follow up support up to 30 days from arrival to ensure a smooth settling in.
- Provision of regular updates to the HR/global mobility team on progress.
Language and intercultural awareness
Supporting successful integration, providing supportive packages tailored to specific needs
Moving to a new country with a completely different culture and language can initially be overwhelming and present challenges both inside and outside the workplace.
To help with successful integration, we have developed training packages to provide your relocating employees and their families with the necessary tools, information and knowledge to help them adapt to, enjoy and thrive in their new working environment. The aim is to ensure they can communicate effectively with their new colleagues, as well as in the new culture of the location they are moving to.
We have a successful track record in providing tailored programmes, delivered through our intercultural and language specialist partners. These are tailored to specific requirements and policies and delivered at the appropriate level to your employee’s needs, as well as their family, as required.
We can provide a variety of training styles from individual or group face-to-face classroom training to online learning, or a blended approach. Courses can be carried out before the assignment commences, and also as ongoing support in the host country to assist with transition and interaction with local employees.
Our trainers are country specialists with life experience in the host location and also have industry knowledge specific to your relocating employee’s role within the company. This ensures the training is specifically targeted towards your employee’s requirements and as beneficial as possible.
By the end of the training, your relocating employee will be armed with specific strategies and skills that can be used to build better relationships and communicate more effectively in business and daily life, enabling them to better focus on what is important to the success of their assignment.
Partner or family transition
Recognising the importance of family, ensuring success where everyone is happy
The success of an assignment can only partly be enabled by the employer, the family unit plays a significant contribution, and each family is unique in its needs and considerations. Understandably, the impact of a relocation on the career of a spouse or partner can be a major hurdle for the move, and can, on occasion, derail it. One of the most common barriers to mobility is the fact that the spouse/partner has their own career to consider and there is often a financial dependency upon maintaining two incomes.
With this in mind, we have developed family transition services to help address the common concerns and can provide support to your relocating employees’ spouses/partners from both a professional and social perspective from assisting with local social networking to career counselling to elder of childcare care assistance. Each programme is individually designed to fit their needs and requirements.
One of the primary considerations relates to immigration. For instance, in the case of India and locations throughout the Middle East, it is not possible to accompany a relocating employee as a dependent without a marriage certificate. Longer-term entry to the country will only be enabled by securing work authorisation/residency status independently. To facilitate this, we are an active sponsor of the Permits Foundation who advocate for spouses or partners of a relocating employee to be granted work authorisation for the duration of the assignment.
From a professional perspective, we can provide the assistance in the following areas:
- Career coaching
- Targeted networking
- CV/resume development
- Interview preparation
- Social media profile development
- Alternative pathways such as via higher education or volunteering opportunities
From a social perspective, we partner with various expat community forums, who are part of our Global Accredited Partner Programme, to create opportunities for each family to engage with other families in the same location with similar interests. From experience, we find that the ability to create a social network quickly, especially in the more remote locations, has a significant impact on getting the assignment off to the most positive start.
Vacant property management
Taking away the burden, ensuring ‘home’ really does remain ‘sweet home’
Relocating employees are increasingly looking to keep hold of their home property when they go away on an assignment and some see it as an important factor in agreeing to relocate. Although expense allowances mean they can manage this themselves through a property management agent, many would rather be provided support to reduce the burden and distraction of keeping track and control of costs, dealing with any tenant issues, as well as ensuring their property is effectively maintained whilst they are away.
At K2, we have developed a full property management programme designed to assure your employees that their property achieves its maximum rental value and is managed professionally while they are away on assignment. We can manage the payment and oversight of ongoing home property costs, ranging from maintenance to home insurance, letting agents and utilities. These costs can be tracked in our technology platform, Ascent, for a full and clear spend picture.
Supporting a smooth relocation completion, transitioning successfully to the next assignment
When an assignment has finished neither your relocating employee or your HR/global mobility department want to fall in to a potentially reputationally damaging situation where there are outstanding contractual or maintenance issues, costs and unclear liability, or disputes with the letting agent or landlord.
Our departure services support you in this process by undertaking tenancy completion checks such as ensuring the terms of the lease are clear between all parties, that notice is served and an end date is agreed, that all rent is fully paid, that the property is left in a clean state and that exit inspections and inventory reports are accurate so that correct deposits are returned to employees.
We can also tailor our support services to cover items such as rental furniture collection, household service cancellations such as cleaning and gardening, utility and telephone cancellations, advice on the sale of cars and major appliances, advice on membership and subscription cancellations, assistance with closing bank accounts, schooling cancellation and deposit returns as appropriate. We can also work through the necessary repatriation arrangements in order to prepare for your relocating employee’s return, or onward assignment.
Whatever the level of need, we can cover as little or as much as fits your global mobility programme, making it specific to your organisation’s policy and the context of each relocation.
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