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This article is taken from chapter 4 of the K2 Bespoke guide to Successful business-critical (VIP) assignments.

You can unlock the complete guide to successful business-critical (VIP) assignments today.

K2 Bespoke team in a meeting

Communication and responsiveness

For business-critical assignments, being readily available to all parties but particularly the assignee is essential for a successful and smoothly executed relocation. In addition to 24/7 telephone and email support, you should consider the seniority of your internal decision-maker – do they have sign-off authority and thus the ability to keep things moving? A preferred option may be to outsource to an experienced provider who is able to deal with all requests and issues in an expedient manner.

Communication – effective communication is key to the success of a business-critical assignment. You must be aware of and respect the assignee’s communication preferences, plus be able to constantly negotiate the balance between too much or too little information, too much or too little interaction. You will almost certainly find yourself working with the assignee’s Executive Assistant – the relationship that you build with them is equally as important as the one that you build with the assignee. Equal consideration must be given to the way that you communicate with the other stakeholders involved in the move. Take time to build a relationship with key contacts, be flexible as regards their communication preferences and ensure that they know exactly who to turn to should they encounter an issue.

Good communication will allow you to identify potential issues ahead of time and actively gauge levels of satisfaction.

To establish a strong communications function, you will need to consider the following…

Assignment co-ordination – who within your team will assume ultimate accountability? Who will be responsible for a particular area, a particular aspect? Will the communications channels that you use internally be the same as those that you operate externally? Email may be the preferred internal comms channel; executives may prefer face-to-face meetings.

The assignee’s family – ensuring the happiness of the assignee’s family is crucial to the success of a business-critical relocation. The family should be provided with the same 24×7 support privileges as the assignee. This will allow them to push forward with activities like school searches, which will help streamline their transition into the new environment.

Service providers – if you have several external providers, define how you will co-ordinate communications with each. Consider how service providers should communicate with the assignee. Should there be any direct contact? If direct contact is necessary, how can this comms stream be managed?

Regular feedback with your VIP – this is essential in order to gain and maintain a clear understanding of assignment progress and assignee satisfaction levels. Feedback should be shared in a timely manner with both your team and your service providers. The amount, the type and the depth of the feedback that you seek for a business-critical move should sit several levels above that sought for a classic assignment – do you have the capacity to obtain, collate and respond to this level of feedback?

Response times – responses must be swift, succinct and accurate. Delayed responses, lengthy instructions/explanations and misinformation will frustrate the assignee and may compromise the success of the move.

Post-assignment feedback – business-critical moves present an opportunity to raise the profile of the HR and global mobility functions within your organisation. Request written feedback from the assignee – what value has their relocation provided, both for them as an individual and for the business as a whole? Use positive feedback to explain/underline the importance of the HR and global mobility functions. This can lead to a stronger integration of these teams within the business, plus highlight your mobility programme as an area worthy of further investment.

“Regular feedback with your VIP is essential in order to gain and maintain a clear understanding of assignment progress and assignee satisfaction levels.”

Taryn Whitfield, Head of Advisory, K2 Global

If you would like to discover more you can unlock the complete guide to Successful business-critical (VIP) assignments today.

Whether you wish to build a business-critical programme from scratch, or simply evolve/extend an existing programme, our experienced specialists are here to help, speak to a member of the K2 Bespoke team today.

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