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Over the course of the hour-long session, which was facilitated by Senior Director of Global Account Management, Eric Pengelly, and hosted by Daniel Natoli, Managing Director of K2 Bespoke, the group dived into the varying definitions of ‘top tier’, and why companies might choose to split these high-level, C-Suite relocations from their standard programme and vendors.

Below is an overview of the questions raised and the insight provided by our trio of experts.

This can vary hugely from organisation to organisation. Whilst seniority is one of the main drivers for giving extra time and attention to a particular population’s moves, it is not the only consideration factor. The relocating employee’s role might not be at an executive level, but it may be business critical, for example, in the case of establishing a presence in a new location. Their role may be vital in the context of the broader talent agenda, or perhaps they have a particularly complex family scenario. All these situations require extra focus.

As you would expect, an extraordinary assignment requires an extraordinary level of attention to detail, and this can present something of a challenge for small, time-poor, mobility teams, especially in instances of restructures, where multiple C-suite moves might be being carried out at the same time.

The most senior managers, understandably, often come with high expectations and a unique set of needs, and so their relocation requires a high-touch approach. They need their moves to be delivered within clearly defined timelines and without impacting their ability to continue fulfilling the commitments of their role.

K2 Bespoke lady walking on beach

Sometimes we may see higher housing allowances, or additional support built into policies, but often a flexible approach, and a willingness to offer services that fall outside the standard framework, is all that is required.

When it comes to managing exceptions, work must be done to understand whether there is a business need for a particular request that is over and beyond what is provided in the policy. Why is this required, what is the cost implication, and what are the implications of it not being delivered?

Policies offer a useful guideline and help teams to be able to communicate any absolute limits that may have been defined within them, but solutions for extraordinary assignments need to be tailor-made.

With senior and business-critical moves there is a pressure to get it right, and for mobility teams to do whatever is needed to deliver a successful, ‘no-noise’ relocation, regardless of the many complexities and additional factors at play.

Whilst these top tier moves often mean extra scrutiny, shining a spotlight on the mobility function can also present an opportunity to showcase the team’s expertise. Delivering successful C-suite moves can also help to build internal credibility, particularly in the cases of new or developing programmes.

Managing expectations, engaging all relevant stakeholders, and opening lines of communication right from the outset is key to a successful move: actioning all of this ensures that all parties are on the same page, and that there are no surprises down the line.

Taking a pro-active approach to managing and minimising risks, enables you to pre-empt any roadblocks that could arise (due to tax or immigration implications for example), and make certain they are resolved before becoming a prohibitive factor for a move. By approaching the relevant internal teams to request their expertise, whether this be from a tax, immigration, or legal perspective, you can ensure all compliance requirements are met, protecting the company and the employee.

Building infrastructure and robust processes that allow you to systemise as much as possible, whilst also capturing the nuances that come with more complicated moves, is crucial. These processes and systems might not be front-facing but they offer much needed support behind the scenes, helping a mobility programme to run like a well-oiled machine and free up time for the team to focus on stakeholder consultation and relationship management.

The higher profile the move, the higher the level of risk associated with it going wrong. It is in these instances where mobility teams need a greater level of support to be able to offer a high-touch service that both meets expectations and minimises risk through enhanced attention to detail.

Employing a bespoke service in these scenarios can give mobility teams peace of mind that the quality of service delivery will be as required, without them needing to shift their own focus from strategy and the wider goals of the programme to operational delivery.

A closing thought from the panel:
No other function crosses into people’s personal lives in the way that mobility does. Giving an extra level of service that can offer our employees reassurance at a time of upheaval shouldn’t be seen as a cost, but rather an investment.

The consensus from our panellists throughout the discussion was that having a tailor-made solution that they could tap in to for extraordinary assignments was invaluable.

K2 Bespoke offers this tailor-made solution to global clients, whether they require support with one-off moves for very senior people, or assistance with managing moves for an entire tier of employees.

The K2 Bespoke team pride themselves on their specialist knowledge and ability to offer stress-free, distraction-free moves, through detailed planning and precise execution. By uniquely, and intentionally, only ever taking on small caseloads of around 15 – 20 at a time, they are able to dedicate extra time and attention to project managing every move.

Experienced Manager and Director-level communicators, our Bespoke team offer a personalised, pro-active approach, and are able to manage even the most extraordinary of assignments with expertise and empathy.

To find out more about K2 Bespoke and the service they offer, head over to the K2 Bespoke website.

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