What’s your first move if an emergency situation – whether a tropical storm or a political uprising – breaks out around the corner from your home? Now imagine this is your new home – in a new city, state, or country. Suddenly, you’re not just dealing with the emotional and financial stress of an impending disaster coming at you at supersonic speed, but you’re also in an unfamiliar land and possibly navigating a language barrier with no escape in sight.
This nightmare scenario was a horrifying reality for countless mobile employees in Texas and Florida, who were recently battered by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The colossal hurricanes wreaked havoc on the regions; claiming over a hundred lives, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes, and causing hundreds of billions dollars of damage, according to White House estimates.
Of course disasters aren’t always avoidable, but we can avoid being ill-prepared. So, here are a few best practices to ensure your mobile, on-the-move workforce is 100% prepared when an emergency strikes. Continue Reading →
Relocation can be an incredibly exciting opportunity for the rising talent with your organization. Enthusiasm can dampen, however, if the cost of living in the destination location is higher than in their current home base. Business may be booming in hot housing markets like San Francisco, New York, LA and Boston, but asking employees to make a move that impacts their bottom line can prove a burden to yours.
Offering COLA (cost of living assistance) to talent considering assignment can offset increased living expenses that relocating employees incur when they make a move from a low cost area to a high cost one. There are a host of options to employ.
Here are 5 simple tips to avoid problems. Continue Reading →
Today, we have a lot of Jetsons-style technology, literally at our fingertips. Who doesn’t love FaceTime, Google searches and the Roomba (Ok, maybe not the Roomba)? To remain competitive and keep your rising mobile talent happy, it’s vital to acknowledge that the construct of family has also progressed. Let’s visit some of the major points that are part and parcel of 21st century mobility management.
What Makes A Family A Family
As technology has changed, so too has our definition of “family.” No longer defined by Dad, Mom and 2.2 children, families can be multigenerational, include domestic partners, be single parent in nature and even have members of a different species. Being sensitive to your mobile employee’s particular situation strengthens the corporate relationship, increasing the likelihood of a successful assignment.
When your mobile employee is not flying solo, it’s imperative to lend support and consideration to a spouse or partner who may be feeling less than thrilled about uprooting his or her life. Often, there is an entirely separate, established career to consider and offering career counseling assistance can help. The loss of a second income may be the kind of financial hit the family just can’t take and can influence whether or not your preferred assignee signs on. Continue Reading →
Today’s post was authored by guest blogger Dave Leboff, President, US Operations for Immedis Inc., a premier global payroll solutions provider based in Dublin and New Jersey.
The Brexpat vote is a year in the rear view mirror and it continues to create growing ripple rings for Europe, the US and the world. A year ago I wrote a short article about the potential effects of Brexpat on exchange rates and, therefore, on expatriate allowances. That prediction is bearing out.
If we take a look at employees with Cost of Living Allowances the effect over the past year can be illustrated by looking at the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). Continue Reading →
Our recent two-part webinar series on cost optimization drew large corporate attendance, no doubt eager to hear their peers talk at length about their experience collaborating with Weichert to optimize program costs. While three of our four corporate presenters have had their existing programs in place for many years and the other is just beginning its journey as a newly formed company with a developing global mobility program, all four agreed that program optimization is an ongoing, iterative process.
As you might imagine, attendees had plenty of questions for our panelists. And while they did an admirable job of responding, there were too many to address in our one hour sessions. In this post, we present the unanswered questions with feedback from our panelists.
To make sure we only use mobility as a tool to support well thought-out business strategies, I find it critical to hold the line on requiring a business case for each assignment, and thus control costs by eliminating unnecessary assignments. Would you agree? Continue Reading →
Our recent webinar on cost optimization was widely attended and many folks wrote in requesting that we share the presentation, so we decided to provide this summary blog.
With 97% of global mobility spend on taxes and direct costs of assignment such as short and long term housing, shipment of household goods and travel and only 2-6% of spend attributable to a combination of internal administration and third party service fees, it’s no wonder that companies look to reducing policy benefits as the swiftest and obvious path to cost savings. We know however that severely cutting back or setting caps can impact ability to recruit, hire and retain the right talent for the assignment.
So it really makes good sense to stop and ask some important questions: Continue Reading →
The unfortunate certainties of life are death, taxes and, in the case of corporate mobility managers, the never-ending pressure to reduce costs. I am constantly asked by clients to help them achieve that delicate balance between maintaining benefits levels that keep employees engaged and productive while avoiding cost spiral.
Beyond the policy provisions themselves that account for 98% of all costs, clients should examine the processes they use to administer mobility. Every program I review is ripe with opportunities to improve their operational efficiencies. This can be difficult for mobility managers comfortable and familiar with their current processes to acknowledge or see, but often our “outside” perspective can shed light on improvements.
What follows are a number of time tested ideas that might lead to efficiencies and/or cost savings for you: Continue Reading →
The rock band Van Halen will forever be remembered for spandex, teased hair and changing lead singers more often than most people change socks. But there’s another side to VH that you likely never suspected: the band that launched such hit songs as “Hot for Teacher” and “Jamie’s Cryin” pioneered a unique methodology for spotting red flags that can be valuable to today’s corporate mobility managers.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It all starts with M&Ms. Brown M&Ms, to be precise.
More than seven weeks have passed since the Brexit vote, and as much uncertainty exists today as on 23 June. For this post, I wanted to provide an update on my initial Brexit thoughts, overview the current state of affairs and try to determine the potential impact on global mobility. Although the more dire predictions haven’t come to pass, there have been some unexpected initial reactions:
• Mortgage and other interest rates have fallen in response to Brexit. More than one million borrowers with “tracker” mortgages (a mortgage comprised of a mixture of fixed and variable components) have benefited, and many lenders have also passed the falls on to other borrowers on variable rates. Those who want to take out fixed-rate loans have also seen rates fall.
• After an initial sharp fall, the stock market has rallied strongly to levels higher than those before the vote.
• The pound has lost more than 10% of its value against the dollar, down to its lowest levels since 1985. It has also fallen in value against the euro and currency experts expect it to remain at least 10% below where it was on 23 June, in the long term.
• If economists are correct, imported goods –food, clothing, homeware, etc — will consequently get more expensive. This will increase COLA payments made to assignees in the UK, and therefore cause an overall increase in cost for UK assignments in the long term.
For the tenth annual edition of our workforce mobility survey, we took a fresh approach. As you know, the survey’s first decade was all about how workforce mobility was responding to challenging real estate markets across the U.S. and Canada. Our 2016 edition has expanded to a global survey, identifying the top “game changers” that will require mobility professionals to re-examine how they administer their programs in the future.
According to the survey results, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures represent the most prominent workforce mobility game changer, experienced by 55 percent of responding companies over the past year and anticipated by 42 percent in 2016. Unfortunately, while mergers and acquisitions are designed to build scale, expand markets and acquire talent, few organizations anticipate the impact on