Our eighth annual Workforce Mobility Survey examines how approximately 170 North American companies manage their mobile talent. The report provides an outlook for workforce mobility trends affecting all industries, an analysis of such mobility hot topics as flexible programs and programs for millennials and a discussion of major challenges that could impact the deployment and management of mobile talent in the coming years.
Some of the most valuable insight in our survey comes from breaking down the results by industry. So for our latest infographic, we’ve pulled out some of the insight we collected from companies in the energy (oil and gas) sector. Here’s what they told us.
In my day-to-day work with clients and other multinational companies, I’m often asked how to balance cost savings with the additional administrative burden created by enforcing certain program provisions based on a case-by-case analysis.
Let’s take the application of a housing norm as an example. A housing norm is a differential that is applied when a company provides an allowance for housing in the host country, but also deducts a specific amount deemed to be reasonable and customary expenses of living accommodations. It is assumed that a person has the expense of shelter no matter where they live; hence, the term “norm” is used to describe the deduction taken from the housing allowance.
By the same reasoning, the expenses of the home country housing typically disappear when a person goes on assignment, because he or she will either sell or rent out their home, or the company will assume coverage of mortgage and other home country costs.
But what if an employee is unable to sell or rent his or her home and/or the company doesn’t cover the costs of managing the home country property? When does it make sense to have a housing norm as part of a global assignment policy and when is it simply not worth the administrative effort to implement?
In 2020, millennials–those born between 1980 and 2000–will represent 50% of the workforce. In 2025, they’ll represent a staggering 75%.
So it’s not surprising that our most recent educational webinar, Moving Millennials: Best Practices for Deploying Your Company’s Future Leaders, proved a popular session, attracting approximately 160 corporate workforce mobility professionals.
Underscoring the importance of this topic, attendees had a number of questions for our presenters at the conclusion of the program, and we received a record number of requests for the program slide deck. For those who may have missed it, you can access a recording of the webinar here.
For a long time we’ve been looking to establish a foothold in the land of sunshine and surfboards, as the west coast U.S. is a important hub to our clients. Now, we’re happy to report that the wait is over and we have opened our newest Center of Expertise in Newport Beach, California.
This office will give us a strong platform for developing deeper partnerships with current and prospective clients in this region. It will also better position us to provide optimized workforce mobility solutions for companies moving employees through the increasingly critical corridor between the U.S. and China, Japan and South Korea.
Senior Vice President Vicki Lander is driving our expansion into California and the establishment of this office. Vicki has been a member of our leadership team since 2005, and has over 25 years of experience in workforce mobility, service delivery and client relationship management. As many of you know, she currently manages our Chicago office and Midwestern-U.S. operations, and she will continue to do so while providing expert, seasoned guidance to the Newport Beach office.
Sometimes, some of the most impactful learning experiences happen when we step out from behind our desks. That was the case last week, when some members of the assignment management team in our Chicago office, along with their client contact, took a morning field trip to a local household goods warehouse in the Chicagoland area. There, representatives of Nelson Westerberg offered an informative look behind the scenes of an international household goods shipment.
Each role in the process–from Origin Agent to Freight Forwarder to Destination Agent–was thoroughly explained, questions were answered, and a full tour of the onsite storage facility was given.
In the facility, the team got a first-hand look at the various packing materials, boxes, crates, and lift vans, as well as an LDN air container and a 40 ft sea container (which the team, determined to experience exactly what an international shipment goes through, could not resist standing in).
At the end of the day, it was a chance to get up close and personal with a part of the relocation process that’s most important to mobile employees and their families. It was also a new and much-appreciated perspective that the team truly learned from.
If you’re sending employees on temporary domestic assignments, it’s a good idea to have a policy for those moves. Unfortunately, our Annual Mobility Survey revealed that only 37% of companies have a formal policy in place to manage short-term assignments. The danger here is that managing domestic temporary relocations on an ad-hoc basis exposes your company to increased compliance risks because you’re less likely to accurately track the employee’s time in the destination location or withhold appropriate taxes for that time period.
So a domestic temporary assignment policy is a good idea. But what benefits do you offer?
My recommendation is to include temporary living, return trips, travel expenses, tax gross-up and miscellaneous allowances. To enhance tax compliance, many policies state that employees are expected to maintain housing in the home location and it is assumed that the employee will be returning to the original location at the end of the assignment. If the employee does not maintain a home location residence, the company may regard the move as permanent from a tax perspective.
The following tips can help you improve the overall process to boost compliance and reduce or eliminate late filings and W-2C amendments that will inevitably cost you more time, money and sanity.
10. While it’s still fresh in your mind, make a list of the things that worked well in preparing the 2014 year-end and what needs to be addressed for next year. Even if you only had to do one W-2C, why chance that the one mistake could be for a senior level executive? Bottom line: There’s always room for improvement.
To commemorate the opening of our newest Center of Excellence in Newport Beach, California, Weichert Workforce Mobility will host a Pacific Rim Relocation Summit on June 10, 2015.
This Summit will bring together Weichert subject matter experts, APAC destination agents and specialists from BDO and Fragomen to discuss the latest trends and best practices for managing expat, inpat and repat assignments in Japan, South Korea and China.
This informative session runs from noon to 3:30pm and is free to local corporate relocation and HR managers. Lunch will be provided. If you’d like to RSVP, you can do so here. We hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity to network with peers and expand your relocation acumen!
In an effort to shed light how trends cascade across specific industries, we have created a series of infographics showcasing key findings filtered by sector. We believe this data provides good insight to how different industries use workforce mobility to achieve their business goals.
Our latest infographic focuses on the consumer products sector. Give it a look (you can click it to enlarge) and, as always, for more information and further breakdown, feel free to contact us. Continue Reading →