Anyone who has traveled abroad knows firsthand that in those few weeks or days leading up to a trip, the mind is on a fast and furious hamster wheel of activity. You’re checking off and adding to a seemingly endless mental list of to-dos, from ensuring the essentials are packed to organizing vaccinations and medications and arranging transportation from the airport. At least when you’re going on vacation, you can take solace in the fact that once you arrive at your destination, you can put your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your meticulous pre-planning.
When you’re a relocating employee, let’s just say that those wheels are spinning even faster. Employees are packing up their lives and their families – while working – and don’t have the luxury of putting their feet up once the relocation is complete…they’re expected to jump into their assignment as quickly as possible and be productive. The support of a mobility professional is invaluable at this juncture to take away as much of the mental burden of planning and organizing each moving part. Their support allows the mental wheel to slow down and makes the transition feel more manageable for the employee and their family so that they can be more successful in their new role. It brings peace of mind to the employee and, by extension, peace of mind to their employer.
All this is to say, a little peace of mind goes a long way in the relocation process, and REA Careers – a provider of award-winning career and relocation coaching services – agrees. The firm recently released a comprehensive study into the factors contributing to positive employee experiences, and Weichert was proud to be cited as part of their research. Here’s the skinny:
Recently, REA sponsored a qualitative study into the state of global mobility post-pandemic and the impact of key workforce trends across The Americas, Asia & Asia-Pacific, United Arab Emirates, and Europe. Led by researcher Heather De Cruz-Cornaire, MSc, BSc (Hons), a Business Psychologist with a background in Global Mobility and Global HR Consulting, the study explored the connection between BIG DATA and THICK DATA.
Most notably, this study uncovered an emerging pattern, with human connection emerging as the most important “Thick Data” finding in terms of driving positive experiences in a heavily digital environment. In other words, when human-to-human interaction is present and prioritized throughout an employee’s journey, positive experiences are cultivated, versus negative experiences when they are not.
The study confirms what we at Weichert have always held true: The faster the pace of technology, the more critical humans will become. This belief has guided the evolution of our technology platform – Weichert Go – with each new feature and tool intentionally designed to augment and enhance the human connection rather than replace it. Enhanced reporting and analytic capabilities give a deeper look into each mobility program, so managers can confidently bring the full story to their senior leaders. An intuitive platform mimics the retail apps that most employees are familiar with, so they can quickly find key dates and deliverables related to their move and instantly connect to the right person at the right time. The relocation process is inherently emotional, and the value of the support person behind the technology only increases as the mobility landscape becomes increasingly more complex.
The study explored another key contributor to Peace of Mind on the Move for mobile professionals and their families: flexibility and inclusive HR policies. In doing so, the study drew insight from a US roundtable held by our Advisory Team Leader, Laura Levenson, in April of this year. The session invited discussion around some of the focus areas arising from our study into Choice Programs, ‘Pathways to Flexible Relocation Policies’ (2022), specifically the fact that only 35% of participants were offering ‘choice’ in their mobility programs.
“Weichert believes that ‘choice’ is ‘The Great Equalizer’ as being inclusively attractive as a proposition because employees have the same opportunity to curate a relocation experience that meets their unique needs. According to Weichert, today’s mobility employees want more flexibility and control.”
Choice is powerful, especially when it comes to curating a best-fit employee experience. The flexibility of choice programs empowers employees to choose the benefits that best meet the needs of their unique situation, and it enables employers to appeal to a broader demographic (which we know is a critical component to fostering a diverse, inclusive mobility program).
Despite only 35% of companies within our study offering ‘choice’ within their programs, 76% of this group rate their choice programs as Excellent or Very Good. That’s a powerful statement – one that is not frequently made regarding conventional programs – and shows us that modern choice programs are proving to be wildly successful in meeting the needs of today’s mobile workforce and the goals of those who manage them!
As perfecting the mobile employee experience continues to be a prevailing priority for leading companies, REA’s study is packed with valuable insight worth tucking into. Short-listed in two categories for the upcoming Association for Business Psychology (ABP) awards, this research is already making some big waves among experts who study what today’s professionals need to adapt and thrive. Stay tuned for more insight into the study results, or explore them for yourself here: