How do I conduct a group move?

You may have seen our previous post "What is a group move?" that gave a brief overview of corporate group moves. What we hope to do achieve in this post is to give you an idea of how to administer a group move and some of the areas you should consider. Needless to say, group moves should always be administered in conjunction with a specialist relocation management company to ensure that the correct advice and support is provided every step of the way.

As previously mentioned, the core services for a group move generally remain the same as for standard moves, though the way in which they are delivered and managed differs. The greatest difference to the everyday relocation offering is through the addition of the following services:

  • Policy consultancy

  • Cost estimates

  • Information sessions

  • Accompanied area tours

  • Information rooms

  • Dedicated group move website

  • Group move clinics

Policy consultancy

Depending upon the specific nature of your group, you can bet your bottom dollar that your standard relocation policy just isn't going to cut the mustard. If the company is going to up-heave its employees, they will want some recompense above and beyond the usual relocation / disturbance allowance for all the hassle this is going to cause them. On top of that, you may have a requirement to make the policy even more generous to make sure that the moves are uber-slick and take place as quickly as possible; e.g. if you don't usually offer a Guaranteed Sale scheme, you may want to include this so that your employees get from A to B in the shortest timeframe.

Cost Estimates

Cost is going to be an important factor in the planning of your group move, from the cost of acquiring new work premises, to the cost of shipping every last paper clip out of the old site. Once you have reworked your policy, get your relocation provider to produce some cost estimates - senior Finance and whoever has the responsibility of signing off the project will be thankful. 

Information sessions

So you have a new policy in place, you have an idea of how much it is going to cost and the group move has been authorised. Now you need to tell the employees who will be affected. In conjunction with your relocation company, you can arrange an initial information session to give those affected a flavour of what they can expect in the new area. The key areas are going to be housing and schooling - i.e. can your employees maintain the same standard of accommodation if they move, and are the schools decent enough for little Johnny and Jane? - so you will need to enrol the services of local experts rather than just providing a printout from the internet.

Secondly, and you may want to incorporate this with the accompanied area tours, you may wish to run a more in-depth information session at the new location. A few years ago, I managed a group move for a manufacturer closing a site in Cumbria and hoping to transfer its staff to an existing site in North Lincolnshire. As the new work location was so vast, a whole day was set aside for tours, introductions and site presentations, but that evening, representatives from the local council and regional tourist board gave a presentation about living in the area, which was followed by an information session by an education specialist.

Accompanied area tours

In order for your employees to make an informed decision about their relocation and where they might move to, you have to provide them with the correct information. Arranging an accompanied area tour is the perfect way to do this as you provide them with the opportunity to actually see the areas whilst giving them the local information they need. Using the example above, the coaches (there were 2) drove through the town and then to the popular outlying villages whilst a local housing expert and education consultant provided a commentary of local facilities, typical rental and purchase prices, and the schools. The duration of the area tour was one and a half days in total. You could provide your employees with a fuel and accommodation allowance and a couple of days off to visit the new area themselves, but it will probably cost you more and they won't see the full picture.

Information rooms

Some companies like to set aside a small room /area for employees to visit to collect information about the new area. Typically, the room is stocked with brochures and leaflets from the local council and tourist office, school prospectuses, property particulars from local estate agents, and anything else that might seem appropriate to the group move. With the popularity of the internet, however, much of this information can be found online.

Group move website

Creating a dedicated group move website allows you to manage all group move information centrally. This could include information and updates from the company relating to the group move and it could also include information about the new area - a group move one stop shop. You could host this on your existing website or Celsium can create this for you.

Group move clinics

Holding mini-group sessions, one-to-one meetings or drop-in relocation clinics are a great way to inform and reassure your employees in a relaxed environment. Sometimes, a little face-to-face communication can make all the difference and can help to diffuse any tension or concerns. Let's be honest, the announcement of a group move is going to create some level of tension amongst your staff, so the more you can do to alleviate it the better - for you and them.

So now you have everything in place (thanks to your supportive relocation provider), you need to find out who is going to move to the new area and who is going to stay behind (possible redundancies). How you manage this aspect of the project is an internal matter for your organisation, but once you have established who is moving you can initiate the relocation process and move the project forwards.

 

Celsium is a relocation management company, head-quartered in the UK and providing relocation services globally to businesses relocating their employees. 

A full suite of relocation services is offered to fulfil the requirements of businesses and relocating employees, both domestically within the UK, and internationally to and from any location: orientation, homesearch, tenancy management, departure services, temporary accommodation, marketing assistance, purchase assistance, housing cost differentials, school search, area information guides, cultural training, language training, furniture and appliance rental, immigration, moving, expense management, group move management, policy build and benchmark, recruitment and tax services.

For more information about relocation and relocation policy, please email us.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK