Relocation Policy & Practice

Building In Flexibility

Core/Flex Policy

A new question this year shows a more flexible relocation policy is now the standard. Over three-fourths of firms incorporate core/flex elements. Even though mid-size and large firms are more likely (82%+), most small firms (66%) have adopted aspects of these policies. Coverage for core components, either across all employee levels/categories or dependent on employee level/category, is the most popular choice among all firms.

Question 19a
Companies whose formal relocation policy utilizes aspects of core coverage/flex policy
Chart Q19a
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Question 19b-1
Aspects of core coverage/flex policy incorporated into relocation policy
Chart Q19b
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Question 19b-2
Aspects of core coverage/flex policy incorporated into relocation policy
Chart Q19b2
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Alternative Assignments

Alternative assignments remain a tool for flexibility among 41% of firms and nearly two-thirds of large firms, far more than for small (24%) or mid-size (40%) firms. Similar to last year, strategic business goals is the most often-cited reason. Around two-fifths of firms used them to maximize budgets/corporate resources, develop internal talent, or accommodate employee needs. Around a fourth cite using them in lieu of long-term or traditional short-term assignments. Regardless of company size, the key factors for determining if an alternative assignment format will be used are the purpose, cost, and job function of the position.

Question 27-1
Is your company utilizing "Alternative Assignments"...
Chart Q27
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Question 27-2
Is your company utilizing "Alternative Assignments"...
Chart Q27-2
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Question 27a-1
How are "Alternative Assignment" arrangements incorporated into your organization's overall employee mobility strategy?
Chart Q27a
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Question 27a-2
How are "Alternative Assignment" arrangements incorporated into your organization's overall employee mobility strategy?
Chart Q27a2
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Question 27b-1
Key factors determining "Alternative Assignment" use
Chart Q27b
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Question 27b-2
Key factors determining "Alternative Assignment" use
Chart Q27b2
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Cost Containment

A continued focus on budgets is apparent, with most firms (60%) using cost-containment measures. Large firms were the heaviest users (76% used at least one), showing priorities for reviewing/renegotiating supplier contracts (41%) and offering pre-decision counseling (38%). Around a third of firms, regardless of size, capped relocation benefit amounts; around one fifth limited miscellaneous allowances.

Question 21-1
Cost containment measures that could have been used in relocation policy/practice in 2012
Chart Q21
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Question 21-2
Cost containment measures in relocation policy/practice used in 2012
Chart Q21-2
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Incentives

Even with signs that conditions are growing more conducive to relocation, employees continue to deal with a variety of economic and social factors that may constrict their availability. Incentives remain a key tool for most firms, regardless of size. Most firms offer incentives for relocation; extending temporary housing benefits was by far the most popular, offered by nearly two-thirds or more of companies surveyed.

Relocation bonuses (48%), loss-on-sale protection (38%), cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) (37%), and extended duplicate housing benefits (32%) round out the top five incentives. Relocation bonuses were more popular among small and mid-size firms (52%+ vs. 37% of large firms). Loss-on-sale protection was more popular with large firms (64% vs. 17% small and 34% mid-size firms). Around a third or more of all firms offered COLAs. Mid-size and large firms offered the extension of duplicate housing benefits more often than small firms did (35% and 39% vs. 22%).

Question 10a
Companies indicating they offered additional incentives to encourage employee relocations in 2012
Chart Q10a
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Question 10b-1
Additional incentives offered by companies to encourage employee relocations in 2012
Chart Q10b
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Question 10b-2
Additional incentives offered by companies to encourage employee relocations in 2012
Chart Q10b
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Question 10c
Frequency of incentives proving successful in convincing an employee to relocate
Chart Q10c
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