Reducing the stress for international corporate moves

The Relocation Consultancy - Reducing the stress for international corporate movesIn this post, you will find out how relocation management services can help to reduce the stress involved in managing an international corporate move.

Organising staff relocations to a range of destinations can be a time-consuming and complicated process. Relocation management services can help to simplify your staff mobilisations, by providing you with your own team to administer much of the work for you.

There are many benefits to outsourcing in this way, including:

  1. Rather than having to pay for staff salaries, office space and training in order for you to have your own global mobility team, you simply pay the qualified staff at your relocation management company to take over the administration of each staff move.
  2. You remain completely in control of your staff moves, but you will be spared much of the more mundane administration.
  3. Other crucial services, such as furniture removals, visas and cultural training can be negotiated on your behalf and integrated fully into the relocation process.
  4. You should only need to deal with one contact at the relocation management company, who will liaise with all the service providers on your behalf, meaning there are no issues with miscommunication or conflicting time zones.
  5. Your company will achieve the best value for money with the minimum stress, inconvenience and disruption for yourself and your assignees.

The Relocation Consultancy recognise the need for global relocation solutions in today’s increasingly international marketplace. As such, we have established relationships with destination service providers worldwide, to ensure that assignees receive consistently high quality services at a wide range of destinations. As an independent company, we have been able to carefully select our partners on the basis of their service quality, company ethos and experience with assignees. Our international relocation management division, Relolink, has been created specifically to meet the requirements of assignees moving from the UK to destinations worldwide, via a network of business alliances. Full details can be found at the Relolink website.

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support assignees. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for your company, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email info@therelocationconsultancy.com. Alternately, you can find out more about our services at http://www.therelocationconsultancy.com/relocation-services.

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Helping Assignees Settle In A New Home

The Relocation Consultancy - Helping Assignees Settle In A New Home“The house changes, the neighborhood changes, the friends change, the school changes, the language changes, the culture changes, but the love stays the same.”[Participant quote, ‘At Home Abroad: A Study of Expatriates’ Housing and Its Ties to Assignment Success’, The Interchange Institute]

Destination services, by their very nature, have been designed to help assignees settle quickly and comfortably into a new location. But apart from the vast number of anecdotal comments and testimonials from satisfied clients, there hasn’t been an enormous amount of research quantifying the role of destination services in supporting relocations. Anne P. Copeland, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of The Interchange Institute, has made it her mission to change that. And her research makes interesting reading, supporting much of what relocation support services have been saying for many years.

Here follows just a few of the useful insights that her research has uncovered in recent years, which we, as destination service providers, use to support relocating assignees:

  1. Consider how a potential home’s layout and arrangement of furniture and appliances will influence family interaction. The most satisfied expatriate families were those living in homes that promoted more and easier communication within the family.
  2. If this is an employee’s first assignment, they are likely to require additional support to adapt into a new home. Those with more experience living in homes for shorter periods of time may have an easier time adapting to a new expatriate home.
  3. Accompanying spouses’ housing concerns should be considered carefully. Their housing satisfaction is closely related to assignment outcome.
  4. Research how assignees feel about leaving their current home, and treat those leaving an ‘idealized home’ with special care. If assignees were happy with the homes found for them and saw them as like their favourite homes, they demonstrated better mental health, rated the assignment more positively and felt more settled.
  5. Find out more about the assignee’s favourite home. Where feasible, the home located should be as similar as possible in terms of size of common living space and kitchen, space for children’s play, decor and design, layout, available space for interests, amount and type of light, comfort, and level of luxuriousness.

The simple tips listed above can help both HR departments and relocation companies to ask the right questions when supporting assignees, and can be invaluable indicators as to the best approach to take with each individual/family involved. Housing policy generosity and flexibility, and the provision of relocation assistance were found in Dr Copeland’s research to be clearly related to how settled assignees felt in their new homes.

Those who settle into their new homes quickly were also found to have significantly better mental health, more positive views of their assignment, were more likely to say they would move again on a similar assignment, and were more likely to plan to stay on assignment for its full duration. The home finding services provided by relocation companies are designed to be incredibly efficient, helping assignees to settle comfortably into suitable homes as quickly as possible.

[The facts and insights expressed in this article can be read in full within ‘At Home Abroad: A Study of Expatriates’ Housing and Its Ties to Assignment Success’, at The Interchange Institute’s website.]

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email info@therelocationconsultancy.com. Alternately, you can find out more about our services at http://www.therelocationconsultancy.com/relocation-services.

How Area Orientation Tours Support Assignees

benefits of area orientationsThe ‘area orientation‘ (also known as a ‘preview trip’, ‘area tour’ or ‘look-see visit’) serves as a valuable tool for use in destination services.

They are generally recommended when an individual, or family, have limited knowledge of an area that they are considering moving to. Much more than just a tour, orientation visits provide detailed insights about the location itself, and also discussion about the general way people live in the country. The primary goal of any area orientation service is to give a true, accurate introduction to an area.

Here are The Relocation Consultancy‘s top 5 reasons why we feel they are so useful for employees on corporate assignments:

  1. They can help the assignee decide whether or not to accept the move, and also reassure them that they are making the right decision.This cautionary approach reduces the likelihood of the assignment failing later on, potentially wasting valuable time and resources.
  2. If an assignee is undecided about which specific area to move to, area orientations can be used to provide a useful overview of each, supporting the decision making process.This is a far more cost efficient option than adding additional home finding days, covering different locations.
  3. Area orientations provide a comprehensive overview of the new location, so the assignee and their family can settle more quickly when they actually move. They provide a detailed overview of everything relocating employees need to know for living and working in their new location (e.g. commuting times to work, distance to schools, location of supermarkets).
  4. Once suitable areas have been identified from the area tour, the process of finding a new home for the assignee becomes even more efficient and focused, allowing the assignee to be available to settle into their new role sooner.
  5. They can help by identifying key requirements at an early stage, potentially reducing the overall cost of the relocation.

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email info@therelocationconsultancy.com. Alternately, you can find out more about our services at http://www.therelocationconsultancy.com/relocation-services.

Celebrating Easter in the UK

Easter eggs // Ostereier

One of the holiest festivals in the Christian calendar, Easter is celebrated around the world. Whilst the religious observations of the festival follow the Christian church, celebrations can vary between countries.

It is believed that Easter in the UK has its beginnings long before the arrival of Christianity. Many theologians believe Easter itself is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre.

Easter occurs on a different date every year. In the UK, it is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring. In other words, it can occur on any Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th. In 2013, Easter Sunday will fall on March 31st.

Not only is Easter regarded as the end of winter, it is also the end of Lent, traditionally a time of fasting in the Christian calendar. It is therefore regarded as a time of fun and celebration. The Friday before Easter Sunday and the Monday after are bank holidays in the UK, and schools close for two weeks across this time. On Easter Sunday nearly all non-essential businesses and organisations are closed. Public transport systems may run on a different schedule from other Sundays, or not run services at all.

Celebrating Easter In The UK

People who usually attend church will attend special services on Easter Sunday – these tend to be longer and more elaborate than on other Sundays. In churches, it is generally a festive occasion, with an emphasis on the dawn of new life.

Some businesses and attractions hold Easter egg hunts. These tend to be competitions to see who can collect the most eggs. In some parts of the UK, people roll decorated hard boiled eggs down slopes. In other places, there is a game in which people roll hard boiled eggs against other peoples’ eggs. The winner is the person whose egg remains whole.

Additionally, many people celebrate Easter by decorating hard boiled eggs, giving cards and sharing chocolate eggs.

Why Easter eggs?

Easter eggs are a very old tradition dating back to a time before Christianity. They are a symbol of spring and new life. Exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a popular custom in many countries. Historically in the UK, chicken eggs were hard-boiled and dyed in various bright colours and patterns, representing spring and light. Nowadays UK kids tend to prefer to receive eggs of the chocolate variety though!

Why an Easter bunny?

Rabbits, for obvious reasons, have always been a symbol of fertility. However, the Easter bunny may actually be an Easter hare. The hare was allegedly a companion of the ancient Moon goddess, Eostre (from whom the name ‘Easter’ is thought to have originated). The bunny as an Easter symbol appears to have it’s origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 16th Century. The first edible Easter bunnies, made of pastry and sugar, appeared in Germany during the early 1800’s. In the UK, children believe that if they are good the Easter Bunny will leave chocolate eggs for them.

Why Morris Dancing at Easter?

Morris dancing is a traditional English form of folk dance which is also performed in other English-speaking countries such as the USA and Australia. The dance has been part of English heritage for at least 600 and may be much older. It may well have its roots in rites celebrating fertility and the coming of spring. Dancers would blacken their faces with soot so they would not be recognised by the local priest, and would resemble ‘Moors’. This gave rise to ‘Moorish Men’ or ‘Moorish dauncers’, and hence to ‘Morris’.

Why Hot Cross Buns?

Hot cross buns, now eaten throughout the Easter season, were first baked in England to be served on Good Friday. These small, lightly sweet yeast buns contain raisins or currants and sometimes chopped sweetened fruit. Before baking, a cross is slashed in the top of the bun. After baking, a confectioners’ sugar icing is used to fill the cross. In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion.

English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mould during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.

Traditionally, an old rhyme was sung by children awaiting their hot cross bun: “Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns. If you do not like them, give them to your sons, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.”

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email info@therelocationconsultancy.com. Alternately, you can find out more about our services at http://www.therelocationconsultancy.com/relocation-services

Case Study: Relocating an employee from Australia to London

OpenStreetMap Logo

Michael, a Maintenance Adviser for an international oil and gas company, had been offered a 15 month assignment to London in the UK. He planned to relocate from Australia, with his wife and four children, aged 2, 4, 6 and 9 years old.

Michael’s family was one of a group of 12 families moving to the UK for a specific project, so TRC were contracted by his company to arrange their destination services. For a detailed description about how The Relocation Consultancy helped with this corporate assignment, go to http://www.therelocationconsultancy.com/relocating-to-london

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email info@therelocationconsultancy.com. Alternately, you can find out more about our services at http://www.therelocationconsultancy.com/relocation-services

New Testimonial

The following testimonial is from an assignee who undertook a corporate relocation from Australia to London, with destination services in the UK provided by The Relocation Consultancy. [February 2013]

“After Jenny managed my family’s recent relocation I couldn’t recommend her highly enough. She went well beyond requirements to make sure setting up in a new location ran smoothly – I thought personal service like this didn’t exist anymore!”

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email info@therelocationconsultancy.com. Further details of our services can be found at www.therelocationconsultancy.com.

High Integrity Relocation Services

The Relocation Consultancy Limited (TRC) have been in operation for more than 25 years, and have remained true to our core values throughout. We believe that one of the most important values we have is our integrity. Creating an open and honest dialogue with our clients helps us to understand their requirements better, meaning that we genuinely understand all their needs. This in turn leads to better long-term working relationships, which are beneficial to all concerned.

We continue to provide complete transparency in relation to our fees. Prices for all our packages are regularly reviewed to ensure they are competitive, and, unlike many other companies, we ensure our clients are only charged for the hours actually spent facilitating their staff moves. All our packages can be broken down into their component parts, ensuring our clients always get a fully tailored, relevant service for their assignees.

Additionally, whilst many companies in this industry bolster their fees by taking commissions/referral fees from third party providers, we seek to gain the best possible prices for our clients. Instead of taking referrals, we always request that any such payments are converted into discounts and applied to client invoices. By doing this, we are able to keep external fees at very competitive rates.

But it’s not just about having integrity with our prices – this value entwines every element of our business – particularly in regards to the relationships we build with assignees and their families. Our ‘high touch’ services ensure that those relocating remain at the centre of all we do, at every stage of the process. Like a good friend, we ensure we are on hand whenever needed, to give them the friendly, personal attention they so rightly deserve. But don’t just take our word for it – some recent comments from assignees we have relocated include:

“Jenny & her team genuinely cared about making our move as painless as possible. Moving 4 kids half way around the world, this was very much appreciated – Thank you & well done!”

“Your proactive service was greatly appreciated. You guys were always one step ahead of our needs and this level of service is rare.”

“Overall – fantastic help and TRC have helped to make our relocation as smooth as we could have hoped! Thank you!”

“TRC did a good job of matching us with a consultant that took the time to get to know us and our needs. She had great local knowledge and seemed to genuinely care about finding a property that we would be happy with.”

“Thank you and well done. Your work made a stressful move (4 kids and 16 years in previous location) much easier.”

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email info@therelocationconsultancy.com.