Making any life changing decision requires thought and consideration, especially if that decision is taking you across the country, or even across the globe! It’s easy to forget that even the most excited employees have concerns about the relocation process.
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Frequent communication is paramount to a successful relocation for both the employee and your company. By anticipating and recognizing employee concerns, you’ll be better prepared to alleviate those worries and keep the relocation moving in the right direction.

Here are five of the most common employee concerns to relocation and how you can alleviate them:

1. What if I can’t find a place to live?

The U.S. is now experiencing the lowest inventory levels in a generation. It’s not unusual to find fifteen offers the minute a house hits the market, meaning buyers now face paying more than market value for a home. There’s a real chance your employee could sell their home in a matter of days, and not have a new home to move into in the new location.

How you can help: Timing is everything. It’s important to give your employees the time they need to find a new home and complete the move. Your Relocation Management Company, or RMC, should provide qualified real estate agents that understand the relocation process and the timelines associated with such moves.

However, if you need your employee in the new location quickly, offer them temporary corporate housing. That way, they can be assured they will have a place to stay while they continue their new home search.

2. What if our family can’t move right away?

Employees and their families often have obligations they must fulfill before moving for their new position. They may want their children to finish out the school year, have an ill family member, or a partner that has a career of their own. Regardless of the reason, it’s essential that you and your employee communicate your timelines. You can make the change easier or more difficult depending on how well you communicate deadlines and expectations.

How you can help: By regularly discussing your company needs and understanding the individual employee’s circumstances, you greatly increase the chances of retaining your top employees. If the family needs to stay in the old location longer than anticipated, offer the employee temporary housing or pay for travel expenses to and from the new location. They can then meet your expectations for the new position without uprooting their family before they’re ready.

3. What if I don’t know anyone in the new location?

Moving is stressful, but not knowing anyone in the new location makes it even more challenging. Kids especially find it difficult to move from friends, family, and schools. Your employee and their family has built a well-established network – from their favorite grocery store to the gym they frequent – it’s difficult to leave them behind. They will need to build a new network for the relocation to be successful.

How you can help: Provide information on their new city, neighborhoods, and schools. Set up an area orientation so they can familiarize themselves with their new surroundings. Help them find a new gym, daycare, or whatever else they may need to feel at home. There are websites that can help as well, such as MeetUp or Next Door, where they can find others in the area with similar interests.

4. What about my spouse and my kids?

According to our recent benchmark study, 79% of respondents state that family is the reason for declining a relocation. Their partner may have a career. Their kids may be in school and have their own friends to say goodbye to. They may have family there. Your employee cannot focus 100% on their new position when they are focused on the needs of their family.

How you can help: Spousal and family assistance is crucial. When you take the family’s needs into consideration, you are showing your employee you truly care about making this a positive experience for them. Help your employee’s spouse/partner build a resume and find a new job. Help them find a great school for their kids. Anything that you can do to show that you care about their personal life will go a long way to ease their stress and concerns.

5. What if I can’t afford to live in my new neighborhood?

Packing up and moving from rural Iowa to Manhattan would be a shock to anyone’s wallet. The cost of living can be drastically different depending on where your employee is moving from and where they are moving to. Buying a new home or renting an apartment can be difficult due to upfront costs such as security deposits, finder’s fees, and down payments. The cost of homes, taxes, even groceries, may be significantly more than what your employees are used to.

How you can help: Offer your employee a cost of living allowance (COLA) or mortgage differential assistance. Both options ease your employees into the cost of the new location. Many companies choose to taper off these benefits over the course of a few years. You can make the transition to a new city less costly and more affordable for your best employees.