As management relies more and more on creative ways to meet the diverse needs of their workforce, it is more important than ever to consider the humanitarian element of HR. Nowhere does this resonate more than in the global mobility sector. With the continual evolution of global mobility, many companies are exploring flexible and custom relocation packages in more depth.
How can you support your team members and their families in their new environment? Does your involvement cease once their physical move is over? How can you turn your core flex offering into a ‘care flex’ approach, intrinsically tuned to your assignee’s ongoing emotional and physical needs?
The Core Package: Balancing Standardisation and Flexibility
Although standard core flex packages vary per company, they typically include housing, healthcare, education allowances, and relocation support services. These benefits are designed to provide a baseline level of support to all employees, while additional perks can be added to cater to individual needs.
According to AIRINC’s most recent Mobility Outlook Survey, “only 14% of companies currently employ a core/flex approach to promote flexibility for the business”. However, “many companies are interested in learning more about how core/flex works”.
Know Your Employee Well, Know Their Needs Better
SHRM reports that 56% of HR managers say it’s more challenging to entice Millennials to relocate than older employees. “For Millennials, relocation isn’t necessarily a priority or something they feel pressured to do”. As a result, businesses have to cater to the needs and preferences of this age group, such as providing opportunities for career growth and development, paying personal tech stipends, and offering flexible work schedules.
When considering relocation, many additional factors play into your employee’s happiness that you may not have considered. For example, an office in an undesirable city is a top deal-breaker for Millennials. Corporate relocations can also lower employee satisfaction and productivity and increase employee stress levels due to fears about job security. So, you must ensure that any relocation you propose to your team members benefits the company and them.
The appeal of Core Flex lies in its ability to balance standardisation and flexibility. By providing a core set of benefits, companies can ensure that all employees receive a certain level of support while allowing for customisation based on individual needs. However, the core flex package lacks a humanitarian element as a standalone offering, which means that you can have the care flex aspect as an add-on only.
The Humanitarian Element: ‘Care Flex’ Approach
The ‘care flex’ approach is a way to add a humanitarian element to the core flex package. This involves considering employees’ emotional and physical needs and their family members. It entails developing an individualised care plan that includes both short-term and long-term support. It also requires creating a network of resources to address employees’ challenges when relocating.
Admittedly, this is easier said than done. With multiple considerations, you must open up and maintain a clear communication channel before, during and especially after the relocation.
For instance, many companies provide language instruction for their ex-pat employees, which needs to be improved to ensure successful integration into the new culture. To maximise success, employers should also consider establishing connections with local communities, offering cross-cultural training, and providing access to mental health support.
As companies strive to meet the diverse needs of their global workforce, it is crucial to consider the humanitarian element of HR in the global mobility sector. The core flex package balances standardisation and flexibility, but a ‘care flex’ approach can add a compassionate touch by addressing employees’ and their family’s emotional and physical needs. By integrating additional offerings such as language instruction, cross-cultural training, and mental health support, companies can create an environment that fosters successful relocations and promotes a positive corporate culture. Investing in the well-being of employees during their assignments can lead to higher employee satisfaction and overall success in global mobility initiatives.