The Real Cost of Employee Relocation

For some, employee relocation is rarely a topic of discussion. The conversation often begins and ends there, as a fact of life for many, and as a service to be outsourced for hiring companies. However, with hundreds of thousands of prospective and current employees relocating every year in the U.S., billions of dollars are being spent moving valuable employees and their families around the country. In fact, according to the Worldwide ERC, $12.8 billion is spent annually on corporate relocation costs. A single company can spend upwards of $100,000 to transfer a single, existing employee to a new location.

Now that’s a pretty big price tag. . . but is that all there is to it? You pay for an employee to move, hire the right relocation service to manage the move, provide a great realtor in the new location, and sleep soundly at night knowing you have checked all the boxes necessary? Not quite.

Relocating an employee comes with a significant price tag both financially (for the company) and emotionally (for the employees and their families). These employees and their families are faced with the real emotional and societal challenges of not only adjusting to an entirely new environment, but also transitioning into a new community with new friends, new schools, new colleagues, etc. Without the adequate support and guidance needed to help them transition successfully, the employee risks dissatisfaction and the company risks lower employee engagement and even potentially losing the employee.

Beyond the initial one-time costs of moving logistics, moving can carry with it silent costs that are often over-looked:

  1. Distractions in day-to-day tasks—mistakes can be made or solutions overlooked when the employee is pre-occupied with an unhappy teen or feeling like they are not forming friendships in their new location
  2. Disengagement from both work and from the company—as employees work to deal with their adjustment without guidance, they may feel removed from their work life and lose their previous sense of loyalty to the job and the company
  3. Unhappiness—dissatisfaction can be contagious and low morale can impact not just their work, but also their interactions with their team or direct reports
  4. Turnover—the risk of quitting or asking for a transfer back to their previous location, leaving a hole to fill and adding to company’s recruiting costs

Equally as (if not more) impacted by a move are the families themselves – the husbands and wives, sons and daughters who must jump through many hoops along the way to reacclimatize themselves to their communities, schools and jobs. And yet there is much that can be done and provided to them to help make their transition successful. Even employers themselves, whose businesses stand to reap ample rewards from the success of an employee’s transition, do not always recognize the advancements going on in relocation assistance and how addressing the transition challenges head-on can be beneficial for both employee and employer alike.

The emotional toll of relocation is the real elephant in the relocation room. The happiness and general support for an employee and their family is often underestimated and therefore inadequately provided.

At Essential Engagement Services, we aim to mitigate these emotional and mental stressors by providing employees all the tools, support and services they and their families will need to relocate as easily and happily as possible. We understand that employees and their families are a package deal, and the emotional wellbeing of all the people who are making the move is the key to ensuring a successful transition. And with a successful transition, an employee will likely produce better work and a company will save (and likely gain) financially in the end.

To us, this is a no-brainer. To learn more about our products and the services EES provides, visit www.EssentialEngagementServices.com.

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Sara Boehm is CEO of Essential Engagement Services, offering care packages and resources to help employees and their families successfully adjust to the mental and emotional challenges of relocation. Boehm has lived the world of corporate relocation, moving 12 times as a child and as an adult. Author of The Essential Moving Guide For Families, and other accompanying books, Boehm takes her own experiences in moving as well the advice of school counselors and teachers, therapists, friends and family and provides practical advice and encouragement to all going through the process of relocation, especially focusing on those moving their children. She received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and presently lives in the Los Angeles area.

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Sara Boehm

Sara Boehm is CEO of Essential Engagement Services, offering care packages and resources to help employees and their families successfully adjust to the mental and emotional challenges of relocation. Boehm has lived the world of corporate relocation, moving 12 times as a child and as an adult. Author of The Essential Moving Guide For Families, and other accompanying books, Boehm takes her own experiences in moving as well the advice of school counselors and teachers, therapists, friends and family and provides practical advice and encouragement to all going through the process of relocation, especially focusing on those moving their children. She received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and presently lives in the Los Angeles area.

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