4 Surprising Findings About Employee Relocation

Oct 01 2018
Published in: Global Workforce
| Updated Apr 27 2023

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 edition of Mobility Magazine.

As an HR leader, your goal is to get the right people to all the right places to grow your business. But it’s important to realize you’re not moving goods—you’re moving people! Amid the trials, chaos, and excitement of moving, what matters most to their relocation success? Unique challenges face each employee and family. If unaddressed, these challenges can threaten their ability to thrive—derailing momentum.

After surveying 3,078 employees and spouses/partners IMPACT Group supported across the globe, surprising trends emerged on what relocating talent needs to flourish in the new location.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask Your Employer Before Your Relocation

1. When they are well-supported, engagement soars for transferees.

In fact, 75 percent of transferees report being highly engaged post-move! Against the national U.S. average of 33 percent and the global average of 15 percent, this is astounding considering the day-to-day challenges, hoops, and roadblocks they encounter even during the smoothest of relocations.

What’s making them so engaged? Seventy-nine percent of relocating employees report integration services saved them time during the move, and 73 percent share that the services allow them to be more productive at work. When personal and company success hinges on transferees being able to focus on their new role, taking the extra step to ensure their needs are met at home is a game-changer.

Career development is a key driver for this high engagement rate, as well. Fifty-one percent of transferees cite personal career development as their No. 1 reason for accepting the move. This is especially eye-opening, as only 6 percent indicate an attractive compensation package moves them to relocate.

Relocation Motivators

  • Personal career development: 51%
  • Promotion/necessary for promotion: 22%
  • Other: 15%
  • Fear of job loss: 7%
  • Spirit of adventure: 5%

2. The number of single relocating employees is trending up.

While 67 percent of single employees accept the move for personal career development, their career isn’t top of mind when it comes to relocation concerns. Forty-one percent worry about making friends in the new area. So many positive things in life are tied to strong relationships, it’s no wonder single transferees want help establishing new bonds.

Employees under the age of 30 comprise almost half of respondents who receive support from singles integration assistance programs. The needs of these younger, highly educated, and more ethnically diverse transferees are unique in one integral way—the newness of it all. They report dealing with many new situations—new job, new financial stressors, as well as a new life apart from family and friends.

Relocation Motivators

  • Personal career development: 67%
  • Compensation: 10%
  • Fear of job loss: 8%
  • Spirit of adventure: 5%
  • Family-related reason: 4%
  • Cost of living: 2%

3. Your employees’ spouses/partners desire career growth, too.

Most families depend on a second income, meaning partners need to re-establish their career fast in the new location. Overall, 61 percent of U.S. couples, 69 percent of Canadian couples, and 75 percent of European couples are dual-income. So there’s the emotional need for a job as well as the financial necessity for it. In fact, the mean salary for relocating spouses is US$71,500.

Read the rest of this article in the October 2018 edition of Mobility Magazine.