Considering employee relocation in your HR transformation
HR transformation is one of the most dramatic and critical shifts that your company can make to improve day-to-day operational performance and support company strategy and goals.
The process doesn’t have to be painful. By identifying the benefits, scope, and obstacles, you can begin to have the right conversations about HR transformation within your leadership team.
Setting expectations for HR transformation
What can your organization achieve with HR transformation? You can look at specific examples, like developing a framework to easily support staff relocation and mobility. If your organization has struggled with identifying and developing existing talent, then you could consider how data-driven processes could help to manage the pool. Virtually every aspect of your HR workflow can be improved.
Expectations can vary between organizations, but some core elements would apply to most.
When planning an HR transformation, consider these objectives:
- Improving employee experience with streamlined HR processes. Employees are your most valuable asset, and the market is competitive. Put this into perspective by considering employees as customers. Their experience should be consumer-grade.
- Minimizing unnecessary manual and administrative tasks for HR, leadership, managers, and employees. If it can be safely automated, it should be. If digitization would improve efficiency and accuracy, it’s worth the investment. You’ll retain better talent when they are challenged, engaged, and rewarded. The less bloat in the workflow, the better.
- Improving decision-making with data science. Your leadership team will make better decisions when they are backed by timely data. HR transformation that utilizes data science through collection and analytics will benefit the leadership workflow.
- Improving compliance. The legal and regulatory environments are in a constant state of change. If you have talent deployed globally then compliance will be complex. HR transformation can introduce policies and procedures that improve and ensure compliance to limit risk.
- Becoming “talent agile”. What does it mean to be “talent agile”? It’s when your organization is in a position to leverage existing talent to meet changing requirements. If you have a strong talent pipeline (both external and internal) you will never be left without the resources that you need. HR transformation can get you there.
Key aspects of HR transformation
HR transformation today looks significantly different from that of the 90s and early 00s. Not only do businesses face different challenges, but they also have new technologies and concepts available to leverage.
Staff mobility is one example. The concept of mobility in the past was limited and the need for relocation was limited to only some of the largest, wealthiest, or most specialized organizations.
Today, employee relocation is a common occurrence within organizations of all sizes, so businesses need to develop HR systems that support employee relocation in areas like logistics, costs, benefits, and compliance/legal.
Decentralized workforces are more common, and this creates a need for transformation in HR and at the management/operational level. There are vast differences in modern business that create the need for HR transformation. You can probably identify several major shifts within your own organization.
Reducing cost and improving efficiency are still two underlying goals, but they’ve gotten broader and technology is usually a driving factor.
- HR transformation often relies on digitizing information through big data concepts.
- Analytics must be applied to make use of data.
- Process automation can improve HR and decision-making.
- Digital interactions and communications are now the norms.
Objectives are accomplished through various strategies. Process standardization should be a major focus. Documenting and ensuring consistency across your HR processes can help to clearly define roles and capabilities and make the transition between talent a seamless process. New technologies like data and analytics platforms can drive insights and decision-making.
Developing subject matter experts with consultative skills among the HR staff is an important way to leverage the resources that you already have.
HR transformations can be costly and require a significant investment of time and internal resources. Not everything can be managed internally. External expertise is often utilized to aid the transition or provide ongoing support for specific functions.
Managing change by overcoming roadblocks
Resistance to change is real in any organization. While there are outliers, older and more established workforces can be more resistant to change than younger ones within newer organizations.
If a culture of change hasn’t been instilled from the beginning, there could be significant roadblocks that limit the progress and even success of an HR transformation.
The process must be meticulously data-driven to ensure buy-in from all stakeholders.
- Document the Current HR Function as the starting point. Identifying the strengths and vulnerabilities of the current HR approach will provide a point of reference that aids in developing strategic goals. A detailed overview of current HR functions can also help employees at all levels understand why change is necessary.
- Define the Future by envisioning the ideal state of HR within the organization. Ignore current limitations. This is a broad scope, ideal scenario vision of what HR could be. The when and how don’t matter at this point.
- Analyze the Gap to determine how far away the current HR function is from the ideal scenario. This can help to identify operational shortfalls and vulnerabilities. It can also put the need for change into perspective.
- Evaluate the Approaches to HR transformation. Some organizations restructure. Many make use of big data and algorithmic decision guidance. Automation is a common way to improve HR function and operational performance. Evaluate all potential approaches to determine the right strategy moving forward.
- Choose the Path based on the risks, rewards, and current capability to support HR transformation strategies. At this point, outside consultation and management of the process are common. The scope of HR transformation is defined at this point, leading to the roadmap and implementation.
- Build a Roadmap and Create Accountability with clear deliverables assigned to relevant stakeholders. Accountability is key. The transition should be carefully managed to track progress and identify/mitigate/overcome setbacks. The roadmap creates expectations from the ground level to the leadership team to ensure all stakeholders and support staff are working towards the same outcome.
The business case for HR transformation can be profound. Reduced cost, improved efficiency, and more agility to adapt in the future are all realistic outcomes of HR Transformation. At its core, transformation improves capability by building a framework that leverages the most advanced concepts and technologies for human resource management.
Containing costs by leveraging internal and external talent
Outsourcing and consulting are often necessary to meet the goals of HR transformation. Objectivity is important when identifying the capabilities and limitations of your internal resources. Some aspects of human resources management are unfeasible in-house. If the cost, time, and resources needed are extensive, or if the expertise is lacking, then engaging with external support services will be essential.
The relationship between employee relocation and HR transformation
Employee relocation is sometimes forgotten in HR transformation. But if you manage an international or domestic staff across several sites, you will find that this is a key requirement for both your transformation and day-to-day operations.
Employee relocations may be left out of HR transformation because leadership sees it as an ad hoc process that is separate from the core operational requirements. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As with any aspect of the business strategy, defining and improving processes for employee relocation can improve the staff experience while reducing the cost of relocation and the resources spent managing it.
Mobility has only recently entered the conversation but it’s becoming a key component of many HR departments. Moving employees between sites and even across borders is a huge task. There are issues of compliance, tax, cultural training, providing resources, determining benefits, moving assistance, accommodation, and much more for the HR department to consider. The supply chain for staff mobility is vast and complex.
Even if only 10% of a company’s staff would require relocation and mobility, it’s something that must be deeply embedded in the HR transformation. Clear and detailed processes will ensure smooth mobility and the ability to add more mobility to the business easily and at a reduced cost.
The reality is that even in an age where remote work is more common, organizations lack the internal talent to properly manage mobility and staff relocation. In many cases, relocation HR transformation will be focused on the underlying processes, compliance, and where to hand off to an outsource partner for the specialist tasks.
Relocation management companies and your HR transformation
Partnering with a relocation management company (RMC) can reduce internal workload and allow your organization to focus on what it already excels at. RMCs specialize in mobility and relocations and have processes in place to ensure seamless transitions when employees are reassigned temporarily or permanently.
A partnered RMC will do more than take care of operational details. Data-driven insights for policy and process improvement, consulting and support, benchmarking, and cost savings advice are all benefits enjoyed when working with a leading RMC.
Plus Relocation offers extensive RMC services aligned with modern approaches to HR and business strategy. Point C is a proprietary platform developed by our Plus One Innovation Center. It offers a personalized approach to moving packages, customizable by the employee based on your internal policy. The system is completely configurable to suit your operational needs. It can be integrated with your existing mobility program or Plus Relocation can provide detailed consulting and management services along with the platform.
Knowing when to develop internally or when to outsource is an important aspect of your HR transformation. The case of mobility is specific, but it illustrates just how important it is to be detailed when identifying your capabilities and goals. It’s the perfect example of when it makes sense to engage with external consultants and resources to ensure your HR transformation is a success.
META: HR Transformation can modernize and improve your HR processes to suit your business strategy and reduce risk. How is it done, and how does relocation management relate to transformation?