January 18, 2023

5 Ways to Maintain Employee Satisfaction and Your Mobility Budget

When faced with economic worries, leadership often pressures departments to cut budgets in areas that heavily affect employee morale and retention. But prioritizing budget concerns over employee satisfaction could cost your organization more in the long run.

In 2019, Gallup reported U.S. businesses were losing a trillion dollars every year due to voluntary turnovers. Conservative estimates say it costs from one-half to two times an employee’s annual salary to replace an individual. If you throw in a highly competitive and tight labor market, most companies can’t afford to lose highly skilled people.

Avoid a Breakdown in Morale

Losing highly engaged, reliable, innovators and problem solvers weighs heavily on the remaining team members. At best employee morale suffers a little. At worst, some of your best clients go with them to one of your competitors or additional team members lose motivation and start looking for other opportunities as well.

5 Ways to Maintain Employee Satisfaction and Your Mobility Budget

More than half the exiting employees polled by Gallup said their manager or company could have done something to prevent them from quitting their job. The exodus is usually about more than money, and here are a few ways you can shore up your own workforce.

1. Promote Human Connection

The dissatisfied employees polled by Gallup said in the three months prior to their exodus, no one at their organization talked to them about their job satisfaction or what their future with the organization looked like. 

The first tool to boost employee morale and prevent costly turnover is to train managers to have meaningful conversations with employees about their concerns and what really matters to them—not just once a year during reviews, but on a frequent basis.

When workers feel cared for and connected, they are more productive and motivated to do quality work. Eighty-two percent of employees say they are more motivated to work on a project or program when they feel close to their team.

For many, loving the work they do is not enough. Connecting and collaborating with teammates keeps them engaged and helps them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Company culture can go a long way in keeping staff from running for the exits when recruiters come knocking.

2. Provide Meaningful Benefits

Your team members are the lifeblood of your organization, and you must invest in them to get the best results. One way to reinforce your commitment to people is providing benefits that go above and beyond the norm. This includes your relocation policy offerings.

It may be tempting to cut relocation benefits in the current economic climate, but there is a way to build your business responsibly while still offering new and established team members opportunities that matter. 

One of the most critical elements in the successful attraction and retention of key talent is having a robust relocation program with policies that are truly designed around the unique needs and desires of your employees.  In other words, all policy decisions should be made with the employee experience at the very center. 

3. Take Inventory of Current Policies

A good place to start is by conducting a review of your current employee population and the types of relocation benefits and incentives that will be most favorable to them.  At the end of the day, you want to be able to encourage talent mobility by offering the most enticing benefits.

In the same vein, much has been written about Millennials and their desire and expectations for global assignments and experiences.  They consider this an important aspect of their career development, so this also needs to be one of the top considerations in developing the relocation policies and programs for organizations of every size.

Cost is always a key consideration, so it’s important to regularly evaluate which elements must be included, versus those that might not be as cost-effective or relevant to your employees or organization.  

4. Ask Key Questions

Perhaps one of the most important questions to ask is whether your current relocation policies and programs are sustainable and scalable in the current economic climate.  Again, this goes back to the evaluation of the needs of your mobile workforce, and whether existing policies are still viable, and whether you can build on them as your company continues to grow.  

As such, there could be relocation benefits that need to be added or amended based on the growing and/or changing needs of your company. Here are some key questions you might want to ask:

    • Has our organization outgrown our current relocation policies and programs?
    • Are there additional relocation benefits that we should consider?
    • How competitive is our program in the marketplace?
    • Are we following industry best practices when it comes to talent mobility?
    • Could our employees benefit from a core-flex relocation policy?
    • Should we consider a lump-sum policy?
    • What percentage of our employees are homeowners versus renters?
    • Is our policy flexible enough to meet the widely different needs, wants and demographics of our current employee population?
    • How do we create a better employee relocation experience?
    • Are our employees more likely to stay with the company following a relocation or opportunity for a global assignment?

5. Change with the Times

If you feel uncertain about how to answer these key questions or need help understanding where you can save money in your relocation program, it may be time to consult with a relocation management company.

Change is inevitable and having a global mobility expert guide you in the evolution of your relocation benefits can make it less stressful for you to continue offering meaningful support and investing in your people.  

Sterling Lexicon can help you find ways to care for your relocating employees while making your mobility budget go further. Happy employees who have had positive relocation experiences are not only more likely to stay, but can serve as internal champions of your company and contribute to better team morale.  Contact us to learn more.


Marsha Wiggins

Marsha Wiggins

Marsha Wiggins is Sterling Lexicon’s Content Marketing Manager. She has created thought leadership content in a variety of industries for many years. She is a trusted contributor who provides insights on industry topics and trends.

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