Global Mobility and Retention: Is Your Talent Strategy at Risk?


When an organization decides to move an employee to a new location, it’s an indicator of that employee’s inherent value. No employer will spend the time, effort, and money needed for a relocation unless they believe that employee is crucial to the organization’s success. This highlights the importance of global mobility and retention strategies. That means the relocation isn’t necessarily complete once the employee has settled in a new office. When it comes to any global mobility program, the goal is to keep the employee for the long term.

Employee retention refers to the efforts made by an employer to create an environment that supports the needs of current employees, ensuring that they continue to be part of the organization. It’s not enough to hire quality employees; you must maintain a high retention rate. This is especially true for relocated employees.

three people standing around the table talking about global mobility and retention
International assignments offer unique growth and cultural experiences for employees.

What can the organization do to maintain high retention rates for relocated employees? HR managers can greatly affect the success of the organization with the decisions they make before, during, and after the relocation progress.

Before the Move

It is important to interview employees under consideration for transfers ahead of time. You must be sure they’re the right fit, not just for the job, but also the relocation. Suggested questions and topics to be covered in a pre-transfer interview:

  • Are the employee’s goals and values in line with those of the company?
  • Would the employee recommend the company as a good place to work to friends and other professionals?
  • Does the employee feel engaged, with professional goals aligned with the organization’s success?
  • Is the employee satisfied with the benefits offered, including the relocation package?
  • What is the employee’s plan for advancement within the organization?

During the Move

Once the relocation is underway, the goal is to maintain a smooth, hassle-free experience for the employee. Negative experiences or dissatisfaction in any area of the relocation process increases your risk of losing a talented employee.

It often pays to seek the expertise of a professional relocation management company (RMC) like Interstate Relocation. Experienced corporate and government relocation professionals can manage your talent mobility strategy, saving you a great deal of time and hassle while ensuring the relocation runs smoothly.

After the move

Once the move is complete, the next step is to learn how to measure the relocation program’s success. There are several ways to analyze your program’s performance beyond basic costs and utilization, and it’s incredibly worthwhile if your goal is to ensuring employee retention. If your goal is to ensure the best possible relocation experience for future employees, what key performance indicators (KPIs) should you be monitoring?

If your organization is relocating a small number of workers, your most important KPI can be gained by keeping track of each employee’s relocation experience. Survey each employee at various points during the relocation process to better understand what needs to be improved.

Larger organizations can also track the turnover rate of employees who relocated. Compare these rates to your static employee population. If relocated employees are quitting at a higher rate than everyone else, that’s a red flag that something’s not working. It’s time to examine your program and make improvements based on your findings.

Women Sitting on the Chair while Having Conversation
Properly managed relocations can enhance employee retention and satisfaction.

Strengthening Global Mobility and Retention

The future of employee retention is somewhat perilous at the moment. According to Forbes, “This so-called Great Resignation, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, has turned employment into a worker’s market.” This may seem like a bad time to suggest a relocation to your best and brightest employees. However, when a relocation is handled properly, it can strengthen the bond between the employee and the organization. The key is finding the right employee for the move and ensuring a smooth transition, thus boosting global mobility and retention.

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