In the Spotlight: Group Move Management

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BGRS has a unique team dedicated to providing Group Move Consulting Services. The Team’s goal is to help clients achieve their talent development and retention goals regardless of the destination location. Karen Cancroft, Director of Group Move Consulting, has over 25 years’ industry experience and takes the time to offer us her insightful perspective on this piece of the mobility puzzle.

How is a Group Move different from other types of relocation?

Karen: We define a Group Move not by the number of people being moved, but rather by the client’s business needs driving the employees’ relocation. Most clients assume a group move is defined by moving a group from one location to another, but that is also not always the case. A group move usually occurs for a very specific reason, such as a merger, organizational restructuring or consolidation. The mobility piece is just one piece of the company’s puzzle.  That is what makes it different from ongoing relocation and mobility management.

A group move can be long or short distance, domestic or international, and it may impact a small number of key individuals, a whole division or headquarters. For example, if a company is consolidating, there may be six different departure locations into two different destination locations. However, holistically one common business initiative drives these moves. Group moves are complex with many parts, and our team approaches each project with the expertise and experience of every group move that came before it. We create the right solution to help the client achieve their specific goals for that unique group move.

How can clients benefit from your team’s experience and expertise?

Karen: There are so many reasons to inquire about and utilize our services, and retaining key talent is just one among them. We take a unique consultative approach to helping clients with their group moves. Our small dedicated team has hundreds of group moves in its history which is unrivaled in the industry. We have the resources to assist with tactical aspects of a move as well, such as creating group move communications, including move announcements, FAQ documents, and move updates. Additionally, we develop special group move policies geared toward achieving the client’s specific retention and budgeting goals. We even lead group familiarization visits to the destination location to help prepare the employees. If an organization is going through a restructuring, consolidation, or transformation, we can support them throughout the process.

What do you think has contributed to the BGRS Group Move Consulting Team’s success?

Karen: It’s fairly simple, we listen. Our dedicated team listens to the client’s needs and tailors a solution to that will meet those specific needs. Collectively, the team has over 40 years’ group move consulting experience. We’ve seen various successful strategies and approaches first-hand from previous projects. Our role is to consult with the client and help them see how different solutions can affect what they are hoping to achieve through a group move.

Similarly, we share our experiences, with various decisions and the potential positive and negative effects, successful approaches, and help them get the results they are looking for. For example, clients may understand the inherent value of employee retention, but not realize that the cost of employee attrition can be much greater than it seems on the surface. Achieving the right levels of employee retention is a great asset to client focused on cost efficiencies and cost containment. Often times, before the move is even announced, our team provides an estimate of likely employee retention and attrition outcomes for a group move. Equipping clients with the knowledge they need to make the right decision for their goals is our greatest strength.  We will then continue to partner with them and put together project strategies, timelines, and next steps.

How is BGRS’s approach to group moves different from our competition?

Karen: Many Relocation Management Companies don’t have a dedicated team that lives and breathes successful group moves. We solely focus on the way group moves operate. Whereas, other organizations may rely on their general service delivery teams. We have an experienced team that is ready to approach the client with innovative ways of planning and implementing a project. Our team is armed with a proven, structured approach and comprehensive solutions that are tailored for each client’s organizational objectives. We are a strategic partner throughout the entire project lifecycle and support the client in achieving their client goals.

We have 15 service offerings clients can choose from. After conducting a discovery call with the client, our team will measure the desired outcomes against all of our offerings. We will then devise a proposal of our recommended approaches, tailoring our services to align with their needs and expectations.  Most importantly, we provide information and services taking into account the client’s goals for retention, timing, budget, resources and needs.  From there, the client can pick and choose elements.

What are some of the key considerations for companies moving groups of employees?

Karen: When we conduct confidential group move surveys, we typically find 20 percent of employees know they will not move and 20 percent are an absolute yes. The remaining, approximately 60 percent, are undecided. That 60 percent is the opportunity. We can provide recommendations for policy approaches, communication, and informational needs that will help overcome employees’ set perceptions and objections to the move and sway the hesitant employees.

Upfront planning is absolutely key. Take the time to start looking at budgeting and policy approaches even if the move hasn’t been announced yet. Sometimes something as simple as providing proactive communication can go a long way. It will demonstrate the organization is listening to, and acting on, the concerns of their employees.

Timing is also important; from an employee and family stand point, thinking about what needs to happen and when can be stressful. When companies announce everything all at once, they may overwhelm their population and have a higher risk of declined acceptance. Spacing out communications and deadlines in a logical time frame affords employees the space to consider their options and understand the opportunity being offered before making a decision. This will usually result in higher retention rates and greater success overall.

You’ve had a lot of experience in the Group Move arena, what do you like most about this function?

Karen: I like project based jobs. Working with different companies, industries, and client contacts is what makes this job interesting. I treat every client and their situation individually. It’s important to remember the organization is working on a lot at one time. Each group move provides a unique opportunity to help our clients succeed, keeping the everyday very interesting. My favorite part is providing clients with the support they need to make an informed decision. I enjoy communicating with their employees and guiding them through the process, helping ease the entire experience.

To learn more about BGRS’s Group Move Management Services, click here.

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