5 Essential Keys to Managing Your Group Move

Group moves of multiple employees from one location to one destination require a higher level of planning in order to ensure a successful relocation for all employees involved. This guide explores the challenges of group moves and offers best practices that should be implemented for any group corporate move of employees.

5 Keys to Managing Group Moves

Group moves are significant undertakings that frequently arise out of major shifts, changes or additions to a given business.  As they involve moving 10 or more employees from the same origin to the same new destination, they are complex endeavors that often come with unique contextual challenges alongside their inherently layered logistics.  That's why most HR and relocation professionals understand that a great deal of planning is required well ahead of the move date to adequately prepare for a group move.  A well-planned group move includes establishing the appropriate teams, collecting essential data from employees, performing market analyses on both the old and new locations, budgeting and forecasting, and many other steps before a group move is even announced to the employees who will be impacted by it.

(To learn more about the best practices for the planning stage of a group move, download our guide, "A Step-By-Step Guide for Planning a Group Move".)

As you know, group moves don't end once they are planned. Oftentimes, these larger-scale relocations involving multiple employees and their families mean handling different sets of applicable relocation benefits and an array of moving timelines. Those who are in charge of overseeing the move must prepare for exception requests, handle time-sensitive questions, and manage the people and suppliers involved among other important tasks.  Once a project manager has been assigned to the move and area visits have occurred, procedures must be established and communicated so that employees, vendors and other stakeholders know who to go to for various needs and questions that may arise.  Read on to learn our five best practices for managing a group move.

1.  Exceptional Exception Management:  To be sure that key talent accepts the move, you should be flexible on reasonable exceptions.  This means knowing ahead of time what types of exceptions will be permitted.  It is important to be fair and equitable in this regard to avoid issues with morale among your relocating employees. 

2.  They Need Answers:  A process needs to be established for questions where employees know that they can expect answers by a certain day or time.  Setting up a mailbox for these questions allows those managing the move to set aside time to answer them in an orderly way while meeting employee expectations.

3.  Keep Them on the Program:  It can be tempting for employees who are eager to get both themselves and their families settled quickly to move ahead in the process or act outside of the relocation program.  This can lead to extra costs and slow down the management process.  An example of this is if an employee purchases a home too soon and requests reimbursement for duplicate housing costs.  Avoid this by setting up strong controls in the field.  You can reinforce controls by having qualified suppliers who are well-trained in supporting employees and are clear on the details of your relocation program.

4.  Business as Usual:  It can be easy to get caught up in the needs of employees during a group move but it's essential to not lose sight of your business's suppliers and customers.  During the move, it is possible that your relocating employees may not be as responsive to their email.  Along those same lines, suppliers and clients alike may have just heard about the move and have questions or concerns.  Having targeted communication pieces for both groups will help quell anxieties.  Will you still be able to serve my or my firm's needs?  Will we still be your supplier?  Answers to these questions need to be determined and explained to the appropriate contacts.  This may mean bringing in temporary staff or shifting work to another facility for a time in order to avoid major disruption or client dissatisfaction. 

5.  The Right Type of Outside Help:  Many businesses lack at least some of the in-house resources required to properly support the execution of a group move.  Bringing in the right outside supplier can help bring  credibility to a group move and provide the essential support needed by all the stakeholders involved.  Finding the right relocation provider for your group move means looking for a company that offers expertise in a range of skill sets.  Among these skills, you should look for a provider with experience in project management, policy development, group moves, cost control, real estate, reporting and handling high-stress situations.

Some of the services you may consider outsourcing to a professional relocation provider include:
- Home marketing assistance
- Home finding and purchasing assistance
- Temporary housing assistance
- Spouse job-finding assistance
- Household goods moving services
- Mortgage assistance
- Vendor selection & management
- Training materials and programs for your management team and selected suppliers

For help with an upcoming group move or your broader relocation policy, contact Bobbi Maniglia, VP of Corporate Sales and Moving Services for northAmerican Van Lines at bobbi.maniglia@northamerican.com.

Categories: Corporate Mobility Planning Budgeting & Costs