Trend alert: Why more higher-ranking employees are requesting the lump sum relocation option and what this means for your relocation policies long-term.
Recently more and more companies have not only been offering a lump sum policy to their younger constituencies, but giving the wider pool of relocatees the option alongside a “managed move” or full relocation package. While experienced staffers may have received this news with a shudder in days gone by when expat packages were more lavish, those in more senior positions today often embrace it as a breath of fresh air.
Why do some experienced employees opt for a lump sum package? The key to understanding this phenomenon is not to think of it as less but rather more: more flexibility, more choice, more autonomy, more speed. The under 30 demographic are not the only ones with total dedication to their Blackberries – professionals in their 40s, 50s and 60s are often just as connected as their Gen Y counterparts and eager to engage with social media, tablets and other modern incarnations of technology.
Likewise, the rising use of lump sums by more senior level expats is a reflection of another underlying change in demographics: with over half of the American workforce consisting of women, couples who relocate often both work and need the flexibility to go forth and DIY. When both careers are heavily impacted by the move, lump sums are a great tool for making decisions that better suit both halves in a timeframe on their own terms.
So what does this mean for your relocation policies long term? The fact that more companies are adopting lump sum policies for a broader spectrum of employees is a great development. It means a future of streamlined admin, high-engagement but low-touch relocation processes and, importantly, extremely cost-effective policies. As your employees move through the ranks, experienced staff will see lump sums as a given and incoming employees may not have experienced anything else.
Delayering is not only the trend for policy design: blanket lump-sum policies for most employee levels, with perhaps a few managed moves at the very senior level, seems to be a more common occurrence across the businesses we deal with worldwide. This will mean less administrative burden for mobility teams and more time to spend developing policies that support the business effectively. No doubt an exciting prospect for those who would like to spend less time on paperwork and more time on quality, cost-effective engagement!