As the end of the year is rapidly approaching we can finally take a step back and look at the trends that had the greatest impact on talent mobility. And possibly more important, those that will continue to shape 2016. Last week I hosted a webinar where I outlined my top three takeaways from this year as talent mobility consultant, and what to expect as we enter 2016. Read on to see the top trends you need to know about.
HR Transformation Projects
2015 was a year for HR transformation projects. Companies are identifying all the work streams in HR and how they can make them more integrated, efficient and effective. Mobility is increasingly becoming part of that transformation process. Of the webinar attendees, 52% confirmed they had an HR transformation project occur, however only 21% of those companies included mobility in such projects. Expect to see more transformation projects in 2016 with mobility included more frequently. If your company is about to undergo any HR transformation it is important to voice your desire to have mobility included as an identified work stream.
Business travelers continue to be a hot item for mobility, with this population increasingly coming under their remit. It is expected that business travel spending will increase by 5.4% to $318.9 billion. Managing this new mobile population will require outlining concrete definitions for “what is a business traveler,” and identifying the necessary groups to support them (travel, tax, immigration, and more). There are emerging tools and technologies to help manage this population, but only 21% of webinar attendees felt very confident that they have all the compliance and employee experience considerations in mind. This will continue to be a hot-topic in 2016 with more solutions to address it in the marketplace.
The final hot trend of 2015 is choice-based programs. Choice-based programs have risen in popularity due to the understanding that every relocating employee has different needs. These core/flex policies currently represent 25% of all domestic relocations according to Worldwide ERC. In a core/flex policy there are certain benefits that are standard, or core, and there are those that can be selected by the employee, manager or mobility team – depending on how your program is setup. The obvious benefits are in the flexibility, risk management, cost containment, employee experience, etc., but the disadvantages include program administration complexity, budgeting concerns, continued management involvement, and lack of parity across relocating employees. A lack of technology needed to support the flex program design may be a hindrance to those looking to implement these types of policies. Of the webinar attendees, 38% confirmed they are currently using or planning to use choice based programs.
Mobility team branding is a trend that we are likely to see become popular in 2016. In large organizations many teams have already adopted this practice to create an internal voice for their function. In mobility creating a brand will help to consistently convey the value to internal stakeholders and any new employees being relocated. Creating an internal brand follows all of the same tenants of any corporate brand:
- Get a great logo;
- Write down your brand message;
- Integrate your brand into everything you do;
- Create a “voice” for your brand;
- Develop a tagline;
- Create brand standards for all documents you produce;
- Be true to your brand.
Managed Lump Sums
A managed lump sum is a new type of policy designed to give the benefits of a traditional lump sum, while mitigating some of the risk and providing better guidance and control on what relocation funds should be spent on. It is the perfect middle ground between a fully managed move and a lump sum policy. In a managed lump sum the company allocates the lump sum amount marking a certain percent to be spent on specific categories or benefits and “cash out” for miscellaneous expenses. The relocation company, or the employee using a platform, books all of the services. Any unused funds are kept by the organization. Using this method a company realizes both cost savings of lump sum and the tax benefits of paying for services directly. The employee is still offered the desired flexibility and cost containment is satisfied. This type of policy will become more widely popular as mobility teams continue to adopt more sophisticated mobility tech platforms.
It’s no surprise that technology will be the big item on everyone’s mind for 2016, particularly as mobility teams are brought up to par with other HR functions in terms of technology adoption. Technology will enable mobility teams to be more efficient in effective in their jobs to truly enhance the value of mobility to stakeholders. In 2016 expect to see technology follow these 10 traits:
- Consumerized HR Technology (user experiences similar to those we are already used to online, think Facebook, Amazon or Kayak);
- Mobile as the new platform;
- The emergence of ERP vendors;
- Redefining HR functions with built-for-the-cloud providers;
- Feedback and culture management as new software categories;
- New ways of managing performance and goals;
- Integrated content from everywhere;
- The growth of predictive analytics;
- Cloud computing does not make employee input obsolete;
- Employment engagement is critical.
The closing thought for the webinar was the importance for mobility teams to embrace an agile mentality for 2016. Mobility must move quickly and easily adapt to changing circumstances and continuing evolution of the industry.
To view the full recording of my webinar click here.
MOVE Guides is your new relocation management partner. Our unique service and technology approach enables you to achieve your program efficiency goals. Our mobility platform, the Talent Mobility Cloud, provides a single mobility view with real-time access to your information with access for the employee, mobility team, HR and finance.