When you’re the Human Resources manager at a company that is relocating to another city, set yourself up for success. There will be HR and payroll concerns that only you can handle. This has to be accurate and timely and should go off without a hitch. So give yourself a break from having to actually do the housing, transportation and tech set-up coordination for the move. In a cost-effective way, the company can outsource the move to a highly polished relocation company. 

While Human Resources takes on additional work for the company move here’s what to keep in mind.

The HR department is inevitably going to shine when the staff members being relocated feel cared for and well-informed. Upper echelon leadership will want you to beat the bottom line. During this exciting and important time in your company’s story, you deserve to have the best experience possible. Here’s an in-depth look at the steps you should take.


1. Prioritize communication

The goal of communicating well is to enable individuals to plan for extra work they need to take on surrounding the move. When employees can plan ahead, they avoid being in embarrassing situations with clients, and with their own families. 

A woman with curly brown hair and a red shirt is speaking with a woman wearing a white shirt who also has brown hair. They are sitting in front of a computer having a meeting

Consider helping the company celebrate small successes as a group leading up to the move. Think about shout-outs for meeting timelines and goals, and stress-relieving activities, including laughter and music. 

Project and scheduling apps that are highly developed technology and also provide intuitive, pleasant visual layouts include Trello and Monday. These can help you see where others are at in their deliverables. A big stress reducer for the HR department is that these apps can also allow others to see information from you, to minimize staff inquiries for answers.


2. Use foresight to identify internal HR needs

To ease your own HR workload, try to think several months past the relocation project, which should have its own timeline. As the HR expert, you have critical insight that others at the company don’t have. 

Start to take note of behind-the-scenes actions, successes, and problems that could occur after the move. For example, if employees have their own login info for the payroll system, have them change their address and direct deposit info at the right time. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.Another concern will likely be reminding employees about company protocols. In a new city, this could include mileage reimbursements while learning new territories. You might even establish a protocol for what to do if personal vehicles are compromised by weather factors and when taxi rides seem like the only solution. It won’t hurt to remind staff what the rules are for dining with clients even in a new town with different cultural norms.


3. Leverage HR wisdom to create an internal relocation team

Some departments will have their own ideas about who should be their point person for HR regarding the relocation. However, you might have a better approach that will help to more broadly meet company staffing and growth goals long-term. The following is food for thought.

Selecting the right departmental point people

Think about which person from each department is most well-suited to be your contact. Meaning, the head of the department might try to choose someone, but as the HR manager, you may know a person who is better at meeting deadlines and following instructions. In that case, make the argument that your candidate will be a more efficient choice for the task. 

Helping managers see skills in action

Also, consider any plans that departments may privately be discussing with you about increasing job responsibilities or promotions for certain individuals over time. Taking on tasks during the relocation could serve to further prove to managers that those staff members could actually handle higher-level work after the relocation project. Being the person who explains to management that this move poses such opportunities could really help you shine as the HR manager

Enabling hidden skills to come to light

If the HR department knows of someone who has flown under the radar of management but possesses untapped talents, consider facilitating an opportunity for that person to shine. This could be cross-training or job-sharing short-term. Succeeding at a task during the relocation project could boost that employee’s confidence. Ultimately this would serve the company well by exposing value previously that is unrecognized in the team.

Heads-up & buy-in before working overtime

When employees have unreasonable amounts of extra work dumped on them, problems arise for the company and of course for the HR department. When it happens frequently the risk is that the employee may resign. What’s worse is that work quality and employee productivity may decline and drag on if the employee doesn’t leave. 

During a relocation, for your FLSA non-exempt employees, be as thoughtful as possible about who will be tasked with overtime work. It’s a good idea to give employees options to accept or decline overtime whenever possible

For the exempt employees, be mindful of whether or not the company pays them an appropriate salary. It could be important for morale to let them know they will be accommodated with extra time off if the relocation hours take a toll.

Contracting with a turn-key corporate housing company

A furnished and equipped apartment in Boston managed by Blueground. There is a dark blue accent wall and a grey couch in the center of the room. There is a balcony to the left of the couch with glass across the entire wall.

Blueground is a one-stop turnkey corporate housing company. What a company like this offers directly impacts the bottom line that your leadership will be watching. In HR terms, when staying with Blueground, your employees will be productive right away as well as feeling happy about where they’re living in the new city. 

  • You can expect to save 30%-50% compared to the costs of having your staff stay in long-term hotels
  • The Blueground Enterprise Sales team can move several employees at once and have everyone moved into their homes and working on their first day in the new office (free of “moving day” errands)
  • Apartments from studios to two-bedrooms are fully-furnished with high-end appliances and premium housewares provided
  • WiFi, cable, parking, and utilities are ready to go from move-in
  • Service technicians and a professional cleaning team can be contacted through their Guest App


Tips for creating an HR action plan

You’ve got to take care of your own reputation within the company. So, think of where achieving this move successfully can take you in your career long-term. To that end, create specific intentions for yourself. This is a way to serve yourself well in the short-term, and overall in the long-term after the move is completed. 

For example, intend to have a few different conversations with your leadership about goals for the relocation, realistic timelines, contingency plans, and costs. By planning for multiple meetings, you all will have an opportunity to digest the facts and get realistic. Ultimately, this should make your role as HR manager more clean and predictable.

A large meeting room table with lots of employees sitting around it clapping and looking towards the front of the room where someone in a suit is presenting

Each expert at the company may have a different perspective on what’s most important and what will take the most energy and funding to achieve during the move. This is an opportunity for you to shine! Alleviate headaches for yourself by being thoughtful about what’s best for the HR department (and yourself) within the company.

One of the most important parts of the project will be the timelines for when to communicate with staff, external stakeholders, clients, and vendors. While the company might have a dedicated communications team, in HR, have your own communications needs. Therefore, look at your own normal deliverables and schedules and then create your own communications for reminding employees what is needed. 

During company relocation, the HR department can set everyone up for success. This is an opportunity to shine throughout the company. Ultimately, the most important step you can take is presenting your CEO with the case for outsourcing with a professional relocation company.

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