Relocating to another country might be exciting for many but scary for others, considering the fact that they are arriving alone or with their family, onto a place they have never been to before.
The lockdown and not being able to go out and meet new people, hang out with co-workers, go to the office, can make the relocating experience less attractive and harder on an employee.
What can managers and employers do to facilitate the big change in the life of a relocating employee? Keep reading to find out!
When it comes to relocation, the willingness to take the step is the most important aspect. Trying to get your employee to relocate, move everything and everyone close to them to a different environment is not easy. Especially if they are not willing nor motivated to do so:
- First and foremost, choose an employee who would be available to move his life to a different country, who would be prepared for such a change
- Second, be aware that there will be a need to provide professional support because it can help any employee feel more motivated towards a decision like this, for example financial aid
- Third but also extremely important, information. Providing information about things like healthcare systems, schools and even places to find housing, can be a useful tool when it comes to fighting the strangeness of another country and its culture
Some companies, like The Relocation Company, have relocation packages or relocation services that include:
- Orientation trips
- Immigration Support, which visa is needed to work in The Netherlands
- Education support for children; private vs public schooling
- Full pack and/or unpacking services provided by a moving company saving the employee time and stress
- Moving service that provides insurance for damaged and lost goods
- House-hunting trips for one person to help to search for housing
- Temporary housing for at least 30 days for the relocated employee
- Opening bank accounts and organizing various insurances
- Tax advise and application for the 30 % tax ruling
- Transportation to the final destination for every relocated employee and their family (if needed)
- Miscellaneous expenses, such as driver’s license fees, pet registration and licenses, cleaning services, utilities and other move-related expenses, although there’s an estimate made so the overall cost is controlled
However, for the companies that don’t have the means to offer such a relocation package to all of their employees, there are other, more affordable ways to help out your relocating employees, like the following.
Helping out when it comes to booking flights and communicating the measures that need to be taken when flying, especially now, can be a huge help.
For example, in The Netherlands, the functioning airlines at the moment are immense, such as KLM, Ryanair, Transavia, AirFrance, among others. Providing a newcomer information on which might be the best or the fastest option, with so many airlines to choose from, is always good advice.
Finding housing will always be hard for an employee because they find themselves leaving home and moving into an unfamiliar environment. That doesn’t mean that it will be impossible to do so.
Telling the newcomer about places that are a bit cheaper, closer to work or even connected to a big traffic area with lots of public transportation is one way to help. Explain what might be expected when it comes to rent prices, how low or how high they can reach so they feel informed and aware of what to expect.
By doing these simple things, you might be able to make your new employee feel more confident about the big decision and more connected to you as a person and a co-worker.
Becoming part of the team
Embracing and welcoming the new employee does not mean they feel like a part of
the team. They can be involved in the work they’re doing, they can be connecting
with the company but they also need to connect with the people around them.
This means that sometimes, and specifically when the newcomer is moving abroad
alone, they will feel lonely, like they don’t have anyone around to help and to
befriend. You, as the employer, need to be aware of these types of scenarios, try and
include them on weekend nights out, tip off the co-workers to be friendly and ask to
An example of a good onboarding plan for relocators
OPCW is the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which strives to achieve their vision of a world free of chemical weapons. A company that hires and recruits people from all over the world thus increasing the chances of relocation and even working abroad for such a cause.
OPCW uses an onboarding program, provided by Appical, which allows their employees to be aware of what’s happening within the company so there are no surprises.
For relocation cases, thanks to a special chapter included in the onboarding app, help can be given to newcomers. How so?
- By allowing them to see how the country they’re being transferred in to works
- By getting them acquainted with the Dutch culture (in the OPCW case)
- By showing them who will be part of their team
- By making them feel welcomed, informed and ready for their first day in a new job in a new country
To find out more about this onboarding program, click here.
Relocating employees successfully
In summary, a good way to help onboarding your relocated employees and making them feel integrated within a new country and new colleagues is to follow these guidelines:
- Learn about employee welfare and what your company can do to help with the transition
- Prepare a good relocation package that includes advice and guides on how and where to book flights, which places can help the newcomer find a place to live
- Find a way to welcome your relocated employee and make him feel like part of the team by using an onboarding app such as Appical