Corporate relocation is rising in popularity. With an increasing focus on international markets, more and more brands are branching out overseas. It is now considered almost common practice for a business to manage some sort of international relocation campaign, with two thirds of companies investing in such endeavours.
Corporate relocation is known to have its benefits, from diversification of the workplace to an introduction of trusted and skilled employees to new markets. However, international moves are not without their problems. The average spend on an international move is $110,000, with most companies committing an annual budget of around $300,000 to corporate relocation.
Given the amount of money invested in international moves, it may be alarming to discover that 40% of assignments are deemed to be failures. But what exactly makes some corporate relocations a failure?
How do you measure the success of international relocation projects?
Identify Goals Pre-Move
Moving your employee or employees has a purpose.
What is it?
Set clear, definable and measurable goals. Without these, it can be hard to review the success of a project following its realisation. Goals to identify for your corporate relocation include:
- What improvements to current business operations are you expecting to see?
- What new developments are you hoping to achieve?
Goals can be vague in nature, such as improving sales output in a foreign market, or very specific, like improving sales output by 50% in the first two quarters in a foreign market.
The specificity of your goals depends on your preferences as a brand and the level of risk involved in a such a move. If an improvement level lower than 50% means trouble for your company, it needs to be a definable goal. If your business is in a position where it wants to experiment with new markets, but is not reliant upon immediate success, a less stringent goal will do.
Whatever the goals, though, they must be set.
Carry Out a Post-Move Survey
Who better to inform you of success than those actually involved in the move?
A post-corporate relocation survey can provide vital insight into what staff thought went well and what didn’t, alongside how they feel the move has benefited the working environment. Don’t simply survey your assignee/s, though.
While this is valuable data, it won’t give you a full and accurate picture. You also want to survey two other groups of people: those involved in the management of the relocation process, and colleagues who operate in the same foreign region as your relocated staff (if any exist).
Together, these three groups of people will all be able to provide unique viewpoints on the corporate relocation process and the current situation of the move. Their judgements as to the successes or failures they experienced are valuable pieces of information that management can use to assess and measure corporate relocation results.
Analysis of Performance Metrics
Look at your company’s data pre-move and post-move.
Did the corporate relocation project have an impact on your performance metrics? As with goals, the core metrics that your brand deems key to success will vary (and are often dependant on the goals set), but will usually fit within a few predetermined categories:
- Investment Gains
- Client Satisfaction
- Colleague Satisfaction (managerial role)
- Market Penetration
- Customer Acquisition
By comparing post-move performance metric results to goals and feedback, brands can build a clear picture of what worked and what didn’t. Metrics can also be a powerful method of identifying areas of success or failure that were not originally thought to be directly impacted by the move.
For example, while the focus might have been on client retention, you may find changes in productivity you didn’t expect to see. Results like this can help HRs shift the focus of future corporate relocation projects. This enables them to provide additional support or training to ensure failures aren’t repeated and unforeseen successes are developed further.
Review Resource Consumption
Every project has a timeline, a budget and a list of resources available for utilisation.
After your corporate relocation project has been completed in full — be that your short-term assignee has returned home, or a long-term assignee that has settled permanently — it is time to assess at what level you consumed your resources.
Create a list of all materials and resources used during the management period of your move, including:
- All expenses
- Staff involved
- Total staff hours dedicated to project
- Third-party services used
- Timeline of successful task completion
- Any unused resources
Collecting all this data will enable HR to discover how the successes of corporate relocation compare to the consumption of resources.
While you may initially see strong results when comparing goals and feedback to company performance metrics, this is of little use if resource expenditure absorbed more assets than the rewards that were actually gained. For a small business, growth of $100,000 may be considered strong, but if you spent that average cost of $110,000 on the employee move, can you deem the project a success?
True corporate relocation success is about finding a defining balance between resource consumption and achievements overseas.
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