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Eliminating Tradeoffs in Talent Mobility

business people meeting

By: A corporate mobility professional for a leading beverage firm

Imagine you are at a conference and hear the leader of a large, multi-national company talking about being part of a “community of caregivers” or operating with a “generosity of spirit.”  Later in the day, you hear a speaker talking about “enhancing the human experience” and focusing on “duty of care.” What type of conference are you attending?

a. A conference for a wonderfully generous non-profit?
b. A conference of health care providers?
c. A conference for professionals in the mobility industry?

Yes, you guessed it … the answer is “c” so feel free to imagine a conference hosted by a company that has the passion of a non-profit and the instilled love of fabulous health care providers.

If you have ever been to a Graebel Policy Summit or conference, you know they care about their clients and the transferees they serve. At their recent Summit in Denver, you saw this “duty of care” as soon as you checked into the conference, entered your hotel room and found a bottle of water, a locally sourced granola bar, a mini pack of Advil and a handout about how to avoid and manage altitude sickness. This acute attention to detail was evident through the Summit and is no doubt indicative of the company’s service to the transferees it serves day in and day out.

Having been in the mobility industry for over 15 years, I have attended my fair share of Worldwide ERC conferences, vendor meetings and summits on practices and policies. What I love about the Graebel Policy Summit is their ability to provide employers an opportunity to get together and share best practice and discuss challenges while seeking solutions in real time. These best practice gatherings happen in peer-to-peer sessions, and while they are guided with questions presented prior the conference, the facilitators and Graebel team do a great job of allowing the conversations to morph as they may to meet the needs of the clients.

My second session started out as most do with perennial topics like lump sum-plus programmes, tax for commuters and data analytics. From there the session took a turn toward best practice, and this is where the conversation got exciting. Don’t get me wrong, topics like lump sum and tax are thrilling to a mobility professional, but on the scale of “innovation and progress” there is not much new. What I find intriguing about best practice is that it is always evolving. As soon as you think you have a great process in relocation, a company comes along with another great way to build in efficiencies while reducing cost and enhancing the transferee experience. That is what our function is all about, right?

With best practice in mind, I present to you the Top 5 List from Session #2 of the U.S. Domestic and International Mobility Peer-to Peer Session at Graebel’s Americas Policy Summit…

  1. Get to know the business you serve and tie your goals to business objectives.
  2. When you know the business, you get a seat at the table and your voice can be heard. When you do speak, do so with confidence and support your recommendations with data.
  3. Recognise the value that comes from collaborating with tax, finance and procurement.
  4. Once you think you have a solid process, find ways to innovate and be agile.
  5. Sometimes a bad experience can lead to a great opportunity to improve beyond what you thought was possible.

Whether the transferee is a college recruit, mid-level manager or executive, one thing is clear: every company represented at the Policy Summit wants the best experience for that person. As always, I left this year’s Summit more knowledgeable and empowered to recommend innovative changes to our programmes that will continue to keep us competitive in the market.

Many people in change management say that the only constant is change. There were many companies represented at the Summit, and the one constant seemed to be Graebel’s ability to meet every client where their needs are and do so with truth, love and integrity.


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