It’s usually the first question asked in, well, really any conversation where money is a factor (and when isn’t it?): “How much does it cost?” The cost conundrum holds true in the relocation realm as well. The price tag associated with relocating employees around the world continues to be a point of contention for many employers. Closely monitoring relocation expenditures and matching those to the contributions an employee makes in their daily work life, is a focus for companies as they target cost control. As the global business environment changes at breakneck speed, companies are scrambling to stay ahead of the challenges that, inevitably, come with change. As a result, customizing relocation offerings to make them more flexible than a traditional program is becoming more and more common as companies strive to meet the needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse set of employees.
Providing more flexible relocation offerings to employees not only meets the employee’s specific needs, but, this malleability also works to control costs for the employer. Enter: the core/flex relocation program. Core/flex programs allow employees to have a core set of the most commonly utilized relocation benefits (household goods shipments, temporary living, homefinding trips) alongside options which the employee can select based upon individual needs. The core/flex approach provides employers and employees alike with a fairly reliable foundation from which to build upon.
The Worldwide Employee Relocation Council® (ERC) contends that approximately 25% of employers now offer core/flex relocation packages. While pre-packaged relocation policies may seem painless on the front end to implement and use, the residual discomfort associated with providing options an employee does not need can not only be costly for the employer, they can be irrelevant for the employee. Not only can cost savings be realized with this format, it also gives the employee ownership over their relocation process, creating a more personalized experience and, perhaps, a more invested employee.
While core/flex options can certainly require more administrative muscle than a standard, cookie-cutter relocation policy, the focus and ultimate goal is to provide a program which can fit the specific needs of employees in a cost-effective and stream-lined way. The ability to adjust offerings as needed to remain competitive, relevant, and cost-effective will allow these types of programs to pack a mighty punch in the relocation industry.