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How to Make the Business Case for Employee International Relocation

Think it’s time your business invested in international relocation projects? Here’s how to argue your case to management.

International relocation has the power to be hugely influential with regards to corporate success. Globalisation presents many advantages and is becoming far easier to achieve in the digital age. Despite this, some businesses are apprehensive when it comes to setting up overseas divisions.

Whether you’re a member of management trying to convince directors and shareholders, or an employee who believes their skills could be put to better use on the global stage, you’re going to have to make the business case for employee relocation to the higher-ups.

While a stern belief that international relocation could reap untold rewards is one thing, that confidence must be backed up with solid evidence and a strong argument. In this blog, our experts in corporate relocation outline the process of making that business case for employee relocation.

Man moving office with box and his belongingsDemonstrate the Benefits

A claim that international relocation will benefit the company is unlikely to be enough to sway members of management who have their reservations about the idea. Before you take any further steps, it is crucial you provide information about what exactly these benefits are:

  • Profit Growth — Expanding into new markets means new sales opportunities and new customer bases. Research your intended relocation destination, assess the potential for growth and report back to senior staff.
  • Employee Development — Moving employees overseas allows for diverse growth and development opportunities, leading to more valuable and better-qualified employees. Argue the case for this by providing examples of how international work can provide career growth.
  • Global Links — International employee relocation offers an opportunity to develop links with global contacts. Networking is a powerful tool that should never be underestimated, and creating overseas ties has the potential to bring in new and previously unobtainable opportunities.
  • Operational Costs — Different cities and countries have different costs associated with them. Relocation can dramatically reduce operational costs through numerous channels, from general cost-of-living to resource acquisition. Being able to prove that a move overseas would lower costs is a surefire way to make a strong business case for employee relocation.

Provide Them With the Necessary Details

Convincing your superiors or colleagues that an international move is beneficial is only the first step in creating a bulletproof business case for employee relocation. The next stage of the process is helping them understand the practicalities and the logistics of the relocation project.

Essentially, you need to be able to explain what’s involved:

  • Budget and Resource Expenditure — How much should the company be expected to pay for relocation, and what resources (including people) will be involved? Costs often depend on location and can vary widely. Perform a full cost analysis to ensure you have accurate information, and that the fees are realistic given profit margins and potential growth, before proposing a move.
  • Planning and Logistics — A relocation process requires detailed planning, logistics and precision project management. Develop an outline of how this will be handled and how the whole process will be completed successfully. We recommend getting the help of international relocation specialists, such as us here at Gerson Relocation, when creating your business case for employee relocation. As experts in moving people abroad, having assistance and support from a company like ours will ensure senior staff know the move is being managed and planned by skilled and experienced personnel.
  • Relocation Policy — What will the company be responsible for when moving employees? Provide details on proposed liability for both individuals relocating and the corporation.

Outline the Pitfalls (and How to Combat Them)

Transparency is key to good corporate relationships. Failing to outline the potential pitfalls of international moving when making the business case for employee relocation could result in animosity later down the line. It could also be seen as disingenuous if you discuss all the positives without accounting for the difficulties that may be faced; especially if your co-workers or superiors have concerns after previous relocation mishaps.

The trick here is to be clear about the potential for problems, while also proposing solutions to either eliminate them as threats, reduce the risk of them occurring, or provide suitable problem-solving techniques should something happen.

In order to offer solutions, though, you must first identify the problems:

  • Early Repatriation70% of failed international assignments are caused by issues with family and an unsettled personal environment. Addressing concerns prior to a move, and creating support structures to engage with employees and guide them through stressful relocation experiences thereafter, can greatly reduce the risk of early repatriation.
  • Failed Task Completion — Many workers placed overseas find they struggle to complete their work properly, resulting in inefficiency and wasted resources. Ultimately, the reason behind this is lack of preparation. Only 25% of businesses provide appropriate preparation in terms of cultural understanding and communication skills with international relocation. Just as with any workplace, if adequate training is provided, work can be completed to a satisfactory level.  
  • Overspending — With international relocation being an expensive process, management will likely have concerns over costs. Considering the variables involved, it can be easy for budgets to run over. The best way to avoid this happening is to employ third-party relocation specialists, with an abundance of knowledge pertaining to moving employees abroad, in order to ensure as little resource wastage as possible.

A Final Word on Making the Business Case for Employee Relocation

A simple version of our message would be this:

Convincing management or coworkers to run an international relocation project relies on being able to provide accurate and comprehensive information. Provide evidence of not only the benefits, but also how the process will work. Take out the unknown variables, focus on the facts and you’ll have a strong business case for employee relocation.  

Need help making your case for employee relocation? Contact Gerson Relocation today and we can explain exactly how we’ll support your overseas projects.

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