Duty of Care: Communicating with Your Employees During a Corporate Move

Companies relocating their employees owe them a duty of care, which means that they must act in ways to help prevent any harm.  This includes selecting a reliable corporate moving partner for transporting household goods, and it also touches other decisions of a move including housing, transportation, and access to healthcare. In other words, corporate employers have a legal duty in employee relocation to protect their people in all reasonable ways.

This is not a new concept, either in general or in the relocation industry, but the challenges of the global shipping crisis following the emergence of COVID-19 brought it front and center. At Suddath, we take our duty of care responsibilities seriously.

As your partner in delivering happy, productive employees where you need them, we start with their health, safety, and well-being, just like you. From there, we prioritize making their lives easier in the stressful time of moving, and in this post, we’ll specifically focus on how we communicate with your employees during their corporate relocation.

If you’re looking for a corporate moving company that you can trust for employee relocation, please contact us online or call (888) 903-7695 to discuss your needs.

Role of Communication

Take a step back and consider the goals of the relocation. The employee is taking advantage of a career opportunity and may be feeling a combination of excitement about possibilities and nervousness about change. From the employer’s perspective, you’re transferring a high-potential employee to a new location.  For the assignment to start off strong, you want your talent to arrive feeling energized and ready to be productive in their new role.    

People who receive clear messages throughout their move can proceed with confidence and continue to be productive while making their transition. When messages are unclear, contradictory, or missing, this can trigger stress—even more so when the employee has a family to move—which can lower productivity, reduce enthusiasm about the upcoming job transfer, and otherwise complicate the relocation experience.

At Suddath, we prioritize effective communication during corporate moves, aware of its importance to employee and employer alike. That’s why we provide each employee with a dedicated, single-point-of-contact relocation expert to provide guidance, answer questions, and facilitate a seamless move so they can quickly become productive in their new position. We pair the human connection with the best of today’s technology to provide 24/7 real-time access to information.

Effective Communication Strategies

Here are four communication strategies to help employees feel connected throughout their relocation, which in turn can help to reduce stress.

Proactively Consider Communication Needs

No two people are alike, so the amount of information they need and how they’ll prefer to receive it will differ. Some people will hear a message once and be good to go while others will want ways to reference the material, as needed. Some love having information at their fingertips, just a couple of clicks away, while others will want the reassurance of a human voice when a concern arises. So, take these personality traits into account and choose an employee relocation company that offers choice in communication delivery.

Listen to and Learn from Questions and Concerns

When employees are relocating, this is a busy time for them and, naturally enough, they’ll want to know that any issues they have are fully understood so they can be properly addressed. So, everyone involved in providing information—from your in-house human resources team to the move coordinators supporting them from the corporate moving side—must have the ability to listen, empathize, learn, and respond to questions asked by employees being relocated. How the information is delivered also matters with personalized, caring responses making a big difference during this hectic time.

Expertise Matters

The most well-intentioned person can cause problems by providing someone with inaccurate information during their employee relocation. People providing communications must possess in-depth knowledge about rules and regulations as well as specific information about the particular employee move being discussed. What’s more, in some situations, more than one reasonable solution (ones that meet the duty of care) exists. If too many people are overseeing an employee’s relocation, though, one may provide communication following one route while another may provide information using another pathway. The result? Mixed messaging and confusion. A single-point-of-care, and one with expertise, makes the difference.

Combine the Personal Touch with Best in Technology

Today’s cutting-edge technology can streamline moves in ways only dreamed of in the past, and it allows employees to benefit from a blend of the best of both worlds. As one example, Suddath uses an electronic inventory system that allows us to quickly document employee relocations in highly accurate ways. This means that we account for belongings; record their condition; and electronically capture chain of custody handoffs from the moving packers to van operators, and then from warehouse workers to the employee’s new home. Strategically using technology gives our expert professionals up-to-date information when they are communicating personally with your employees.

Choosing the Right Corporate Moving Company

Plenty of corporate moving companies exist, but you want the right one for your specific corporate relocation needs. When choosing yours, you can look at a company’s website to see what employee relocation services they offer and whether they provide corporate moving services in your geographies, and then make a list of possibilities.

Then, you can narrow down the names to a short list by asking other professionals what relocation companies they’ve used and what they thought of the experience. Ask them about how well the moving company communicated with the employees and with them; how well they exercised their duty of care by safely transporting belongings; whether they kept on schedule; what they charged; whether they added any hidden fees; and whatever other questions you may have.

Find out how long they’ve been in business. Suddath, for example, would answer “more than a hundred years.” Ask how they can personalize moves for your requirements, how they leverage today’s technologies, and whether your employees will have a single point of contact to streamline communications and avoid miscommunications. Also ask for references.

By this point, your list should be fairly small since not all corporate moving companies will provide what you want and need. To assess the right fit for your employees, ask about the relocation companies’ values.

Values go above and beyond the relocation services provided to reflect the heart and soul of the moving company. Do those expressed values mesh with what you’ve learned about and experienced with this moving company?

At Suddath, we live according to our values daily in all of our interactions: with one another, and our customers, our business partners, and each of the communities that we serve. This includes how seriously we take our duty of care with each client and how we communicate with them.

We value trust and work hard to earn it every day. We value innovation and relentlessly pursue it to improve the moving experience for employers and employees. We value teamwork, caring, and agility, putting each of them into practice daily. We also provide each of our employees with a code of conduct and share how it can be used as a guiding light in all situations.

Partner with Suddath for Better Employee Relocations

When you choose Suddath, you’ll benefit from best-in-class quality and a depth and breadth of employee relocation services. We make it easy to do business with us and our unmatched financial stability, unbeatable resources, and partnerships let you know that we’re here to stay. After all, we’ve been trusted by people on the move for more than one hundred years.

We have more than thirty locations and regional headquarters around the globe: in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, and we offer competitive, transparent pricing. Finally, we will treat each of your employees with the respect and care they deserve. Exercising duty of care starts with the partners you select.

To get started, please contact us online or call (888) 903-7695.