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Best Practices for Relocating an Employee to a Different State

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It can be tough to relocate an employee or move offices, but it’s even harder for workers to do it themselves. But with an employee relocation policy, experienced staff, and quality support, your employees will settle into their new environment, especially if the move is all-expenses paid.

The Best Relocation Practices for an Interstate Employee Move

Relocating can be stressful and time-consuming for you and the employee, so it’s important to have a reliable plan in place.

Here are 7 practices that will streamline the relocation process.

1. Create a Relocation Agreement and Employee Relocation Policy

An employee relocation agreement is a legal contract executed by the employer (or relocation company) and employee in which the employer agrees to handle portions of the relocation. If the employer agrees to move the employee, this agreement is necessary for legal protection.

These documents are typically included in an employee relocation policy because they include things like timelines for relocating, reimbursement for costs, and severability. Include the clause that states that the employee will reimburse the relocation costs if they work for less than a year.

2. Communication Is Important for a Successful State-wide Move

Your employee must be aware of relocation processes and procedures, so ensure clear and consistent communication. Schedule regular meetings with your employee to answer any questions and concerns they have prior to the move, as this will increase their comfort level.

The relocation process often requires more time and money than first anticipated. To prevent unnecessary stress, set realistic expectations at the start of the relocation process. Define a timeline and make sure that the employee understands the budget before the move.

3. Research the New State and Find Quality Interstate Movers

Do research on the location your employee is moving to, including the housing market, taxes, cost of living, job market, and more. This will ensure you’re aware of any extra expenses that may be required and that the employee is knowledgeable about their new home and state.

Consider auto transport if your employee is planning to bring their vehicle with them. Look into reliable auto transport services like Nationwide United Auto Transport to ensure that their vehicle arrives safely and on time at their new destination. This can also be an additional expense to factor into the overall relocation budget.

We recommend checking out this article on the best full-service state to state moving options because the right movers can make a huge difference in your budget and stress levels. When all else fails, you can outsource the relocation process to specialists or hire one yourself.

4. Provide Reimbursement for Most (or All) Moving Expenses

Provide a reimbursement for all reasonable relocation costs incurred. This should include things like travel, storage, packing, and moving expenses for them and their spouse. Make sure you provide clear guidelines so that the employee understands exactly what is being covered.

Some labor can’t be monetarily reimbursed but can be performed by your staff to make your employee’s life easier. For example, health insurance policies can easily be transferred to a different state, but you need to make sure that plan gives them the same access to providers.

5. Offer Additional Support to Employees and Their Families

To support your employee through this transition period, provide additional resources such as mentorship or mental health services. This can be anything from setting up bank accounts, helping find accommodations, finding new job opportunities, and offering moral support.

There are three reasons why relocations fail: lack of local support, unrealistic expectations, and separation from family. You can prevent two of the three by offering total support during the relocation process. This support should extend to their recently relocated family members.

6. Allow Remote Work while Employees Are Adjusting

Sometimes, relocating an employee may mean they’ll be away from the office for a period of time. During this time, allowing the employee to work from home is a great way to provide some flexibility. In some cases, full-time remote work can be a temporary solution while they settle in.

The relocation process is always hard on employees, as they have to leave their friends and family behind. If your employees are able to spend more time with their spouses and children before going back to the office, they’re more likely to be content with their new arrangement.

7. Follow Up With Employees and Their Families Frequently

The relocation process doesn’t end when the employee arrives at their new location. Follow up with the employee during their relocation to ensure that everything is going smoothly. In your employee relocation policy, include a check-in schedule your HR department can stick to.

There’s a big chance your employees will miss their coworkers when they leave, so consider setting up casual meetings between them. If your employee is relocating permanently, have a social worker on staff that employees can speak to if they have reservations about the move.

In Conclusion

Following these 7 best practices will help ensure your employee’s relocation goes smoothly and efficiently. Taking the time to be organized, communicating clearly, and providing extra support will make a big difference and will ensure a successful transition and a happy employee!

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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people. Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.

This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one? Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization's Strategy. In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage.

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About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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