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New Blueprint for Global Mobility: Relocation Services + Mobility Tech

Why Supporting Relocating Partners is Crucial for Assignment Success

When it comes to global mobility, the success or failure of an assignment often hinges on the relocating partner and family. In a recent industry survey by Permits Foundation and NetExpat of over 3,500 respondents, an unhappy partner was cited as the #1 reason for assignment failure and rejection.

On our most recent The View From The Top show Brian Friedman discussed this important topic with experts Erin Gough (Reckitt), Christelle Labbe, (SLB), and Des McKell (NetExpat).

Today's relocating partners are highly educated, with nearly 90% holding a bachelor's degree or higher. The vast majority (over 80%) were employed before the move. For 75% of families, maintaining a dual income is critical when deciding whether to accept a relocation.

With this backdrop, it's clear that providing robust partner support is not just a nice-to-have, but a necessity for successful assignments. Leading companies are taking a more holistic, "careflex" approach, offering not just financial support but coaching, career assistance, networking, and other services to help the partner thrive in the new location.

For example, at Reckitt, in addition to standard relocation benefits, they offer repatriation assistance within the first 6 months if the family is unhappy. But more proactively, they provide career coaching or assistance exploring entrepreneurship for non-working partners who want to stay engaged professionally. They also facilitate community integration through services that help families join clubs, find hobbies, and make local connections.

SLB (formerly Schlumberger) has a longstanding "spouses association" of volunteers in each major location who help welcome and integrate new arrivals. SLB also leverages technology to gather partner requirements and constraints upfront before assignments and facilitates connections to companies like Permits Foundation to ease the ability to work hurdles.

The business case for investing in partner support is clear. As Erin from Reckitt put it, "It's really a relatively inexpensive insurance policy to try and avoid a failed assignment, because it really helps to keep the employee focused on their job and happy and not worried about the partner or family at home that's unhappy."

Beyond assignment failure risks, poor partner integration can lead to productivity drains, burnout, mental health challenges, and long-term talent retention problems. Supporting the whole family delivers better outcomes.

In today's talent landscape with dual-career families being the norm, companies must treat partner and family experience as a core part of their mobility program - not an afterthought. Those that get the partner experience right will have a considerable competitive advantage.

Access the complete discussion here

Register here for our upcoming show on Announcing a New Mobility Blueprint.

Michelle Curran
Created on 3-6-2024