VIP relocation plans: What do they include?

VIP relocation plans: What do they include?

Whether you’re an intern or the CEO, relocating is one of the most stressful things you can do. In fact, relocation is the third most stressful life experience, after death and divorce!

While every employee should be supported throughout their move, key executives and top-tier staff with many demands on their time both need and expect the highest level of support. It’s therefore essential to carefully consider how to ensure your VIPs receive the best treatment.

Here’s how to go the extra mile and turn a relocation into an exceptional experience, leaving your VIP feeling serene, settled and ready to dive into their role and life in their new home.

What is a VIP relocation policy?

A relocation policy supports your employee through their move, by providing the financial means to reach and settle into their new home.This includes employee relocation expenses like support with travel, visas and work permits, finding a home, and other tasks like setting up utilities.

A VIP relocation plan takes this and turns the dial right up, adding extra perks and going above and beyond to ensure your executive staff have as stress-free an experience as possible.

When it comes to relocating senior executives, the stakes are high, and so are the expectations. You don’t want to risk delays to start dates, lost productivity, or at worst, losing them from your company altogether, which at their level could have a catastrophic impact on your business.

Consider also that many of those who’ve reached these career heights are likely to be at the slightly older end of the scale. This means they’re more likely to have a family and perhaps a larger home full of more stuff, so as well as having higher expectations, their relocations can become a bit more complicated and costly.

What does a VIP relocation plan include?

Every VIP relocation plan is different, and the best ones can be flexed to suit the needs of the individual. However there are a number of major support items that are often on the menu when a VIP package is assembled, and we’ve brought these together in the list below. Here’s what to consider including in a five-star relocation experience package:

Dedicated, one-on-one support - Having a constant, reliable point of contact is an invaluable source of support for a busy executive. Some providers even offer 24/7 assistance.

Spousal support - It’s so important to support your VIP’s partner and family. The most common cause of relocations failing is the family not settling, which could put your company in jeopardy.

International tax support - Getting your expat tax affairs in order is complicated and requires time your VIP just can’t afford to lose. Expert support here takes that burden off their shoulders.

Home-finding - Support in making enquiries, reviewing documents, and accompaniment on viewings. Some policies will also include a housing allowance for purchasing a property.

School support - This can include assistance from a local educational consultant who’ll provide guidance through the enrolment process, and having school fees paid (or a contribution).

Luxury airport transfers - A private, luxury car transfer helps set the tone from the moment your VIP touches down, and means a comfortable and peaceful journey to their final destination.

Transport - You may want to arrange public transport passes and information about getting around, especially in major cities, or a car lease to help your VIP explore their new home.

Regular flights home - For temporary assignments, flying a VIP between their home and host cities periodically will help them take care of personal business and make the transition easier.

Club membership - Physical and mental wellbeing is worth investing in. Offering memberships to gyms, hobby clubs, social groups or anything your VIP is interested in will help them thrive.

Cross-cultural training - No one wants to make a faux pas in the boardroom! Expert training in local customs and traditions will help your VIP get settled in quickly to their new environment.

Serviced apartments - A ‘home away from home’ for some or all of the assignment, including amenities like a working area and a laundry service. Some packages offer welcome baskets too!

Luxury shipping and settling-in services - Full packing up of all belongings into boxes, followed by unpacking and home setup, furniture assembly and utilities setup.

How can I save on costs and still make it an exceptional VIP experience?

Even with a VIP package, you can keep it cost-efficient without sacrificing quality of service.

The key is to be flexible and avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s easy to waste relocation expenses for employees by allocating money to services that don’t get used.

We’ve seen this happen a lot, where fixed budgets allocated to certain services prevent staff from using it on what actually matters to them! An example of this was a mover who was given a 20ft shipping container as part of her package - unfortunately, she had nothing to put in it!

We recommend core-flex relocation support, where all employees are given core support services around home-finding and settling in, then they can choose how to flex their remaining allowance to focus on the services that matter to them. For example:

●     Some employees choose to spend more on temporary accommodation

●     Others would rather spend the money on shipping their belongings

●     Employees moving with a young family might opt for local education support

By focusing only on what’s needed, a core-flex policy helps your budget work smarter, while ensuring all employees get the core support they need and can tailor their move to their needs. You can find out more in our article on how to save costs on your relocation policy!

How much does a VIP relocation cost?

Corporate relocation costs can really vary, especially when it comes to your critical talent. There can be a lot of big-ticket items within their job relocation expenses, so what you do and don’t include in your policy can make a big difference. In our experience, a competitive VIP package will usually range upwards of $50,000 (USD) for the most senior team members, and can reach well into six figures.

To discover more about staff relocation costs for your whole workforce, check out our cost estimator tool and get a reliable policy estimation to suit your needs in just a few clicks.

Other things to consider for VIPs

Here are some final points to bear in mind to ensure your VIP has a first-class experience:

●     Give them as much advance notice as possible of any deadlines and necessary actions. If they’re older and have a family, there can be a lot more to uproot, which takes time.

●     Make sure to manage their expectations very well. Relocation is a huge thing, and if your VIP is at the older end of the scale, they might be a little slower to adapt to changes.

●     Consider the culture fit with the new location, especially when it comes to older VIPs - again, they can find it harder to adapt, so make sure they’re prepared and on board.

●     Check in with them often, keeping visibility strong to ensure they’re happy. Tech-based relocation solutions, with easy access to instant support, can really help here.

Conclusion

While all employees need and deserve a base level of support when relocating, do remember that when it comes to your VIPs, you have the most to lose if their relocation goes badly. That’s why it’s so important to pull out all the stops to make sure they have a first-rate experience.

There’s a lot that a VIP policy can include to turn a standard move into a five-star experience, but it’s vital to keep it flexible and make sure it’s tailored to your executive’s individual needs. If you can do this, while checking in frequently and offering dedicated support, this will help them settle into their new home well, ready to get stuck into their new project and lead winning teams!

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