It’s easy to underestimate the complexity of a group move – the planning involved, the coordination of internal teams and vendors, the amount of time needed to prepare and the disruption to the workforce - unless, of course, you’ve done it before. Moving tens, hundreds or even thousands of employees to a new location is one of the more complex things a company, and global mobility team can undertake. No company makes this decision lightly, so when the decision is made, it’s essential that every effort is given to ensure the long-term success of the move.
This article points to some of the most difficult aspects of pulling off a successful group move, and it’s not coordinating household goods shipments or reimbursing expenses. The true difficulty in group moves comes later, and it involves managing differences in organizational or societal cultures, and maintaining employee satisfaction and engagement though a difficult transition. One reason given for these challenges is the lack of post-move integration planning.
While much attention is given to the pre-move planning and execution, once the last employee is in place, the transition is too often considered “complete." Without a strong post-move integration strategy, problems can creep up to seriously disrupt employee engagement. It’s important for companies to define their long-term integration strategy and follow up with employees to find out what’s working well and what’s not working in their new location.
Group-move exercises can involve bringing together different organisations as a result of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Various research studies have shown that over half of such business developments are considered to be failures; they simply do not realise their expected shareholder value.Problems include clashes between the cultures of the organisations themselves or societal cultures, legislative differences (such as the legal implications of harmonising contracts and pensions issues), and keeping people motivated during the set-up and immediately after the venture.