Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues, companies are still moving people and, in some cases, people are just deciding to move since they can now work remotely and may not need to be in their current (and possibly expensive or undesirable) location.
In general, those who are relocating go into the moving process with preconceived ideas and expectations, some of which may be accurate, but others are more, let's say, unrealistic. It may be that their expectations match the reality of a year ago, or six months ago, or even last week, but these days — as Michael Deane (from All Points Relocation in Canada) points out in his article below — things continue to rapidly change in each location. In fact, even since penning that article, Michael shared an additional one noting that as of Jan. 7, all airline passengers ages 5 and older coming into Canada will need to provide a negative result from a COVID-19 test before they are allowed to board their flight.
Those of us in the global mobility industry — particularly those who have provided direct service to relocating employees and corporate mobility managers and their team members, including by extension the hiring managers and recruiters — have "sur-thrived" and maybe excelled by consistently and properly managing expectations, particularly when extenuating circumstances that are out of our radius of control occur. The best in our business that consistently provide effective relocation support are those that are great at helping to align the expectations of others to the reality of what is currently happening and what is going to happen.
Allowing unrealistic expectations to persist is a set up for failure and disappointment. "Delivering delight" (our corporate mission), on the other hand, is about not meeting their expectations but going above their expectations of us. This takes an awareness of what is happening, empathy toward an employee's circumstances, and clear and direct communication.
Great partners, great systems and processes, and great people are key elements to properly managing expectations and gaining the trust of clients, which is at the core of quality relocation management.
Once upon a pre-COVID time … a good destination service provided assignees to Canada (or any country) with an efficient and predictable onboarding experience. Well, with the rising numbers in most Canadian provinces, predictability has been thrown out the window. As the rising COVID-19 numbers have us grabbing for bulk toilet paper again, they are also impacting how services are delivered. We, as professionals, will guide your assignees through the morass, but we cannot make the coming months more predictable. Things are also changing rapidly. We are in constant contact with various provincial agencies, and we expect their rules to change rapidly, so we will update accordingly.