Are You Providing the Right Level of Employee Relocation Support?

Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Echo Lei

Moving a new or existing employee from one location to another to support your organizational objectives is an essential part of modern business growth. Employee relocations are seen by many as important, or very important, to their organization, but they can also present difficulties when you do not provide the right level of support and make the best employee selection for your mobility program.

Relocating an employee is an extremely costly exercise, and the chances of a failed international assignment are high without proper planning and strategy. Overseas placements can be stressful for employees and their families; therefore, it is of paramount importance that organizations provide the right level of support. The most common reason for a failed international assignment is a poor cultural fit, where the employee struggles to adapt to a foreign culture and the assignment is terminated prematurely, resulting in heavy costs to the company in both financial and employee satisfaction terms.

Let’s take a look at a case study where a global athletic apparel company suffered substantial losses because their employees could not adapt to the host location culture and had to cut their assignment short.

Case Study: Renowned Global Athletic Apparel Company


Employees from North America were sent to East Asia on assignment to support their local teams. The company did not provide a detailed briefing for the employees to properly convey the destination country’s cultural norms, beliefs, practices, and expectations. As a result, the employees did not have a comprehensive understanding of their destination country and had difficulty settling in quickly. The employees struggled to adjust and adapt to the very different culture and lifestyle, compounded by the additional impact of COVID-19, and they shortened the assignment period abruptly after just a few months.

Costs Incurred by the Organization

Due to the prematurely terminated assignments, the company incurred a number of costs:

  • Lost rental deposits: Deposits made to the landlord for the rental apartments were forfeited (for some countries in Asia, a two-month rental deposit needs to be made to secure an apartment). In this case, the company had to forfeit a total of close to US$25,000.
  • Additional household goods shipping costs: The company incurred additional costs to ship the employees’ personal belongings back to North America.
  • Failed projects: As the employees terminated the assignment prematurely, the projects they were overseeing could not be completed and the organization was unable to implement any new initiatives, resulting in a loss of competitive edge.

Evidently, failed international assignments have far-reaching effects on the organization. Not only does the organization incur monetary costs, but incomplete projects are detrimental to the organization’s progress and the growth of the impacted employees. In an increasingly competitive market, organizations simply cannot afford to lose out in any way. Therefore, it is crucial to provide the right level of support and select the right employees for your mobility program.

How Can SIRVA BGRS Help?

SIRVA BGRS is a global leader in relocation and moving services, offering broad solutions to the employee mobility industry. We provide a full suite of services to meet all of your mobility needs. Our dedicated global advisory services team works closely with you to design a comprehensive mobility program best suited to your needs and organizational goals. We also provide in-depth cultural training and destination support services to familiarize your employees with the destination location prior to starting their assignments.

As a global leader in relocation, we pride ourselves in our ability to help companies maximize their return on investment, while keeping costs low and ensuring all employees are supported before, during, and after their assignment.

To enquire more about our services, please drop us an email at