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Winner of the 2018 Relocate Award for Best Mobility Research Contribution

IMPACT Group

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Above: Dr Sue Shortland (Judge), Barrie Gilmour, Tracy Stuart Kautzmann, Lucy Foster

IMPACT Group won the Best Mobility Research Contribution – a category new to the 2018 Relocate Awards – for its innovative assignee perspectives study, The People Perspective on Relocation.

Rather than focus on policy provision from an organisational perspective, IMPACT Group’s powerful research study presents an alternative viewpoint – it examines the effects of organisational support on people, giving hard data on the value of ‘soft’ services.

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Its assignee, spouse and family perspective provides information on how organisational support such as career coaching, interview tools for spouses/partners and transition assistance for children is received. This enables global mobility professionals to assess the value of their policy and practice on facilitating family mobility from the relocated individuals’ perspective. 

Improving mobility outcomes

The judging panel regarded IMPACT Group’s study, as “a unique piece of research that is helpful to both practitioners and academics in taking knowledge forward through an understanding of how relocated individuals benefit from services such as spouse/partner job search and family integration support”. They added, “It is refreshing to see this different viewpoint” because while many surveys provide data on organisational policy components, “it is rare to see feedback analysed on how such support is received and the difference it can make to mobility outcomes.”

Analysing the assignee demographics

The judges also noted that the assessment of the differing needs of varying assignee demographics is immensely helpful to global mobility personnel in policy design and implementation. They said “the survey is a great tool to help organisations see past the initial short-term financials of assignments to look ahead and also see the longer term financial gain and avoidance of financial loss from assignment failure”.


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Read about the winners of the other Relocate Awards in the Summer issue of Relocate Magazine.


The People Perspective on Relocation is based on over 3,000 assignee responses, drawn from 372 client firms and 54 countries.

The research compares experiences before and after assignees relocate, giving assignee feedback on their relocation experience and the support that they received. The rationale behind the research is that employee happiness affects engagement, productivity, and willingness to move again. Together, these add up to a reflection of the effect on the bottom line. The judges noted “This is an unusual approach and one that is most welcomed”.

Sharing valuable perspectives

The importance of the spouse/partner and family perspective can be assessed from the survey’s key statistics: 89 per cent of relocatees move with their spouse/partner, 52 per cent move with children and 33 per cent move with pets. While 32 per cent are reported as relocating alone, interestingly 2 per cent of relocatees move with elders/parents, reflecting an aging society and changing caring responsibilities.

Key findings indicate that employees who relocate are highly engaged, that career development drives mobility, and that when integration assistance is provided, employees reach peak productivity. The importance of job search coaching and interview assistance is emphasised as it makes a substantial difference to dual income partners.

In addition, the survey addresses the perspectives of the millennials new to the experience of relocation. Their motivations are reported to include career advancement and social responsibility, rather than compensation. The research finds that 97 per cent of millennials report their relocation experiences as successful.

Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.

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©2018. This article first appeared in the Summer 2018 edition of Relocate magazine, published by Profile Locations, Spray Hill, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst, Kent TN3 8JB. All rights reserved. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of Profile Locations. Profile Locations accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. 

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