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NRI Relocation - Corporate Relocation and Leadership Musings

Millennials Won’t Relocate and Other Myths

The Millennial generation has a reputation for living with Mom and Dad and not being interested in relocating. At the same time, this generation of employees also has a reputation for job hopping. As with so much in Life, both of these assumptions are only partly true.

In fact, millennials are moving out of Mom and Dad’s house and away from their hometown. According to 2016 survey research by Mayflower, 59% of 18- to 35-year-old’s currently live in a locale other than their hometown and almost 80% have moved at some point in their lives, not counting moves made to attend college. And, over half of those moves (51%), were reportedly for career reasons.

It’s true that this wasn’t always the case. Just a few years ago, many HR professionals found getting millennial employees to accept transfer offers was challenging, at best, and near impossible, at worst.  But times have changed.

Millennials – particularly the ones born in the early part of this generation – are maturing and starting to work on their personal lives. While furthering their career remains important to them (in the Mayflower study, 75% of those surveyed said they would be willing to relocate for career reasons), the early members of the Millennial generation are getting married, starting families, and buying homes.

Yet, according to a study by Runzheimer, 78% of HR professionals still say they are less likely to relocate millennials due to their “job-hopping” reputation – in spite of the fact that the same study also found that that 48% of millennials have been with their current employer for at least three years.

This means that not considering millennials for relocation may be a costly mistake for companies. As you know, there are several excellent reasons why a company should consider relocating employees from their current talent pool, instead of hiring new employees.

One of the best reasons is to ensure your company retains its top talent. Millennials, having grown up in a time of economic uncertainty, have fewer expectations about remaining with the same company for their entire working careers than did previous generations. At the same time, millennials value new learning experiences; especially those experiences which are advantageous to their careers. A relocation offer that presents an opportunity for a millennial employee to learn new skills and move up the career ladder is likely to be viewed favorably.

To make the offer even more attractive, companies should consider revising their relocation packages to include incentives most attractive to millennial executives, such as family and spousal assistance, and bonuses tied to specific events such as the purchase of a home. (In the Runzheimer survey, 35% of millennials regarded a bonus as a key perk, compared to 25% of Baby Boomers.)

As relocation professionals, we’re seeing a significant shift towards younger employees relocating. Companies that are expanding – and particularly those engaged in succession planning – may want to review how they acquire and retain their best talent, how their employees of the future plan their careers, and how their relocation program may be best utilized to enhance bringing the goals of employees and employer together successfully.

NRI Relocation policy design services helps companies design their relocation program to look forward, not back. Whether we start from scratch, or revamp an existing program, we can help you design a relocation program that you are confident supports your recruitment and retention objectives, and is right for your company. To find out more, give us a call at 1-800-598-8887, or request a callback by sending us an email here.

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The Rising Tide of Change: How True Leadership Evolves

In the steady ebb and flow of life, sometimes it’s easy to allow ourselves to become lulled into a constant state of the familiar. Going with the flow of the changing tides or industry shifts, instead of making waves in trailblazing fashion.

NRI Relocation LeadershipThe current technological era almost mandates that information is exchanged at warp speed – that either our response is rapid so that gratification is instant or we risk becoming lost in a sea of “this is what we’ve always done” and merely drifting in complacency.

Change happens.

In school or at home, many of us were taught that being disruptive was not an acceptable behavioral pattern. That in order to conform within the expected standards of our teachers and parents, we were obligated to follow the norm. But just imagine if we were taught then, what we know now.

True leadership is innately disruptive.

As leaders we are tasked to go beyond business as usual and to stretch our teams outside their comfort zones in order to tap into the fullness of their potential. While navigating unchartered waters, especially during times of uncertainty, we often make key decisions that result in a slight alteration to the expected course or completely change the direction altogether.

But even while focused firmly on forward progress, great leaders are not afraid to shake things up a bit.

In the spirit of NRI’s pioneering founders, we remain committed to exploring new ways to better serve our clients while maintaining our high standards of personal service. This means championing new tools of the trade, while remaining true to our service mission of taking every relocation personally. It also means broadening our vision in order to avoid stagnancy in an industry that although is changing, is still firmly rooted in the sameness of routine that plagues many industries outside of the global mobility workforce.

John Zilka NRI RelocationAt NRI our leadership is evolving. We are excited to welcome John Zilka onto our management team in the newly added role of President. Along with solid industry experience, John brings a fresh perspective that we will leverage to expand our reach even further. John’s high level of enthusiasm mirrors the professional standards and commitment to excellence that he has honed throughout his career.

Get to know John in this Q & A

John can be reached directly at 847-465-5519 or via email at jzilka@nrirelocation.com

Join us in welcoming John to the NRI family!

Leadership Lessons from the Academy Awards

It was a drama that could have been dreamed up by a scriptwriter and a historic mix-up that will live (infamously) in Academy history.

But it was more than that…

When the Academy Awards accidently announced the wrong winner in the Best Picture category, it was an object lesson in failing to pay attention to detail and grace under fire.

Looking back at the tape, it seems obvious that something was not quite right. Warren Beatty looked uncertain and a little confused as he opened the envelope. Beatty is not only an Oscar winner, he has also been an Academy Awards announcer on several occasions, and is familiar with the routine. Although it’s not unusual for announcers to stretch out the tension of the moment a little, there was hesitancy about the way Beatty looked at Faye Dunaway, his co-announcer.

Unfortunately, Dunaway misread her partner’s cues and, giving only a cursory glance at the contents of the envelope, enthusiastically and incorrectly announced the winner as “La La Land”.

In fact, as 35 million viewers saw, Beatty had mistakenly been given the wrong envelope – a first in the Academy’s history.

Moonlight had actually won. Even worse, “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz had already begun his acceptance speech when he was told what had happened. It must have been a moment of incredible shock and crushing disappointment, but Horowitz handled it with grace, dignity, and leadership.

Taking control of the confusion on stage, he seized the mic and announced that “Moonlight” had won. When he realized that the confusion and shock weren’t allowing clarity for the audience or the performers, he snatched the winner’s card and held it up to the cameras to make it clear. Then he led his cast and crew offstage, clearing the way for “Moonlight” to receive their Oscar.

Most admirable about Horowitz’s actions was the way he made sure that “Moonlight” had their chance to receive the accolades they had earned without, in any way, seeking to detract from their shining moment by casting “La La land” as a victim.

Following Horowitz’s lead, the host for the evening, Jimmy Kimmel, tried to deflect the tension with a few jokes as he blamed himself for the error – which he had no part in. By shifting the focus on to himself, Kimmel deflected the possibility of finger pointing and put the show back on track.

In fact, it turned out to be one of the auditors from Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, the accounting firm that has long been responsible for counting Oscar ballots, who had handed over the wrong envelope in a moment of distraction. Continuing the pattern set by Horowitz and Kimmel, PwC issued a straight-forward apology to the producers and casts of both films and to the Academy, and vowed to investigate the mistake and ensure it never happened again.

In business, the occasional failure or mishap is inevitable. While mistakes are an unpleasant fact of life, what matters most is how an organization handles them, and the cue for that comes from the leader.

Own the mistake; apologize for it in a direct and uncompromising manner; fix it; examine the circumstances that led to the mistake; and develop protocol and systems to ensure there is no recurrence.

And then, like Jordan Horowitz, lead your team on to your next adventure.

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Of Comfort and Joy

It seems we are ending 2016 on a wave of emotion and uncertainty. The results of our recent presidential election, while greeted with joy by many, have left many others feeling less included and uncomfortable about what the future holds for them.

As a nation, we have faced challenges before. If there is one thing this election showed us, it is that none of us are perfect. Harder still, is the reminder that we can’t always control our circumstances, and that change that is welcomed by some may be viewed through an entirely different lens by others.

How we deal with change during challenging times is a reflection of our values and how closely we hold them. It’s not enough to simply talk about the importance of unity, diversity, and inclusion: we must live these values.Be Kind Dalai Lama Quote

One of the foundations of diversity and inclusion – foundational principles of our nation – is the mutual responsibility we share to lift us all up. We can demonstrate the strength of our beliefs in the ways in which we conduct ourselves in our relationships with others.

Every day is an opportunity to be responsive to the concerns of our colleagues and a chance to embark on a personal campaign to lift their spirits. We should never under-estimate the effect we can have on each other on an everyday basis. A careless remark or ill-considered action can have an impact far beyond that which we realize. By the same token, a moment of self-reflection can yield benefits far beyond a second’s rash action or word. Small moments add up to large events.

Like our communities, companies are only as strong as the bonds of common unity and feeling of belonging are strong. When we unite on what we hold in common, we are better able to recognize the unique skills and talents of individuals that contribute to a richer tapestry for us, collectively.

We pride ourselves at NRI on our unity and the close-knit, family-feel of our company. We were one of the first relocation companies to focus on the personal aspects of relocation, because to us, business is always, ultimately, about people. Over the years, NRI has built a loyal clientele by sticking to our motto of “taking relocation personally”, and it’s an achievement we’re proud of.

As we close out this season for gratitude I urge you to never stop believing that the person you see in the mirror each day has the power to make a positive difference. Let’s commit (or recommit) to listening and taking care of each other. Let’s recognize that none of us are perfect and that we may have taken others for granted. Let us act together in thoughtful and constructive ways to make the world a better place for all of us. And let us recognize the many blessings we enjoy and the opportunities to share them.

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Diversity Energizes Growth

“Diversity” is a hot topic today – and rightly so. American culture is an amalgam of diversity which has energized and fueled America’s rise to global economic and political dominance. And in the last several fifty years or so, our workplaces have come to reflect the nuanced diversity of our nation.

These days, “diversity in the workplace” encompasses so many things. Workplace diversity is now far more complex than race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. And Diversity in the workplace brings new perspectives and new ideas that fuel growth.workplace diversity is an important issue for companies that wish to move seamlessly into the future, where the marketplace promises to be even more complex and competitive than it is today.

Smart companies have programs in place to recruit, hire, train, mentor, promote and retain a variety of employees from a variety of backgrounds. The 21st-century workplace must include ethnic, racial, gender, and age diversity, including the presence of four generations of employees, if it is to flourish most effectively.

In medium-to-large organizations, strategic objectives are often planned and executed by work teams. Teams bring a collective energy to a project that a single operative cannot. The days of homogenous work groups – one gender, racial background, lifestyle, or belief system – are mostly gone, particularly if you work in an organization of 500 or more employees. And while the concept of a diverse workplace is in place in concept, many organizations still struggle with it in practice.

Some of this struggle may be related to a false sense of efficiency: homogenous teams tend to have less conflict, reach consensus quicker and often complete projects sooner. That is why some leaders mistakenly believe a homogenous team is better for business.

But creativity – the most fundamental component of innovation – thrives on input from multiple sources. Single-mindedness and groupthink are less likely to nurture creativity.

What might ultimately be the greatest diversity challenge for organizations is managing teams that include people from varying backgrounds who not only have different skill sets, but different mindsets. Many organizations today favor a flat organizational structure which means that team leaders not only can’t do the jobs of people who report to them, but they also may not understand how other team members think, process information or collaborate.

The result can be higher levels of conflict that must be skillfully managed so that teams develop the innovative strategies organizations need rather than falling into chaos.

Because while managing and leading a diverse workforce has its challenges – there are also rewards. Diverse teams are more likely to develop innovative products and services because they bring a rich tapestry of experiences and perspectives to their projects.

To develop a diverse, yet cohesive team (and keep it that way):

Communicate expectations and results.
Set expectations, follow through, report results, and adjust as needed. A lack of communication can make team members question whether their contribution was valued.

Communicate a sense of value.
Letting each person know they are a valued member of a team helps employees be open to sharing their perspectives and respectfully challenging established perspectives in the group. Seeing a project from a new and different point of view can result in breakthroughs.

Manage conflict.
Team members need to challenge each other so that each person brings their best ideas to the table. However, there is a difference between challenging and confronting. Different perspectives can bring conflict and conflict must be addressed promptly and managed appropriately by the team leader.

Be fair.
Playing fair isn’t just for the playground. Any sign of favoritism can make you seem less tolerant of one group over another. Unfairness will inevitably cause a rift among team members (and with you!) and trust and cohesiveness will be lost.
America has succeeded on a paradigm of diversity, and organizations that learn from this model will also be successful. Workplace diversity has many benefits for the bottom line because employees value a workplace that embraces and supports diversity. Promoting workplace diversity enhances and strengthens both your recruiting efforts and your retention efforts.