Living in the community you serve creates a kind of understanding that living in another city just doesn’t provide. This is why many government organizations are encouraging employee relocation by offering incentives and showing off community benefits.
If you’ve been searching for ways to encourage employees to live where they work, we have a few ideas to help draw them in.
Sponsor a visit
Bringing current or potential employees in for a visit allows them to see the office building, meet their coworkers in person and see the community first-hand. This is also a great time to show off possible community advantages like schools, parks, museums and other popular features and hot spots.
Give them employee giveaways like a padfolio and pen so they can take notes, as well as store important brochures, business cards or other information they’ll want to remember while they consider a move.
Focus on family
Many recruits have partners and children to consider before making a move. Try addressing their concerns by sharing information on local schools, job opportunities and community groups that may be of interest. Include partners and children, if possible, on any house-hunting trips or community visits. Assure employees that moves can be planned around the school year or other life events. And be sure to keep the lines of communication open so they can discuss any concerns via email or a phone call.
Offer a few employee giveaways to the family, like a jacket or shirt, to make them feel more at home.
Help them afford a home
For some employees, finding safe and affordable housing can create a barrier to changing communities. Some organizations have helped alleviate this by offering interest-free loans of up to $10,000 for first-time homebuyers. Loans are forgiven after five years of city employment. In the broader public sector here in Canada, the University of British Columbia entices staff to live on-campus by renting properties it owns to select employees for 25% below market value.
Cover moving expenses
In addition to purchasing or renting a place, moving also creates a number of employee relocation expenses. Knowing they won’t have to cover those costs can make the move more attractive to employees. You can offer a variety of options, including:
- Lump sum: Give the employee a set amount of money to cover moving expenses so they can pay their contractors directly.
- Capped allowance: Let employees know how much they can spend, and have contractors bill you.
- Combination: Provide them with some direct funds and have contractors bill you directly for the rest.
Moving is always a challenge and putting unexpected work expectations on top of it can add to new job stress. Providing clear expectations in writing that cover moving dates, when they are expected in the office, and which costs and services your organization can cover will make it easier for employees to see what the process of moving will truly mean for them. Plus, it shows how invested you are in getting them into the community.
Get the information to them in a folder so they can keep it on hand and easily reference it.
Every community is special in its own way. And when you’d like your staff to understand the community they serve, employee relocation can bring them home.