How to Keep Employees Happy While Moving Your Business

The following is a guest post from Felicia Schwartz.

When a business decides to relocate, it can cause many of the company employees to make a difficult decision — move with the company and keep their jobs, or resign their positions and remain where they are.

As a business, there are a number of things you can do to encourage your employees to remain committed to the company during this transitional period; from offering to pay movers to creating work-at-home options.

By showing your employees you value their contribution to the business and consider their needs during the relocation, you’ll likely retain more employees in the long run.

How to Put Your Employees First

A business may make the decision to relocate for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the move is the result of downsizing due to the current economy.

On the other hand, the move may be because of a planned expansion as the company grows. In other situations, the tax advantages, or cost of operations benefits, are simply too good to pass up in another location.

Regardless of the reason for the move, bringing in as many existing employees as possible makes for a smoother transition and makes economic sense, in most cases.

For every employee you lose as a result of the move, you’ll need to locate, hire and train a replacement. In order to entice your existing employees to make the move with your business, consider implementing the following policies whenever possible.

1) Be Honest and Upfront

As soon as the move is set in stone, inform your employees and continue to keep them informed throughout the process. Let them know you’re working on policies that you hope will convince them to move along with the company.

Create an open door policy that encourages your employees to express concerns, or offer suggestions related to the move. By feeling as though they’re part of the move, they’ll be more likely to consider moving along with the company.

2) Create Remote Positions

In today’s digital world, much more can be accomplished from remote locations than what could be a decade ago. Everything from answering company telephones to accounts payable can often be accomplished from home or by independent contractors.

The more technologically oriented your business, the more work-at-home positions you may be able to create. Consider a once a week, or once a month, face-to-face meeting if necessary.

Often, even if you offer to pay for transportation to these meetings, it can actually be more cost-effective than having an onsite employee, meaning both you and the employee benefit from the arrangement.

3) Open Satellite Locations

If an actual office is necessary, consider opening small satellite offices or keeping a small satellite office at the present location for key employees.

This may also work well if you create work-at-home positions yet continue to need occasional face-to-face meetings. Again, not only will this allow you to retain valuable employees but may also be convenient for customers or clients.

4) Offer Flexible Schedules

If you’re moving an hour away, not a state away, think about offering flexible work hours and/or work weeks.

For employees that will need to drive the additional hour each way, working three 12 hours days (instead of the conventional five day work week) can save four hours of driving time each week; as well as result in a considerable savings in gas and transportation expenses.

Even if you’re moving farther away, you can still offer a flexible schedule to employees. For some, flying in for three or four days a week and then flying back home may be an attractive option.

5) Agree to Pay Expenses

If the business is moving within driving distance, offer to compensate employees for the additional expense of getting to work each day.

If the move will require employees to move as well, offer to pay the expenses associated with the move such as household movers or hotel expenses. You may also consider offering employees additional paid time off from work in order to house hunt in the new location as well as offer a referral service to connect employees with realtors in the new city.

By following these suggestions, you should be able to keep most of your employees happy during this difficult transitional period.

Even if you can’t get every employee to relocate with the business, they’ll know you gave them more than enough help to make the transition easier. This will lead to happier employees and ultimately to a more productive business.


Felicia Schwartz, startup, business revenue, small business, easy business ideas, startup ideas, business lawFelicia Schwartz is a writer and startup partner living in Indianapolis. She writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.



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Photo credit: Meathead Movers



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