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  • Writer's pictureRELOCATE Global

REA 2018 relocate magazine winner

The winner of Relocate’s Excellence in Employee and Family Support Award this year was REA – Partners in Transition. This boutique global human resources consulting firm specialises in assistance for the accompanying spouse/partner, and supports relocating corporations, families and individuals.

As cost control becomes ever more prominent in mobility policy design and implementation, what can be viewed as additional, perhaps unnecessary, family-related support elements are being trimmed back.

A creative response to the needs of expatriate spouses

For many years, research has shown that the spouse/partner can make or break the relocation. Taking these issues to heart, REA has responded creatively to the need to support the expatriate spouse and family by providing high touch job search and integration support set within the context of organisational policy redesign placing greater emphasis on cost containment.

To address the recurring demand for lower cost global mobility programmes, driven by budget pressures prompting lump sum arrangements and core-flex polices, REA sought to deliver efficient and effective spouse/partner services but at reduced cost. It achieved this by creating exciting in-house tools that could facilitate a more self-directed spouse/partner experience. These new tools include the International Welcome Package, which complements live coaching with digital resources to help expatriates ease into their new culture and manage the challenges of change. Another is the Job Search Toolkit which provides career information for spouses that off-sets the expense of their valuable time working with a coach, enabling them to act independently and dig more deeply into local topics of immediate relevance for the job-search in their destination.

These services have not only filled a gap in the market but have also proved to be highly effective. Customer satisfaction has remained very high. Indeed, the Job Search Toolkit raised already high customer satisfaction ratings by 25 per cent and reduced urgent e-mail traffic, indicating a smoother, more efficient process.

A holistic approach to relocation support

The judging panel were impressed with REA’s holistic approach – examining both sides of the relocation experience, and thereby delivering efficiencies for more seamless expatriate assimilation. The judges were particularly delighted to see the effort deployed to help accompanying spouses/partners to land the right job, in the right place, at the right time, pay off.

REA is a virtual company, with employees and coaches situated worldwide. One of the key factors that impressed the judges was the company’s approach to managing these remotely working staff.

Despite operating virtually across a wide geographic spread, the judges noted “leadership is clearly accessible and staff are connected, highly valued and respected”. They added “staff turnover is very low, ensuring continuity of service and approach. Excellent use of technology is made by this firm, linking staff together and enabling coaches to be matched to customer needs”.

The judges concluded that the effort made by this small, niche consultancy was impressive, demonstrating considerable agility to keep pace with rapid trends in global mobility policies and their implementation. They added, “This organisation is clearly committed to focusing on their clients’ needs whilst simultaneously adapting to changing trends in the industry, all without sacrificing quality of service, supporting spouses and partners very effectively.”

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