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Welcome to our Blog

Our blog lets us share with you current news and views from the world of HR and Global Mobility which we hope you will find interesting, informative and even entertaining. Along with our own thoughts and opinions we will bring you external articles and updates on items we think may matter to you.

We hope you enjoy reading our blog.

11
Jun
2015
International Moving – Get it Right
Managing global relocations doesn’t have to be complicated.
26
May
2015
The Future of the Workplace
Global operations have created a fast-moving business world where communication is more flexible and technology-driven than ever before.
05
May
2015
Top Locations for Expat Living
An increasing number of employees work abroad. So where are the most popular locations for expat living?
30
Apr
2015
600-Mile Success!
The BTR International team is pleased to confirm that MD Jonathan Pinchin has finished his gruelling 600-mile trek for charity.
22
Apr
2015
Global Relocation: The Options
What can organisations consider other than fully and physically relocating part of their operation?
07
Apr
2015
Choosing the Right International Removal Partner
When organising international relocations, choosing the right partner to manage and implement the physical move is crucial.
23
Mar
2015
600-mile walk for charity
Jonathan Pinchin of BTR International is walking 600 miles to raise much needed support for the children’s service of Keech Hospice.
12
Mar
2015
Retaining Global Talent
Recruiting the right talent for your organisation is one challenge. Retaining employees is another – especially as talent mobility increases.
26
Feb
2015
Business-Driven HR
Today, HR teams must focus on driving talent outcomes. This is especially the case in larger and/or global organisations.
16
Feb
2015
Global Relocation Success
35% of employees would like to work abroad, with 25% of professionals feeling that their career prospects have improved due to international assignments.
International Moving – Get it Right

International Moving – Get it Right

Managing global relocations doesn’t have to be complicated.
A stress-free move helps people to embrace new opportunities quickly. The right relocation and move partner will look after the emotional wellbeing of those involved (including families and partners) as well as the physical move required.

Choosing the right partner directly impacts upon the early success of the relocation… and the internal reputation of employers. It’s important to work with the right organisation – so what should you look for?

Three important questions for global move partners:

1. What relevant experience do you have?

A proven track record which is similar to the size and location(s) involved with your global relocations is a must. Experience means local knowledge and partners, awareness of travel timescales and requirements plus proven ability to transfer household effects and support assignees in the destinations involved.

Tip: Ask for client feedback as well as verbal confirmation of relevant experience – survey results should be available.

2. What international moving accreditations do you have?
The most relevant and prestigious accreditation within the international moving industry is FIDI. It is the largest global alliance of professional moving and relocation companies.

The FAIMplus standard is recognised as the most prestigious within the international moving industry and requires ongoing compliance with a rigorous and testing external audit process.

FIDI states: Every FIDI Affiliate complies with the rigorous FIDI-FAIM quality standard, generally accepted as the supreme professional industry standard worldwide. This ensures final customers that only the top quality movers are part of the network. To us, clients' satisfaction is the most important, and we can only reach this if they can trust our members.

There are many other relevant associations. BTR International is also a member of BAR Overseas, IAM, FEDEMAC and LACMA.

Tip: Ultimately, FIDI’s FAIMplus standard is the highest standard that your international move partner can achieve – why settle for anything less?

3. What liability cover do you have?
In the unlikely event that something should go wrong, you need to know that your international moving partner has the right liability cover in place.

Liability cover should cover transit and storage as required, including replacement of lost/damaged items.

Depending upon the locations involved with the move, specialist insurance may be required – such as marine insurance (covering belongings whilst in transit over/across water by vehicle, ship or aircraft.

Tip: Ask for liability cover details – and claim history.


Global relocation support

The above information will be crucial to your choice of move partner. Once this is in place there is one more question… what level of support will your organisation – as well as your assignee - receive?

“Supporting HR teams as well as assignees is a crucial part of the relocation process”, explains Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International. “You need to be able to rely upon a single point of contact for a quick, knowledgeable response, 24/7.”

To find out more about the support and services available from BTR International, contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.

For more information about choosing a global move partner, see tips from FIDI here.
The Future of the Workplace

The Future of the Workplace

Global operations have created a fast-moving business world where communication is more flexible and technology-driven than ever before.
As Human Resources teams create workplaces and processes to cope with needs of tomorrow, preparation must acknowledge the workplace myths of today.

A recent report by Daniel Holzinger of Colited explains the most common myths about the workplace of the future:

1. Email is dead

Current research reveals that email usage in the USA has decreased by 20% from 2008 – 2012, (McKinsey & Company). However - it is still an important communication tool. Young people prefer messaging tools however this is not always appropriate in a business setting.

2. One communication method fits all

Emails and social collaboration platforms combine to offer efficient and effective communication. Online meetings solutions have been embraced by many businesses – especially those with are international. A mix of communication methods is required – each being flexible and user-friendly.

3. The home office is a thing of the past

Some organisations such as Yahoo have recalled all home office workers back into their corporate offices. However Holzinger states that research shows that home working increases productivity by 40%. A balance of task-orientated home working with a regular day of commuting to the office achieves optimum benefits and addresses potential isolation issues.

4. The right work-life balance will solve all problems

It simply isn't practical to turn thoughts off once the ‘working day’ is over. Maintaining an inner balance and listening to the body’s signals offer an ideal solution.

5. Leading remote and local teams are the same


When teams are spread geographically, a culture of trust and careful communication is essential. Understanding and accepting responsibilities become even more important when self-motivation is key.

6. Individual office space is less important

Many people simply don't perform well within a flexible office space. Detailed analysis will enable organisations to offer the work environment best suited to each individual employee.

7. Good IT solutions are multi-functional

Only easy-to-use IT solutions will be accepted and used, allowing anticipated productivity benefits to be achieved.


“It’s important that employers acknowledge individuals’ requirements when creating working systems,” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International. “This is especially true during international assignments when other factors of change and adjustment will affect productivity.”

He adds: “We find that supporting the assignees and their families during the relocation process can reduce anxiety and help workers to adjust to a new country and workplace more quickly.”

“If you are involved with managing international assignments, talk to BTR International. We aim to ensure that every relocation is as stress-free as possible, for the assignees, their families and the organisations involved.”

Find out more - contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.
Top Locations for Expat Living

Top Locations for Expat Living

An increasing number of employees work abroad. So where are the most popular locations for expat living?
Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living report shows the most popular locations – taken from an analysis of living conditions in 440 cities. 39 factors were considered, including:

• Culture and environment
• Political stability
• Safety
• Infrastructure
• Ease of doing business

Vienna in Austria topped the list, followed by Zurich in Switzerland.

London dropped two places to 42nd spot in the 2015 list. The factors preventing a higher ranking were cited as traffic congestion and air pollution.

Mayor Boris Johnson is aiming for London to become the first Ultra Low City by 2020. He is penalising rather than encouraging drivers who aren’t ‘driving green’. (He plans to increase to congestion charge for diesel vehicles to £10. Paris will ban diesel engines from 2020. London could follow.) Perhaps this will influence London’s standing in future Quality of Living polls?

Here is the new list of top 10 locations for quality of living – a big factor when it comes to expat locations:

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Auckland, New Zealand
4. Munich, Germany
5. Vancouver, Canada
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
7. Frankfurt, Germany
8. Geneva, Switzerland
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
10. Sydney, Australia

It is interesting to note that these – and the rest of the top 30 countries are all within America, Europe or Australasia.

“Whilst these countries are often more familiar regarding their cultures and languages, it is still important to plan ahead and carefully prepare for a move abroad,” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International. “Providing support regarding lifestyle and practical living arrangements as well as the move itself is crucial to the success of any relocation.”

If you would like to find out more about the support available for international assignees, contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.
600-Mile Success!

600-Mile Success!

The BTR International team is pleased to confirm that MD Jonathan Pinchin has finished his gruelling 600-mile trek for charity.
Jonathan started his walk on 19th March, leaving St. Jean Pied de Port in southwest France. He finished last week having walked nearly 600 miles. His destination was Santiago in Spain – via mountains, orchards and many villages.

BTR International Keech Hospice Walk

“We are all very proud of JP,” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Manager at BTR International. “He had just one rest day throughout the 35–day walk. It’s an incredible achievement… and he has the blisters to prove it!”

“As well as congratulating JP, I would like to thank everyone who has supported him and Keech Hospice by sponsoring him.”

Keech Hospice’s children’s service offers palliative care to children diagnosed with a life-limiting condition – and their families too.

If you would like to recognise Jonathan’s huge effort by supporting the children’s department of the Keech Hospice in Luton, please donate here:

https://www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Pinchin/

Thank you.
Global Relocation: The Options

Global Relocation: The Options

What can organisations consider other than fully and physically relocating part of their operation?
Increasingly, international businesses need a global presence.

Online communication is quick and cost effective. But it doesn’t replace the power of face-to-face rapport and cultural courtesy.

A new report from Grant Thornton reminds business leaders that there are choices alongside full migration to consider – many with simpler processes and cost savings.

Four global relocation options are suggested:

1. Full migration – a simpler tax and legal framework can be achieved however any reputational challenges and costs must be considered

2. Intellectual property regional hubs – relocation of IP activities maximises protection and minimised tax.

3. Offshoring – this option capitalises upon the availability of technical staff, tax efficiencies and investment incentives

4. Lower risk models – where physical relocation isn’t possible, operations can be run through a commissionaire, franchise or licence model. This reduces risk and also profitability.

Each of these options can offer access to markets, cost savings and simplified compliance requirements. There is another crucial factor that they have in common: people.

Businesses need to be aware of what can stop talent mobility from being successful. Research by Lee Hecht Harrison’s 2015 Talent Mobility research identified the three most common reasons:

• Lack of organisational understanding of talent mobility
• No strategic approach in place to develop future talent needs
• Talent ‘territorialism’ amongst key stakeholders

Regardless of the commercial objectives, organisations must prepare the people involved. Penny Shawah writes for Mobility Magazine. She explains: “All in all, moving overseas can sometimes be a stressful experience, but in most cases, a truly exhilarating one. With the right preparation, a few checklists, and some open dialogue, the right service provider will make the process a smooth one.”

Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International, echoes this opinion. He explains: “By helping international assignees relocate throughout the world, we’ve seen how planning and support impacts hugely upon the success of global assignments.”

He adds: “When considering relocation or regional hubs, organisations must also ensure that a relevant and robust relocation policy is in place. This really does make global mobility as stress-free as possible”

If you would like to create or review your relocation policy, or discuss your move requirements for international assignees, contact Kevin for an informal discussion. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.




Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Choosing the Right International Removal Partner

Choosing the Right International Removal Partner

When organising international relocations, choosing the right partner to manage and implement the physical move is crucial.
Removing and transporting assignees’ possession must be done carefully and professionally. It’s an emotive part of the process. So what should HR teams look out for when choosing a relocation and removal partner?

1. Accreditations of Achievement
Credible organisations will definitely have the right accreditations, underlining their credibility and professionalism. UK-based movers should belong to the British Association of Removers’ Overseas Group. BAR has been the recognised voice of the UK’s professional moving and storage industry for over 100 years. Look out for their logo… with the Overseas Remover label underneath the badge. Other respected global removal organisations include IAM, LACMA and FEDEMAC.

The FAIMplus standard is recognized as the most prestigious within the international moving industry. It requires ongoing compliance with a rigorous and testing external audit process. FAIMplus is the highest standard awarded by FIDI (Federation of International Movers), a global alliance of quality assured removal companies of which BTR International is a proud member.

Quality and environmental management standards demonstrate holistic best practice throughout an organisation. Choosing a move partner with ISO9001 and ISO14001 gives piece of mind about the quality and responsibility of the wider operation, which will ultimately support your assignees’ moves.

2. Independence
A truly independent partner will offer you unbiased, bespoke advice. Importantly, they won’t be obliged to use partner organisations, instead having the freedom to use the best suppliers to meet your requirements. Ask about the team that will be implementing the physical move. A direct team offers consistency, specialist experience and a greater degree of accountability. This in turn enables clients to benefit from solid, practical advice.

3. Proven track record
Any credible organisation will be happy to provide references of their work and will value customer feedback. Ask about local experience relevant to the move locations. Find out about any customer satisfaction surveys too.

4. Easy Communication
“Having a consistent point of contact available any time, every day offers enormous reassurance to assignees and organisations alike”, says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International. “We firmly believe in the personal touch, and appoint a dedicated account manager and move manager to handle all communication with you and your assignees. Our team are experienced and fully trained, from the uniformed packing crews to the move managers who will coordinate every step of the process.”

5. Liability Cover
It is essential that each move has adequate liability cover. Everyone hopes that it won’t be needed. It’s rarely called upon, but in these unusual situations, everyone is relieved that it’s in place. Check that your global move partner can offer you the level of cover that you need.

In summary, use the above points to check for:

• A quality assured service
• Attention to detail
• Personalised and professional approach

Find out more about the international removal services from BTR International. We are happy to discuss any of the above points with you. Contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.
600-mile walk for charity

600-mile walk for charity

Jonathan Pinchin of BTR International is walking 600 miles to raise much needed support for the children’s service of Keech Hospice.
Our Managing Director is at the start of his impressive journey, setting off from St. Jean Pied de Port in southwest France on 19th March.

The famous Camino trail will take him across two mountain ranges, across vineyards and orchards and through the cities of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon.

Jonathan is due to arrive in Santiago de Compostela in Spain on 22nd April. When he reaches Santiago, he would have walked 600 miles! He’ll have just one day of rest – in Leon on 10th April.

Jonathan’s tremendous achievement will offer much needed support to the children’s service of Keech Hospice. The team offers Palliative Care Services to the whole family of a child or young person diagnosed with a life-limiting condition.

If you would like to support Keech Hospice and Jonathan’s 600-mile walk, please register your donation at Jonathan’s Just Giving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Pinchin/

Thank you for your support.
Retaining Global Talent

Retaining Global Talent

Recruiting the right talent for your organisation is one challenge. Retaining employees is another – especially as talent mobility increases.
Recent research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) shows that nearly a third of employees are looking for a new job this year. They said that better management would tempt them to take a new role.

35% employees would like the chance to work abroad, giving global organisations a distinct advantage in the race for retention.

So how can HR teams optimise retention? To achieve this, the top reasons why employees leave must be understood. A 2014 survey of 8,000 employees by BambooHR shows that these are:

1. Advancement opportunities
2. Work/life balance
3. Salary and benefits package


In reality, what ‘tips the balance’ and starts employee dissatisfaction? BambooHR cites these as:

1. My boss doesn’t trust me
2. Work expectations outside of working hours
3. Difficult colleagues
4. Being blamed for my boss’ mistakes
5. Lack of flexibility

Whilst a small degree of employee turnover can be beneficial to the company, it is something to be proactively controlled to ensure business success. International assignments can offer the flexibility and empowerment that many employees seek, as well as meeting operational requirements.

“Supporting employees as they start assignments abroad is a crucial factor to the success of the assignment for the employee and the organisation” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International. “Helping individuals and their families with their move abroad – from orientation to learning a new language – means that employees settle in their new role and new home more quickly”

Find out more. Contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.



Image courtesy of Cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Business-Driven HR

Business-Driven HR

Today, HR teams must focus on driving talent outcomes. This is especially the case in larger and/or global organisations.
Only 5% – 10% of companies surveyed recently had truly achieved ‘business driven’ HR, fully utilising the evolution of both HR and technology. These organisations had optimised their talent programmes and their HR service delivery. (Source: Bresin, CIPD)

Even for these high achievers change remains inevitable, based upon:

• The emergence of network recruiting and talent warehousing, thereby reducing the cost and timescale of hiring.

• The digital learning environment, offering a ‘learn on demand’ solution, independent of location.

Josh Bersin of Deloitte suggests that: “The core of high-impact HR today is creating more specialists and locating them closer to the business, where they can drive the most value.“

Recruitment teams must recognise the roles and culture of local positions. Plus, local groups should determine the best learning solutions for their own teams. But – does this localisation move HR back in time to the days of placing HR teams throughout the business?

No. That’s where technology helps, offering standard policies, guidelines and templates across the business operation. Deloitte’s report shows how high-impact HR teams have adapted their model to achieve success:

• They have almost 65% specialists, reducing the need for generalists
• They create ‘networks’ – rather than ‘centres’ - of expertise
• Senior-level HR business partners have local control
• Their focus is on effectiveness and outcomes
• HR is pushed to solve business problems and deliver business outcomes
• Strong internal technology and subsequent commonality is created
• They have a professional development team for the HR function

“We understand that HR teams are crucial to the success of global mobility,” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International. “Our role is to make sure that international relocations are completed as smoothly as possible, helping HR teams and assignees alike. This involves everything from helping to create a comprehensive relocation policy to assisting individuals with moving and living in their new location.”

The role of HR is a delicate balance between local understanding and global business objectives. As global talent mobility increases, so will the value of hi-impact HR.

To make your organisation’s talent mobility as stress-free as possible, contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or via +44 (0) 1582 495495.

Image courtesy of Sheelamohan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Global Relocation Success

Global Relocation Success

35% of employees would like to work abroad, with 25% of professionals feeling that their career prospects have improved due to international assignments.
The enthusiasm exists, the opportunities are increasing and a growing number of HR teams have international relocation policies in place.

But – 70% businesses think that global mobility is underperforming or needs significant investment.

So how can HR teams make sure that global relocations are as stress-free as possible, encouraging quick, optimum productivity?

Here are our top three tips for global relocation success, based upon over 20 years’ experience of international relocations:


1. Preparation
Both the HR team and individual assignees need to understand the process involved. Communication is vital. Assignees often have concerns about the move even though they are looking forward to their new role and lifestyle.

Organisations should develop a relocation policy that everyone involved is aware of and refers to.

Assignees should be able to visit their envisaged location ahead of the move – ‘fear of the unknown’ causes anxiety. (See our recent blog - 'Five Concerns About Relocating Abroad'.)

Early communication with your relocation partner will give individuals an opportunity to discuss their requirements and concerns. This lifestyle overview will help with providing the right orientation and addressing key issues such as housing, transport and schools.


2. Integration
What is the biggest fear amongst internal assignees? Isolation.

‘Live like a local’ advises Noelle Know of The Wall Street Journal. “Don’t go from the office and back to your corporate housing. Learn the language, make friends in the country and adapt to local norms. Showing teams on the ground you respect and understand their culture is highly valued.”

Essential to early integration is language tuition and cross-cultural training. Expat Explorer confirms that not being able to speak the language is one of the largest barriers to settling into a new country: “Learn the language and see how things open up for you.”


3. Ongoing Support
Relocation should offer support before, during and after the move for both the assignees and their families.

The family’s failure to settle in their new location is the most common reason that international assignees leave early. Relocation policies should include ‘investigative’ trips to a new location before the move, plus opportunities to visit home during the year.

“Understanding the moving process will help ease the transition, however it’s the support available during those initial weeks in a new country which will be crucial to the long term success of the relocation” explains Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International.


Global talent mobility is growing fast. To make sure that your international relocation policy is as effective and successful as possible, contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or via +44 (0) 1582 495495.


(Sources: Hydrogen Group, International HR Adviser, Talent Management)

Image courtesy of rajcreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net