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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.

14
Jun
2018
Spotting Reluctant Relocations
For most people, relocating overseas is a little daunting and very exciting. However some people simply don’t relish international assignments. Spotting the signs can prevent…
29
May
2018
5 Traits of Successful Global Employees
Global talent is predicted to reach 3.5 billion by 2030. However the McKinsey Global Institute’s report also forecasts a shortage of skilled workers. The result?…
30
Apr
2018
3 Ways to De-Stress International Relocations
Employees are likely to be excited about their imminent global assignments – and a little anxious too. So what can HR managers do to minimise…
06
Apr
2018
Take a Break!
Despite a plethora of research into work-life balance and working hours, UK workers are still bad at taking breaks. Worrying trends are emerging, reflecting the…
27
Mar
2018
Packing for Your Global Assignment
Most assignees choose to use our professional packing service. It’s quicker, safer and far smoother. These tips will help your arrival at your new home…
20
Feb
2018
5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner
Organising international relocations doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, choosing the right relocation partner can ensure that assignees’ moves are completed smoothly and with…
09
Feb
2018
Managing International Relocation: The HR Perspective
As the fallout of Brexit starts to become clearer, an increasing number of HR professionals are managing international relocations.
26
Jan
2018
3 Global Mobility Trends
Today’s International Relocation policies need to recognise three trends in order to provide best practice…
15
Dec
2017
Ten Christmas Travel Tips
All too often, stressful journeys create a bad start to the holidays. Here are ten simple steps to help enjoy a smooth journey and arrive…
12
Dec
2017
Our Global Relocation Survey Says…
Customer feedback is extremely important to the team at BTR International. Referrals and recommendations are the lifeblood of our business and first impressions count.
Spotting Reluctant Relocations

Spotting Reluctant Relocations

For most people, relocating overseas is a little daunting and very exciting. However some people simply don’t relish international assignments. Spotting the signs can prevent costly U-turns and longer settlement periods…
Recruitment specialist Mike Evers told Inside Counsel magazine: “The reality of moving is different from the thought of moving.” He added: “we have gotten pretty good at figuring out who is willing to pull the trigger on such a major life change. That assessment is just as important as matching credentials and culture fit.”

According to Evers, there are five useful signs to spot when assessing whether an assignee will be genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of relocating to a new country:

1. Single vs Partners
Single people relocate alone – without the support of a partner in their new location. They will be starting a new personal life on their own. This means they may take longer to settle into their new role and country.

2. Early Family Involvement
The earlier an assignee involves their spouse and family in reviewing information and asking for details, the more successful the relocation is likely to be. Any progress along the acceptance route without the clear involvement of the employee’s spouse signposts problems ahead.

3. Children
Relocations that involve older children are very difficult. Evers states that: “Even more than a reluctant spouse, teenage children have tremendous influence in this process. Almost without exception, our successful relocation experiences have involved candidates with young kids or no kids.”

4. Resume Clues
Looking at potential assignees’ work history, those who have already worked or lived overseas are most likely to settle quickly in an international relocation.

5. Recruiting Externally?
It is often assumed that, when recruiting externally, someone who is currently unemployed will be more open to the idea of moving abroad. Evers explains: “It’s a bad assumption, and this is actually the most common cold feet scenario. Currently employed candidates tend to do a good job of thinking through the location before investing time and effort in an interview process.  Conversely, and understandably, unemployed candidates seize interview opportunities and always show great enthusiasm early.  The relocation reality check tends to hit them later in the process.”

BTR International has been helping assignees to relocate to new countries for over 30 years. “As well as helping with the physical move, we help assignees and their families to fit into their new surroundings and integrate into to the local culture,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist from BTR International.

She adds: “This aspect can make or break the success of an international relocation. Spotting potential problems and discussing them as soon as possible can stop them from escalating further along the relocation process, causing problems for the individuals and organisation involved.”

To find out more or discuss your relocation requirements without obligation, contact Louise via  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.
5 Traits of Successful Global Employees

5 Traits of Successful Global Employees

Global talent is predicted to reach 3.5 billion by 2030. However the McKinsey Global Institute’s report also forecasts a shortage of skilled workers. The result? The competition for global workers is set to intensify…
A five-year study of the global workforce by Tsedal Neeley highlights five traits of successful global workers. International recruitment teams should be aware of these attributes, strengthening their organisations’ talent mobility during increasingly competitive times.

Neeley says: “Rather than assuming we’ll work in one location, in our native culture, we will need new skills, attitudes, and behaviors that help us work across cultures. Our ways of thinking about careers, colleagues, and collaboration will need to become more flexible and adaptable.”

Often, international assignees need to work across different countries, languages and cultures. Neely suggests five traits that help global workers to be successful:
 
1. Positive indifference. Embracing cultural differences rather than seeing them as obstacles helps global workers to adjust to international relocation. This is particularly important of less important differences such as the need to wear identity badges, for example.

“Positive indifference is important for two reasons, explains Neely. “One, because global work is by definition likely to bring employees into contact with cultural differences and culturally diverse practices, the ability to adapt smartly could be the difference between success and failure. And two, positive indifference makes work life that much easier in a global firm because employees are open to learning and exploring new terrains.”
 
2. Commonality between cultures. Similarities, just like differences, may seem small yet they can bring colleagues from different cultures closer together. Embracing common elements helps teams to bond and become more productive.
 
3. Global vs local belonging. A sense of belonging with the larger organisation rather than the local office has greater potential for commitment, understanding and job satisfaction.

4. Seeking interactions with other, geographically distant subsidiaries. Communicating with international colleagues enables:
• Shared learning and experiences
• Spread of best practice
• Greater efficiencies

“In general, when interactions are high, there is a greater ability to develop trust and shared vision among international coworkers,” explains Neeley.

5. Aspiring to a global career. The research findings show that travel, living in a new country, and the opportunities for career advancement attracted global career aspirations. For many, the advancement of a global career is linked to their ability to speak English.


“Comprehensive relocation policies give assignees the support framework for their global roles, however the attitude and approach of each individual are key to realizing the full potential of each opportunity,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist at BTR International.

If you would like a no-obligation review of your organisation’s international relocation policy, contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (1) 01582 495495.


Image courtesy of Cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3 Ways to De-Stress International Relocations

3 Ways to De-Stress International Relocations

Employees are likely to be excited about their imminent global assignments – and a little anxious too. So what can HR managers do to minimise the stress involved?
Here are three top tips:

1. Provide Information

Providing individuals with details of their new assignment and location will help them to make informed decisions about if, when and how they relocate.

In particular, ensure that people are aware of relocation support that they are entitled too. This should go beyond the financial details. Understanding that they are able to receive cross-cultural training, language lessons and support for partners and families - if they are moving too - can be extremely reassuring. As well as easing stress levels, this also helps employers and assignees to set realistic goals for their new role – both professionally and personally.

2. Remove Uncertainty

Housing, schools and transport are key aspects to everyday life. Uncertainty within these areas creates stress. Get these things right and people settle into their new homes and roles more quickly, which is the common goal for everyone involved with the relocation.

If possible, assignees should visit their new location before moving. Temporary accommodation gives people a chance to get to know their new area before choosing their long-term home.

Support with settling in includes services such as arranging for utilities, bank accounts and healthcare to be in place. This eases the transition into day-to-day life in a new country.

3. Communicate


There is often a flurry of communication between employers and assignees prior to relocations. This needs to continue once people arrive in their new country and start their new roles.

Loneliness is often the biggest worry for international assignees. Putting people in touch with future colleagues or other employees already working in the new location offers ‘front line’ information and the chance to ask questions. There will usually be an expat community that people can connect with – however combining this with learning the language and mixing with locals helps assignees to feel ‘at home’ more quickly.

Plus – treat repatriation at the end of an assignment just as carefully as the initial relocation. Although there are less unknown elements involved, slotting back into ‘home’ life needs planning and support too.


“These three tips seem simple enough,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist at BTR International. “However not applying enough time to them is how many international relocations become more stressful than necessary.

“We’ve helped assignees and their families move and settle abroad for over 25 years. Our goal is to make corporate relocations as stress-free as possible. That’s something that our clients and assignees value too.”

If you would like to discuss your global assignments and how to manage them as smoothly as possible, contact Louise for an informal discussion. Email her via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.
Take a Break!

Take a Break!

Despite a plethora of research into work-life balance and working hours, UK workers are still bad at taking breaks. Worrying trends are emerging, reflecting the fact that many employees in the UK are working continuously throughout the day… and into the evening.
New research involving 2051 office workers shows that breaks are not taken seriously enough – or in many cases, not at all.

Workfront reports that four trends illustrate concern about employees:

1. Only 20% office workers take 45-60 minutes for their lunch break. 57% take up to 30 minutes – or have no break at all.

2. Delaying calls of nature – 52% participants had delayed visiting the toilet during the last week… to meet a work deadline.

3. 77% workers log into work outside of usual business hours – 47% do this daily.

4. A maximum of 40% of employees’ time is focussed on their main duties thanks to distracting emails, phone calls and meetings.

Addressing these patterns will increase productivity, motivation and satisfaction. Workfront suggests four ways to take control and win back time:

1. Protect prime time – when are you at your best… first thing, late afternoon? Protect this prime time to do the work which is most urgent and important. Book uninterrupted time within your diary – and make sure that your colleagues know about this. Stick to it! (22% participants thought that this idea would improve their productivity.)

2. Schedule set times to respond to emails – 40% workers said that excessive emails affect their productivity. Resist answering emails continuously throughout the day.

3. Agree communication expectations – guidelines regarding expected response times, use of ‘reply all’ and ‘cc’ features plus handling urgent communication. This will enable you to set personal boundaries around emails and messages.

4. Project management software will streamline and prioritise communication regarding the projects you’re working on.

“It can be difficult to make time for a break when you’re very busy,” says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “Our team works tirelessly to ensure that international relocations take place as smoothly as possible.

“This often means working with partners and colleagues across the world, which may involve different customs requirements, cultures and time zones.

“This means that our team must be focussed and flexible at all times. We find that lots of small breaks help concentration and efficiency. Above all, they contribute to efficient international relocations.”

If you would like to discuss your organisation’s international relocation policy or your assignees’ requirements, contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495495.
Packing for Your Global Assignment

Packing for Your Global Assignment

Most assignees choose to use our professional packing service. It’s quicker, safer and far smoother. These tips will help your arrival at your new home abroad to go smoothly...
1. Lighten the Load
Make sure that you are only taking items that you truly need or want. Other items can be stored or even sold.

2. Labels

Your packing partner will label the boxes so that you know which boxes belong to which room. But – make sure that you know where the essentials are – and that these boxes are marked accordingly. For example, which box labeled as ‘bedroom 1’ contains the bedding you’ll need for your first night?

3. List it
An inventory list helps to know exactly what goes where when you arrive at your destination. It prevents the time and stress involved with opening the boxes and then directing your support team. Talk to your move manager about this. They should be happy to help.

4. Liability Cover
A team of trained experts packs your boxes. But - you still need peace of mind that, should the unthinkable happen, any damages are covered by your relocation partner’s liability policy. “It’s very rare, but incidents do happen occasionally,” says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “We have one of the consistently lowest claims rates in the industry – but we always ensure that sufficient cover is in place.”

5. Life’s Essentials
The most important box to have available immediately upon arrival is your box of essentials: kettle, tea bags, toilet rolls – maybe a bottle of wine for your new fridge! Having these items to hand exactly when you need them will help arrival day to go smoothly.

As well as packing, there are other elements to consider when it comes to an international relocation. These include storage, transportation and customs documentation. “We do everything we can to ensure that every move is completed smoothly, with minimal stress,” adds Louise. “Every assignee and manager has a single point of contact; their own dedicated account manager. We coordinate and manage every stage of the move, keeping everyone involved fully informed.”

To find out more, contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495 495.
5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner

5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner

Organising international relocations doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, choosing the right relocation partner can ensure that assignees’ moves are completed smoothly and with minimal stress.
How do you choose your international relocation partner? Here are five essential features to look for:

1. Proven Expertise
The FAIMplus is the ultimate accreditation in the international moving services sector. BTR International is proud to have achieved this prestigious standard and has maintained it for many years. We know first-hand how stringent the application and audit process is. FIDIFAIM’s ‘plus’ accreditation shows that your relocation partner has provided qualified evidence that they are truly excellent at managing and implementing international moves. Credentials are important.

2. Independent Network
A truly independent partner will have its own network of contacts across the world. They’ll choose the organisations that will best suit your requirements. Free of the pressures and chains of using partner organisations, an independent relocation partner will offer you truly impartial advice.

3. Customer Service
We know that clients can choose between a myriad of potential partners. In our recent ‘Compare the Relocation Market’ blog, we stated that most clients look for alternative suppliers as soon as their satisfaction rate falls to 80% or less. “We are extremely proud of the consistently excellent customer service that we offer,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation specialist from BTR International. “We work hard to achieve our score of 98% customer satisfaction across all of our contracts, long term and new.”

4. Comprehensive Liability
Working with expert movers minimised the risks to your assignees’ property. It’s good to know that, should the rare accident happen, your relocation partner’s liability cover is adequate and robust.

5. Rapport
Understand why your relocation partner stands out from the crowd – what makes them different and better than your other options? Above all, can you work together? Will you have a single, consistent contact point and 24/7 assistance?

“Choosing your international relocation partner is a big decision,” says Louise “A credible organisation will be pleased to provide you with the details you need to answer your queries and provide evidence of their work. Transparency and trust are key ingredients within every BTR contract.”

To find out more, contact Louise for an informal discussion without obligation. Email her via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.
Managing International Relocation: The HR Perspective

Managing International Relocation: The HR Perspective

As the fallout of Brexit starts to become clearer, an increasing number of HR professionals are managing international relocations.
Working with an international move partner brings experience, proven expertise and a network of contacts to an organisation’s global mobility programme. However, there are still important issues for HR managers to consider beyond the physical relocation.

“As any HR professional knows, the essence of good employment relations is consultation, consultation, consultation. Even where the law does not require consultation it rarely does any harm,” employment barrister Jeffry Jupp told Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. “This is particularly the case where an employer is considering relocating all or part of its business abroad.”

Jupp highlights the three key issues that HR managers should consider when all or part of a business relocates to a new country:

1. Contracts

Some employment contracts include an international mobility clause. In these cases, employers can legally enforce relocation provided that they are acting reasonably. This would include giving employees sufficient time to organize their affairs prior to relocating, for example. In addition, a reasonable compensation scheme and relocation package should be available to employees.

Jupp explains: “If employees refuse to relocate then their contracts can be terminated on notice and any claims for unfair dismissal defended on the grounds that the dismissals were for some other substantial reason. Provided the mobility clauses are enforceable and there has been proper consultation with the employees, such dismissals are likely to be held to be fair.”

2. Redundancy

If no international mobility clause exists and an employee refuses to relocate, then redundancy may be involved. This is the case when the location of an entire element of the business operation is changing or if the demand for particular work is reducing, for example. The consultation period involved will vary according to the number of employees affected by the redundancy situation.

3. TUPE

If the employer is to change – to a different subsidiary company, for example – then there will have to be a TUPE consideration. This applies when an enforceable international mobility clause exists. Jupp says: “Under TUPE, employees have the right to object to a transfer but if they do so they will not generally be treated as having been dismissed.”

He adds: “However, if the transfer involves a substantial change to the employees’ working conditions that is to their material detriment, they are entitled to resign and claim constructive dismissal. There is a real risk that relocation to a different country may, depending on the precise circumstances, amount to such a change to working conditions.”

Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation specialist of BTR International says: “We manage and co-ordinate the physical moves, enabling HR managers to concentrate upon the contractual and business element of relocations. We support our clients to ensure that every move is as stress-free as possible.”

For a no-obligation discussion about your organisation’s relocation policy and plans, contact Louise by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or calling her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.
Ten Christmas Travel Tips

Ten Christmas Travel Tips

All too often, stressful journeys create a bad start to the holidays. Here are ten simple steps to help enjoy a smooth journey and arrive with your festive spirit in tact!
The festive season involves many traditions. For many people this includes travelling to see family and friends... or even an exotic holiday. Whatever your travel plans are this Christmas, bear in mind these helpful travel tips:

1. Avoid the peak travel dates – you’ll save money as well as avoid the crowds.

2. Check your baggage allowance along with your shopping list – taking your Christmas shopping on your flight can create extra fees if you exceed your weight allowance. In fact, the allowance often changes over the Christmas period. If you’re travelling to see relatives or friends, how about ordering online with your destination as the delivery address? (Remember to allow time to wrap presents when you get there!)

3. Avoid excesses before your flight. There is little tolerance of inebriated behaviour – at airports and on flights. Make sure that you are allowed on the aircraft!

4. Allow extra time for parking – this is a busy time… there will be even more fellow travellers around than usual. Even better – can a friend or a taxi give you a lift to the airport?

5. Allow some extra time for booking in.

6. Allow even more extra time – so that when something doesn't go to plan, you deal with it in your stride. Delays happen!

7. Do not wrap presents before your flight – security personnel will need access to all items.

8. If you’re driving, remember to check the car before travelling – we know it but we don’t always do it!

9. Stay connected – there are lots of travel apps that will keep you fully informed about everything from real-time updates on delays to the time you’ll spend in airport security, cheapest petrol prices to the cleanest toilets along your route.

10. Relax! This is the start of your holiday… get ready to enjoy Christmas!

Wishing you a happy festive season from everyone at BTR International.
Our Global Relocation Survey Says…

Our Global Relocation Survey Says…

Customer feedback is extremely important to the team at BTR International. Referrals and recommendations are the lifeblood of our business and first impressions count.
Earlier this year, we commissioned an independent agency to speak with our clients. What matters the most when it comes to planning and implementing international relocations? How do organisations choose their relocation partners?

Importantly, all the feedback we received was anonymous. We offered our agency a list of clients – all of whom had been contacted to explain our research initiative and ask for their participation. Speaking to someone outside of BTR International and knowing that their feedback was strictly anonymous meant that clients could be totally open and honest.

A summary of the key results is below:

3 most important features of global mobility support:
1. Service standards – BTR International has a 98% customer satisfaction score
2. Recommended – most of our work comes from referrals and recommendations
3. Value for money – not price alone, but what is provided for the cost involved

Understandable, people want to have confidence in their global mobility support provider– and prefer to work with a company which has been recommended.

Quote: “Customer service – your girls are excellent.”

3 big benefits of working with BTR International:
1. Speed of response
2. Keeping in touch
3. Organisational skills

A consistent theme through the research calls was how much clients are impressed with the responsiveness of the BTR team. Actions are carried out promptly and feedback offered.
They appreciate regular communication and feel that BTR is helpful and well organised. This helps clients to feel reassured that their global mobility is being handled expertly and efficiently.

Quotes:
“Your speed of response is great.”
“Your extraordinary support and quick answers.”
“There’s no doubt that you are one of our leading suppliers.”
“You are well co-ordinated with good follow up contact.”
“You always go the extra mile.”
“You take the stress from us alleviated problems such as bank accounts, National Insurance numbers – it’s great to have one point of contact for all this.”
“Everything is very easy.”


It was important to gain a neutral view of how BTR International is performing. We nervously awaited the results… and were delighted with our clients’ views about the service we offer. Our next goal? To maintain this valued level of service and attention to detail for every single global move.

Are you involved with international relocations for your company?

Discover how BTR International may be able to help you make your relocations as stress-free as possible.

Contact our Global Move and Relocation Specialist Louise Chilcott for a no-obligation chat about how BTR International can help your organisation. You can reach Louise via  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.