One-way moves used to be just for permanent transfers, but global mobility is finding creative ways to apply this policy approach to save costs, support remote work, and give employees the flexibility they want. In this blog series, we’re taking a deeper dive into one-way transfers, focusing watchouts when transferring employees. Please read on for the fourth installment of this series (click for posts 1, 2 and 3). 

Mobility must be aware of several considerations when adopting a one-way move policy type, both from a philosophical and a process-oriented perspective. First, mobility must consider the talent philosophy of the business. Some organizations invest heavily in their talent through financial support, while other companies nurture their employees by giving opportunities to take on responsibility and gain skills overseas. Whatever the philosophy is, mobility needs to recognize the overall talent mission so that they can align their one-way move policy to the greater talent aims.

With the talent philosophy in mind, mobility must also examine the true intent of the move. One-way moves can be true permanent transfers, but they can also be indefinite moves. With indefinite moves, the employee may still be expected to be mobile. Regardless of the actual talent philosophy, mobility must share expectations on timing with talent. If employees are under the impression that they’re permanently located to another country, only for the business to ask them to relocate again six years later, they may choose to leave the company due to the misrepresentation of their move.

In addition, the business must decide how they’re protecting these employees: Are they being equalized to their home standard of living, or to that of the host? It is important to understand how the employee’s standard of living is being protected, as mobility cannot sell the relocation to the employee until they recognize the philosophy behind the move. A one-way move implies that the employee will live like a local. But if the business wants to maintain the employee’s tie to their home standard of living, then a home-based assignment is the better choice. Before promoting a one-way relocation, mobility must understand the actual aim behind the move so that they can advise against it if the motives don’t align to the fundamentals of the move. 

For the full article, originally published in the Issue 4 copy of Mobility Magazine, please click here

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