• Employee Mobility: What do employee satisfaction surveys tell us?


    One of our most read blogs shared some of the irritants communicated to us by transferees via satisfaction surveys we administer for a number of our clients. These custom designed on-line surveys provide a one-stop venue for transferees to provide feedback on their relocation experience. The surveys supply the employer with critical data about what works well and, more importantly, what aspects of the program are annoying or possibly showstoppers.

    It’s been a year since we published that blog and we thought it was time for an update. The top three categories of irritants in 2018, real estate professionals, movers and expense reimbursement, remain a source of frustration in 2019. The following highlights the more recently communicated beefs:

    – Real estate professionals: Frustrations occur when transferees have to deal with an agent who has little experience with corporate relocations and is inconsiderate with respect to availability and time pressures. On top of that, we heard from a number of transferees that they were quite upset with the outcome of their home inspections and the rigidity of the process to get the required work done.

    – Moving companies: We continue to hear about issues with the level of experience and/or training of many of the moving teams. One respondent referred to them as “random people off the street!”

    – Expense reimbursement: Some families find it stressful to deal with the number of expenses thrown at them throughout their relocation. They resent the long process for reimbursement or having to wait before gaining access to allowances.

    – Real estate lawyers: A not insignificant number of transferees indicated that they were particularly angered by the legal services they received. They stated that the lawyers were rude, very rushed and often ill prepared for the meetings. These are the professionals dealing with what in most cases is your transferees’ biggest asset!

    Although the results point out service deficiencies which need to be addressed with the suppliers and the mobility team, we find that a subtext of many of the comments we receive through the surveys indicates a need for improved communication and awareness of resources. The relocation process should not only include steps to ensure transferees are aware of the program as it applies to them but should also show them how to maximize the benefits with the tools available. On the other hand, sometimes the comments tell us that one particular family just needed more attention than most…

    You may ask yourself why use Ward O’Farrell for this purpose rather than use the service providers’ survey capabilities? Here are the top three reasons:

    – Suppliers have an undeniable interest in the survey results. As independent consultants, we can ensure your results are completely objective and unbiased. Suppliers may not overtly try to mislead you, but they may draft their questions or contextualize the results in a manner that presents them in the best light.

    – More often than not, their surveys are standardized and leave no opportunity for customization or focus on areas of particular interest to your organization.

    – Response rates matter. Our surveys tend to garner much higher response rates than those administered by service providers, which tend to come in at around 50% or less. It is difficult to justify making changes based on a high level of irritation from a small number of responses. Our services are geared to obtaining as high a response rate as possible to provide a truer reflection of the overall experience. We frequently experience return rates of over 90%.

    Our reporting can be done according to any schedule, and will provide, in addition to results and trends, an analytical review of the data and comments received, benchmarking to our national database and recommendations for change where it would be beneficial. If any significant or alarming issue is raised by the respondent, the client is contacted quickly for immediate attention.

    The following are sample pages from a typical annual wrap-up report.

    Our service can be obtained for as little as $500 per year. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss this service and will give you an opportunity to try it out for one quarter at no cost. Isn’t it worth a try?