• Employee Mobility: Peak season… after the storm


    With the summer peak season ending, you may be dusting off the last of the craziness of the past few months: exception requests, truck and driver shortages, limited suitable accommodation, more exception requests, and many long days working on solutions for out of the blue problems never anticipated.

    A healthy economy, active housing markets, a tight talent pool and even tighter budgets have created a whirlwind of activity and change, but when it finally slows down, are you ready for the next wave, and is your approach sustainable?

    If it’s been a particularly difficult period, many may feel that what is best for the post peak season hangover is to put it all behind and carry on with what’s next on the agenda. This may not be what’s best for the mobility program. The time is right to take note of what went wrong, develop a plan to mitigate reoccurrence and start planning for the next time. As a precursor, consider the following:

    Employee Experience

    Reach out to the employees who may have had a particularly difficult move this summer. Even if they completed a satisfaction survey, it is an opportunity to dig deeper into what didn’t work for them and to let them know that they are heard. Without being disrespectful, compare your suppliers’ stories against what the employees had to say. Truly understanding the employee experience is about asking hard questions and ensuring that the full story is known.

    Policy Review

    Carefully review any exceptions requested or granted to determine whether policy modifications are justified. For more on this matter, see our earlier blog entitled: What are exception requests telling you?

    Invoicing and Payment

    A tedious task, but a detailed review of invoices can be an eye-opening experience and result in savings to the organization. A robust audit system which will confirm that the correct negotiated rates are used, additional charges are authorized and reasonable, and any exceptions are managed as instructed.

    Soon enough, it will be time to assess the past year’s financials and forecast the next year’s budgets. The above will be helpful in planning for 2020 and beyond. There may be opportunity to improve the program to stabilize costs, or perhaps generate savings.

    The point we are trying to get across is that if “storm” accurately describes your recent peak season, you cannot just push the debris aside; re-evaluate and, if necessary, implement change so that, when the next wave comes along, you aren’t having to scramble nearly as much.

    As the saying goes: “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”