• Should service providers be self-assessing their performance?


    Think about it. Does it make sense to have the provider of an important relocation service report back to you on how well they are supporting your corporation or more importantly, your relocating employees?

    Relocation service providers measure and track their performance for operational purposes but, from the standpoint of good governance, can you, the client, be confident that they will transmit that information in an unfiltered manner? After all, suppliers have a vested interest in presenting themselves in the best light possible, whether it is done consciously or not.

    What are the risks?

    – Employee mobility programs can be crippled by under-performing suppliers if there isn’t an effective structure in place for client corporations to be alerted on a timely basis of real or potential problems.

    – Frustrated employees will feel unsupported and costs will increase (e.g. longer temporary accommodation caused by late delivery of household goods, bridge financing and more travel between home and host locations due to slow home sale, etc.)

    – Relocation acceptance rates will likely drop and, perhaps more worrisome, the risk of losing highly valued and experienced employees will rise.

    What is needed: An independent and objective assessment

    Ward O’Farrell Consultants conducts, on behalf of corporations, web-based surveys to assess their relocating employees’ satisfaction with the services provided. As an independent third party, our objective is to provide a true reflection of the employee experience. The actual results have no bearing on the success of our business so there is no reason for us to report back in anything but in a timely and objective manner.

    What are the benefits of our independent surveys?

    To employees:

    – Minimized employee survey “fatigue” by coordinating all supplier feedback requests into one centralized online questionnaire.

    – A level of removal from the supplier for those who feel uncomfortable providing negative feedback directly to a service provider.

    To corporations:

    – In conjunction with Ward O’Farrell Consultants, the opportunity to draft concise, clear and non-leading questions specific to their relocation program and its objectives.

    – Response rates of up to 95%; suppliers typically experience response rates below 50%.

    – An immediate feedback loop with the client whenever an employee rates their experience as extremely unsatisfied or unsatisfied.

    – A regular (monthly, quarterly or other) report indicating, by service provided, how satisfied employees and their families were with the process of relocating, as well as an assessment of each suppliers’ key performance indicators and compliance with service level agreements.

    – The report will also benchmark the results to our national database to identify areas that deviate from industry best practices and will include objective, measurable and actionable recommendations for improvement where needed.

    So again, think about it. Does it not make more sense to opt for stronger oversight, or should corporations continue to rely solely on supplier data, hoping that it provides the full story?