It is often said that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Although they aren’t necessarily a reliable indicator of what’s to come, good first impressions will contribute to a more positive outlook. The best part is that you don’t have to spend a lot to impress. In fact, we suggest something already tested at the VIP level that can easily be extended to other groups.
Settling-in services are used in part to manage first impressions. They are commonly provided to families as they arrive in a new destination, whether domestic or international. Most will be offered a half-day orientation tour of the local area allowing the transferee to focus more quickly on his or her new assignment.
When it comes to VIP’s (executives or other high-profile individuals), organizations tend to provide more personalized attention. More often than not, arrival at a new destination begins with temporary accommodation and many companies arrange to have groceries waiting in the unit, providing welcome relief to a weary traveller. Typically, the basket includes basic items such as coffee, milk, bread, cereal, fruit, as well as specialized items required or preferred by the individual. The tired VIP can then rest rather than rush back out in search of a shop. What better way to say: “We know it’s been a long and stressful journey, so put your feet up for a bit and relax.”
Why not consider providing grocery baskets to a wider group, if not to all transferees?
The low cost of providing these items is far outweighed by their perceived value. Individuals sense that the company cares and wants the relocation to start off on the right foot. This is a simple and inexpensive way to dampen negative thoughts that start to fester in a tired and cranky traveller’s mind.
It’s a simple process. Once a relocation assignment is accepted, the counselor collects relevant information about the assignee and family during the initial interview. Then, when travel plans are arranged, the basket is tailored to their needs, e.g., breakfast food, coffee and tea, if arriving at night, or snacks and beverages, if arriving with children in the afternoon. The items can be limited to the basics or, depending on the organization’s desire to please, personal touches can be added to reflect dietary preferences, such as gluten-free items or a child’s favourite cookies. Families may also appreciate being able to try a few local delicacies or finding trinkets for the kids and a chew toy for the dog. There’s much room for creativity.
A positive first impression sets the tone for a relationship. It won’t guarantee that everything will run without a hitch, but it will make things seem brighter to both the transferee and the organization … without breaking the bank.