The internet isn’t short on articles about how to size up multiple job offers, all giving the same advice – get a breakdown of everything included in the offer and know what’s standard for your industry. All of this underscores the importance of having a relocation policy that is competitive and differentiates your company among others.
One area that’s grown in prominence over the past few years is the use of flex benefits. By their very name, flex benefits give your relocation policy flexibility to account for your employees’ unique needs, such as home-buying trips and temporary living assistance. These might not be necessary for everyone, but they can have a positive impact when it’s something that can make an employee’s transition smoother.
Flex benefits supplement the core aspects of your relocation policy – together, this is commonly called “core-flex plans.” For example, shipping household goods is a service virtually every transferee needs, and therefore, is included as a core benefit. This allows for greater consistency and generally a better rate for the services that every relocating employee needs.
Most companies set a cap for how much their flex benefits will cover. This also can vary if a company’s relocation policy is tiered by job function and/or seniority.
It also is common for companies to pre-select available flex benefits as more of an “a la carte” menu based on those extra services most frequently requested by their employees. Similar to core benefits, pre-selecting available flex benefits can make administering and negotiating rates for these supplementary services easier.
How do they differ from a lump sum?
While they might sound similar, flex benefits are not the same as lump sums. Lump sum programs essentially give employees a set amount of money to use for their move at their discretion. This approach carries obvious benefits to busy HR managers who don’t have the time to manage multiple relocations, but it does leave more unseasoned movers subject to some difficult situations.
Core-flex plans ensure that employees get the basic moving services they need with a more defined way to handle “exception requests.” This also highlights the need to do a regular review of your relocation policy – generally annually – to see what services and exceptions employees request most and what you should consider adding to your policy.
Should you implement a core-flex plan?
Just like your employees’ relocation needs, every company is different. Depending on your HR department’s bandwidth, hiring goals and other factors, you may be better suited for a core-flex policy. If you aren’t sure which is best for you, we can help you figure that out!