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Leading with Empathy

Leading with Empathy

Empathy is the ability to see things from another person’s perspective and feel their emotions. This understanding helps relocation professionals act with compassion to improve on and enhance a relocating families’ experience. Relocating can be a significant transition for families, filled with excitement, apprehension, and even sadness about leaving familiar surroundings behind.

The International Relocation Associates (TIRA) members share ways to support their transferees and their families when moving to anywhere in the world. Every independently owned member company leads their business with empathy. Offering empathy during this time of transition can make a world of difference and set the course for a smooth landing in a new location.

Acknowledge Their Feelings: Let them know that it is okay to feel a range of emotions about the move. Whether it is excitement, nervousness, or sadness, validating their feelings can help them feel understood.

Ikan Talent Mobility’s brand manifesto combines efficiency and care. The company embraces the challenge of change and carves out a path where expertise meets empathy. Their values include boldness and a commitment to go above and beyond to ensure a smooth journey, even if that means taking strategic risks on their behalf – this may mean respectfully steering their clients away from decisions that may not work in their favor.

Listen: Sometimes, all someone needs are to know that they are heard. Encourage them to share their thoughts and concerns prior to, during, and after the move. Avoid judgment and simply be present to hear what they have to say.

ICON Relocation developed an AI-generated online chat that supplements their consultants’ tailored support. Clients are reassured knowing the team is available whenever needed.

Leading with Empathy

Offer Practical Support: Moving involves coordination and planning, which can be overwhelming. For example, offer to help with finding a new home, learning the language, researching schools, and spouse/partner employment opportunities in the new area. Practical assistance tailored to their individual needs can alleviate the stress and isolation they may be feeling.

Relocation Belgium offers tailored workshops to help clients prepare for tax season, either on-site at the client’s company or digitally, designed to explain how to fill out your tax forms. Their workshops are perfect for employees on the Belgian payroll without complex salary structures. These sessions provide practical tips and insights to optimize transferees’ returns, ranging from understanding deductions to navigating legal nuances. Whether someone is an expatriate or a Belgian national, these sessions are crafted to equip transferees with the knowledge and tools needed to tackle their tax declarations with confidence.

Share Your Own Experiences: If you have gone through a similar relocation, sharing your own experiences can be comforting. It shows them that they are not alone, you have lived in their shoes, and that you understand what they are going through.

EO Mobility implemented “Take 3 to the Sea” so that whenever someone goes to the beach, they pick up 3 pieces of waste and recycle them. This initiative gets their relocated families and the team involved and connected to their host community, culture, and each other.

Stay Connected: Moving to a new place can feel isolating, especially in the beginning. Stay connected with the relocating family through calls, texts, or video chats. Let them know that you are there for them, even from a distance. While moving can be challenging, it also presents opportunities for growth and new experiences. Encourage the family to focus on the positives of their new adventure, whether it is exploring a new city, making new friends, or starting fresh.

NYC Navigator hosts regular events and activities located throughout NYC to engage their relocated employees and families into the community and introduce them to others. Many families have made long-lasting friendships from these high touch gatherings. Transferees who moved to NYC up to seven years ago, still attend these scheduled events.

Practice Patience: Adjusting to an unfamiliar environment takes time. Be patient with the family as they navigate this major life transition. Offer support, encouragement, and practical guidance. Help them to feel welcome.

Relocating to a new country can be both an exciting and daunting experience, especially when moving to a culturally rich and vibrant place like Luxembourg. European Relocation Services understands that every transferee and their family bring unique hopes, fears, and expectations. Therefore, empathy is the core to their values. Their empathetic approach is reflected in their personalized orientation programs, which include detailed cultural briefings and neighborhood tours that cater to the family’s interests and preferences. The company recommends different social events that allow new arrivals to connect with other expatriates and residents, fostering a sense of community and belonging. This approach helps transferees and their families to not only adapt to life in Luxembourg but to truly thrive in their new home.

Follow Up: Check in with the family periodically, even after they have settled into their new home. Moving can be a rollercoaster of emotions, and it is important to continue offering support as they adjust to their new surroundings. Be mindful of the families concerns and offer timely support and resources to demonstrate your caring and expertise.

BiCortex Languages regularly checks in with their learners and trainers throughout their course, and they recently made changes to improve engagement. Now they give everyone a choice of ways in which to give feedback; a phone/video call, an email, a star rating or a short series of questions. The company has learned that giving choice and flexibility has significantly improved their response rates, which in turn allows them to identify themes and improve delivery.

Global mobility is an industry of caring professionals. By providing empathy and support to relocating families, we can all help ease the transition for transferees and families on the move and make their experience a little less daunting.

Contact TIRA  to learn more about us, a global network of empathetic relocation professionals.



By Susan Ginsberg at SRG ADVISORY, a TIRA Partner.


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