RSI Services at-a-glance
WHAT: Comprehensive, science-based, one-on-one training with corporate new hires and transfers offering relocation stress mitigation skills and techniques that speed up the acclimation and adjustment process and minimize the risk of deleterious outcomes.
WHY: The adverse effects of relocation stress on new hires and transfers is not only a problem for employees, it is costly to business. These costs include increased turnover rates, increased sick days and time off, adverse effects on team morale, increased medical insurance claims, and protracted periods of lowered productivity.
WHAT ELSE: Consulting and training for corporate managers and human resource professionals is also available. This option is designed to teach professionals the methods and techniques to conduct relocation stress mitigation training in-house. Both in-person group training and training film series available.
What is Relocation Stress?
Relocation Stress can be Harmful to Company Profits
Many people are unaware that adverse health conditions are related to the highly stressful experience of relocating; most new hires do not report these adjustment- and stress-related health problems to their employers.
Failure to adapt and properly cope with the unique problems associated with relo-stress can result in lowered productivity, increased time off and sick days (all of which are expensive for companies) and low retention rates due to employees who fail to acclimate and subsequently leave their new jobs—commonly within the first three years. Losses in corporate investments for recruitment and training make this unnecessary turnover a costly one for many employers.
Most companies’ human resource personnel and management—as well as outside ’employee relocation assistance program’ vendors—have not been trained to adequately recognize the symptoms of relocation stress, nor to appropriately assist employees in gaining the tools and techniques necessary for avoiding the harmful effects of relocation stress.
Employers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on employee health and wellness programs, yet the majority have nothing in place to address the potential for serious acute and chronic physical and emotional health problems related to relocation of new hires or transfers.
Relocation stress can be harmful to your employees
Due to high stress levels taxing the immune system, illnesses—both acute and chronic—are commonly experienced during and after a move. Scientific studies have demonstrated that serious and sometimes chronic health conditions can result from relocation including respiratory infections, asthma attacks, dental problems, depression, anxiety, anger, nervousness, and other mental health problems, difficulty adjusting/acclimating, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal disorders, heart, liver and kidney problems, infections, allergy flare-ups, skin conditions, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, headaches, vision problems, edema, weight gain/loss, worsening of existing conditions such as diabetes and other autoimmune disorders, and high blood pressure, to name a few.
Physical and emotional health problems related to relocation stress can occur up to a full 18 months following the move.
Problems associated with the significant life stressor of relocation are not limited to just the employee alone, but rather, extend to his/her significant other, children, and even the family pets.
Relocation stress can be so challenging for the unprepared/unsupported individual that it can lead to separation, break-up, and even divorce with significant others—a situation that exacerbates the difficulties of adjusting to new positions and surroundings, and increases the likelihood of serious adverse health consequences following a move. Equally problematic are the effects on employees when their children fail to adapt to their new surroundings in a healthy manner.
A lack of proper identification and effective strategies and tools to deal with contextual factors such as problems with person-place identity, pre-relocation attachment, and grieving for the lost home can lead to a myriad of serious health-related, social, and relationship difficulties, further taxing one’s ability to adjust to the new position and surroundings in a healthy, meaningful way.
The bottom line
Recall that physical and emotional health problems related to relocation stress can occur up to a full 18 months following the move. That is a substantial amount of time in which new hires/transfers and their family members may fail to adapt in an optimal manner, creating an increase in time off and sick days, as well as lowered performance and productivity—and of course, an increased risk for a complete failure of adaptation resulting in higher turnover rates.
Adequately identifying the problems and the solutions associated with the challenges surrounding your employees’ relocation stress involves a multilevel, interdisciplinary approach that offers practical tools and strategies to address not only key personal issues, but social, familial, cultural and environmental as well, from a professional experienced in relocation stress research, consulting and training.
Your organization expends significant resources in the form of direct expenditures and indirect costs by way of employee time and attention needed during the search process, the screening process, the interviewing process, the testing process, and the decision-making process—not to mention the resources paid out for air travel, meals, hotel accommodations, and when hired, relocation expense reimbursement.
Isn’t it time your organization began lowering losses and raising your return on investment of new hires and transfers?
See our article in the HR.com Magazine at hr.com: