Relocating the Sandwich Generation
  • Relocating the Sandwich Generation: How to Get Your First-Choice Candidate to Say "Yes!"Sandwich Generation
    by Ed Marshall, Senior Global Mobility Specialist, IMPACT Group

    In America today, there is a juggling act occurring within the Sandwich Generation — a term coined for the 24 million Americans who are attempting to successfully balance their time between children, careers and aging parents. According to a 2013 Pew Research study, 47 percent of the nation's 40- and 50-year-olds are in the Sandwich Generation and 73 percent of them are in a dual-income relationship. Not only is this group potentially handling diapers AND dentures, they are typically the ones at (or striving for) top positions within their companies—making them ideal candidates for relocations.

    On average, employees and their families have just 46 days to consider the offer, accept the move, and relocate to the new area. As they scramble to make things happen in a short timeframe, they often only focus on their short-term needs—such as household goods shipping and temporary living accommodations.

    Getting Everyone On Board
    Managing work needs and caregiving responsibilities is rarely easy—and becomes further complicated during a relocation. An elderly parent may be moving with the family, staying in the old location or living elsewhere. Each of these scenarios raises different concerns for employees as they contemplate a move. For example, if the relative moves with the family, will he or she live in the family home, independently or at a residential care facility? Let's not forget that children will likely be in tow, as well. Childcare, schools, special resources, doctors, extracurricular activities—these are just a few items on the long list of needs the family will have to help everyone make a smooth transition. Last, but definitely not least, is the other half of the equation – the dual-career spouse/partner. According to the 2015 Brookfield Global Relocation Survey, spouse/partner career concerns came in as the second reason for assignment refusal (with family issues topping the list). Leaders indicated that spouse/partner career concerns were having an impact on their ability to attract employees for international assignments. Relocations are at high risk of failure when a dual-career spouse/partner is challenged to find a job in the new community. If the family relies on both incomes, replacing that second income becomes an immediate stress on the entire family. This is especially true when the family cares for multiple generations.

    Overcoming Hurdles with Relocation Support
    The Sandwich Generation will not make a relocation decision in a silo; they will take into account the effect it will have on everyone in their household. Their family—dual-career spouse/partner, children and aging parents—will all have a strong opinion. The moment you say the word relocate, your first-choice candidate will likely hesitate due to these reasons. Without the proper advice and support, family concerns will affect your employee's willingness to relocate or contribute to a relocation failure. Family resistance to the move was listed by 60 percent of respondents as a major reason why employees are reluctant to relocate (2015 U.S. Transfer Volume and Cost Survey). Employers have the power to set families up for success from the start by addressing their family and career concerns before they even leave for their new home. A dedicated integration coach allows an employee and their spouse/partner to shed light on the areas of their life that need immediate attention,   thereby leveraging the coach's expertise to develop a strategy for prioritizing and addressing those needs. Simply providing such personal integration support can turn an employee's scary and unpredictable situation into a chance to grow, explore and embrace new opportunities.  In addition, pre-decision policies that include a confidential assessment, research and coaching significantly increase your chances of recruiting and retaining top talent for relocations. These resources enable candidates to make informed decisions while they explore their top concerns and how they can overcome them in the new area. Empower your first-choice candidates to say "Yes!" more often by proactively addressing the needs for everyone in the family.

    Ed Marshall is a Practice Leader for Global Mobility at IMPACT Group, a woman-owned global leader in relocation support that partners with organizations to strategically recruit, relocate, and retain global talent. A member of Worldwide ERC®, Ed is a designated Senior Global Mobility Specialist-Talent (SGMS-T) and a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP).  He is also a member of the Canada Employee Relocation Council (CERC) and European Relocation Association (EURA), and has presented at numerous relocation industry conferences.  The IMPACT Group unlocks career potential and empowers talent with knowledge, skills and tools to succeed.  To learn how to make an IMPACT.   Click here 

Relocating the Sandwich Generation
  • Relocating the Sandwich Generation: How to Get Your First-Choice Candidate to Say "Yes!"Sandwich Generation
    by Ed Marshall, Senior Global Mobility Specialist, IMPACT Group

    In America today, there is a juggling act occurring within the Sandwich Generation — a term coined for the 24 million Americans who are attempting to successfully balance their time between children, careers and aging parents. According to a 2013 Pew Research study, 47 percent of the nation's 40- and 50-year-olds are in the Sandwich Generation and 73 percent of them are in a dual-income relationship. Not only is this group potentially handling diapers AND dentures, they are typically the ones at (or striving for) top positions within their companies—making them ideal candidates for relocations.

    On average, employees and their families have just 46 days to consider the offer, accept the move, and relocate to the new area. As they scramble to make things happen in a short timeframe, they often only focus on their short-term needs—such as household goods shipping and temporary living accommodations.

    Getting Everyone On Board
    Managing work needs and caregiving responsibilities is rarely easy—and becomes further complicated during a relocation. An elderly parent may be moving with the family, staying in the old location or living elsewhere. Each of these scenarios raises different concerns for employees as they contemplate a move. For example, if the relative moves with the family, will he or she live in the family home, independently or at a residential care facility? Let's not forget that children will likely be in tow, as well. Childcare, schools, special resources, doctors, extracurricular activities—these are just a few items on the long list of needs the family will have to help everyone make a smooth transition. Last, but definitely not least, is the other half of the equation – the dual-career spouse/partner. According to the 2015 Brookfield Global Relocation Survey, spouse/partner career concerns came in as the second reason for assignment refusal (with family issues topping the list). Leaders indicated that spouse/partner career concerns were having an impact on their ability to attract employees for international assignments. Relocations are at high risk of failure when a dual-career spouse/partner is challenged to find a job in the new community. If the family relies on both incomes, replacing that second income becomes an immediate stress on the entire family. This is especially true when the family cares for multiple generations.

    Overcoming Hurdles with Relocation Support
    The Sandwich Generation will not make a relocation decision in a silo; they will take into account the effect it will have on everyone in their household. Their family—dual-career spouse/partner, children and aging parents—will all have a strong opinion. The moment you say the word relocate, your first-choice candidate will likely hesitate due to these reasons. Without the proper advice and support, family concerns will affect your employee's willingness to relocate or contribute to a relocation failure. Family resistance to the move was listed by 60 percent of respondents as a major reason why employees are reluctant to relocate (2015 U.S. Transfer Volume and Cost Survey). Employers have the power to set families up for success from the start by addressing their family and career concerns before they even leave for their new home. A dedicated integration coach allows an employee and their spouse/partner to shed light on the areas of their life that need immediate attention,   thereby leveraging the coach's expertise to develop a strategy for prioritizing and addressing those needs. Simply providing such personal integration support can turn an employee's scary and unpredictable situation into a chance to grow, explore and embrace new opportunities.  In addition, pre-decision policies that include a confidential assessment, research and coaching significantly increase your chances of recruiting and retaining top talent for relocations. These resources enable candidates to make informed decisions while they explore their top concerns and how they can overcome them in the new area. Empower your first-choice candidates to say "Yes!" more often by proactively addressing the needs for everyone in the family.

    Ed Marshall is a Practice Leader for Global Mobility at IMPACT Group, a woman-owned global leader in relocation support that partners with organizations to strategically recruit, relocate, and retain global talent. A member of Worldwide ERC®, Ed is a designated Senior Global Mobility Specialist-Talent (SGMS-T) and a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP).  He is also a member of the Canada Employee Relocation Council (CERC) and European Relocation Association (EURA), and has presented at numerous relocation industry conferences.  The IMPACT Group unlocks career potential and empowers talent with knowledge, skills and tools to succeed.  To learn how to make an IMPACT.   Click here