The Complete Guide to Employee Relocation: For Employers

Best Practices for Relocating Employees

While there aren’t many laws that dictate what you legally have to offer to employees when you’re asking them to move, it’s always a smart idea to abide by certain best practices to ensure a smooth and painless experience for everyone involved. This will help you compete with other businesses in your field, recruit the best talent, and retain your star employees. 

Since best practices for relocating employees can vary by industry, role, and distance, in this section of the Complete Guide to Employee Relocation, we’ll take a look at seven general best practices you should follow when relocating your employees, including:

  1. Giving your employee advanced notice of the relocation
  2. Having a relocation policy 
  3. Covering moving expenses
  4. Offering relocation services
  5. Acknowledging the employee’s experience level
  6. Providing adequate supports
  7. Working with a company that provides relocation services

Let’s begin. 

1. Giving your employee advanced notice of the relocation

Many aspects of a moving package are negotiable, but providing your employee with advanced notice of a relocation and a reasonable timeframe for their move is one of the few legal requirements you need to abide by. Generally speaking, the more notice you can provide the better, but what constitutes a reasonable time frame varies from state to state and the distance of the move. Typically, this ranges between two and six months. 

Get some insight into what your employees will expect in this section of the Complete Guide to Employee Relocation: My Employer is Relocating, What Are My Rights?

2. Having a relocation policy in place

Creating a relocation policy while you are in the process of trying to relocate someone (or your entire team) is a stressful prospect. Instead, having a standard policy in place ahead of time will make the process go much more smoothly and help your employee(s) feel like you are organized and trustworthy—a business they can feel secure relocating for. Plus, it’ll be easier for you to answer any questions your employees might have (or negotiate any costs they may ask you to cover) if you already have a structure in place. 

3. Covering moving expenses

It is generally agreed that you should provide some money to cover relocation expenses, especially if the employee in question has been with your company for a long time, the move is being forced upon them, or you’re asking them to move on a short timeline.

The amount you offer is entirely dependent on an individual’s working experience and role within your company. People tend to expect more money when they have more experience, partly because experienced staff typically have more costly moving expenses—they are usually older and may own a home and have a family, compared to a newer hire who may be fresh out of college without any established roots—and partly because they expect more money for the skill and experience they bring.

You can expect some employees to negotiate their relocation packages, so on top of the initial costs your company agrees upon, it may be helpful to consider areas where you’re willing to negotiate if an employee asks. That way, you’ll be prepared when your employee asks for something that’s not already on the list.

Learn more about what employees might expect in terms of covered moving expense in this section of The Complete Guide to Employee Relocation: What Counts As Moving Expenses?

4. Offering more comprehensive relocation services

One step further than simply covering moving expenses is to actually help arrange the move, as well as assist with other facets of a move, such as:

  • House hunting expenses: A long-distance move to a different city or state might require a house-hunting trip. In this case, you may want to consider covering expenses incurred during such a trip, such as lodging, dining, and travel expenses.
  • Home buying and selling: This can include expenses such as closing costs, real estate commissions, reimbursement for lost profit from a quick home sale, title search costs, attorney fees, statutory costs, appraisals, utility transfers, and inspections.
  • Packing services: Full packing services are occasionally included in a relocation package, especially if the timeline for the move is short. This means professional movers will be sent to the employee’s home to pack up their belongings, prepare furniture for the move, and load, unload, and sometimes even unpack their items. 
  • Travel expenses: The expenses associated with traveling to a new home (such as airfare) are typically covered by most relocation packages. 
  • Lease break coverage: If an employee has to break their rental agreement early, they may be required to pay additional money to their landlord. Some companies opt to cover this expense. 
  • Temporary housing: Buying a house or finding a rental can be a long process, and one that has grown more challenging in recent years. You may decide to offer temporary housing, such as a short-term rental, company housing, or a hotel, so employees can move and start their job sooner. 
  • Job services for employee partners: If a new employee has a partner who will be moving with them, their partner may need assistance lining up a new job. In situations like this, some employers opt to provide job search assistance for spouses.

5. Acknowledging the employee’s experience level

Relocation packages should reflect the employee’s experience level, skills, and—if they are a current employee—the number of years with the company. This could mean offering a relocation bonus on top of covering moving expenses, especially if they are a highly desirable candidate. Instead of waiting for an employee to ask, consider how your company will acknowledge seniority and experience while you’re crafting your relocation policy. 

6. Providing adequate supports

Moving is stressful and can feel overwhelming, especially when it’s to an entirely new city or your employee’s family is moving along with them. Help employees who are relocating by providing support for:

  • Learning more about the new city they’re moving to
  • Assisting with finding their children schools
  • Childcare
  • Counselling for them and their family
  • Easing into the workplace

7. Considering working with an employee relocation company

Employee relocation companies provide a number of different services. Some specialize in the actual packing and moving process, while other larger companies or those that deal in relocations to different countries often offer a wider range of services. This can include:

  • Moving service for the employee’s belongings and furniture
  • Shipping automobiles if needed
  • Helping employees sell their current home or cancel their lease
  • Finding a home in the new location
  • Processing relocation expense reports
  • Finding temporary accommodations
  • Helping spouses or partners to find a new job
  • Helping children with school placement
  • Assisting with visa and immigration requirements
  • Arranging language and cultural training

Instead of having employees arrange their move or you handling it in-house, it may be worthwhile to partner with a company that specializes in relocation services, especially if:

  • You’re a small- to medium-sized business without the bandwidth or need for its own in-house relocation team
  • You need to keep focused on running the company while still being able to recruit the best talent, regardless of where they are located
  • You want to remain competitive with larger companies that offer impressive relocation packages

If you’d prefer to remain more hands-off with the process, you can also direct employees to a company that will assist them with the relocation. 


At a minimum, it’s a good idea to abide by the best practices noted in this article when you’re relocating employees. Not only will this make relocating easier and less stressful for your employees, but it will also help you maintain your reputation as an employer so you can recruit and retain top talent. 

When relocating employees, best practices include: 

  1. Giving your employee advanced notice of the relocation
  2. Having a relocation policy 
  3. Covering moving expenses
  4. Offering relocation services
  5. Acknowledging their experience level
  6. Providing adequate supports
  7. Working with a company that provides relocation services

Learn more about our Interstate Relocation Services.

Moving For Work or Relocating Employees?

Find how TSI can help you or your business manage employee relocations from start to finish.

Learn more

Keep Reading the Complete Guide to Employee Relocation

What Is a Relocation Package & How Do They Work?

Discover what a relocation package is, what costs it may cover, and more.

Read More ›

What Is Included in an Employee Relocation Package

Find out what costs are typically included in employee relocation packages.

Read More ›

When To Work With an Employee Relocation Company

Learn about employee relocation companies and how they can help employees and employers with relocations.

Read More ›

For Employers: What is an Employee Relocation Policy?

An employee relocation policy make relocating simpler for both you and your employee(s).

Read More ›

For Employers: Sample Relocation Letter

Learn how to write a relocation request letter for your employees.

Read More ›

Want to ship or move your items now? Get a quote with us! Ship my items