Policy & Program Development
The first and most important step in Assisting with Life Decisions is creating a plan that cares for employees’ needs while also aligning with the organization’s talent management strategy and goals. Any misstep in getting started this way trickles down into every subsequent activity. At Paragon, we hold policy and program design up as the single most important step in any relocation or global assignment program. With many years of experience designing and implementing programs, Paragon assists organizations with achieving greater success. The following is a list of Paragon’s standard consulting services. Contact a Paragon policy expert to learn more.
Policy & Program Design
True to its consulting origins, Paragon distinguishes itself by leveraging policy and program design to achieve our clients’ goals. We have the answers for today’s key challenges, such as reducing total program costs without sacrificing service or benefits, minimizing policy exceptions, winning top recruits in a tightening labor market, and attracting employees to high cost locations. Our services include all aspects of policy and program design related to domestic and international relocation, global assignments and group moves.
Start-Up & Implementation
Paragon’s policy and program design services spill over into our implementation with many of the same individuals involved. With a 100% implementation success rate, Paragon Relocation offers a well-tested approach, the ability to care for even the smallest details, significant industry expertise and an impeccable track record. The result is a seamless transition and uninterrupted service. Our implementation approach includes six major steps: 1) communication, 2) planning, 3) process and procedures, 4) plan execution, 5) quality assurance and 6) ongoing support; however, we view planning as not only the most important and involved activity, but the one that is most closely tied to program success. While planning includes many activities, such as reviewing existing policies and procedures, defining the scope of services, etc., correctly identifying a client’s needs and aligning program goals with those needs is the important part of the process. When the process is complete, Paragon will capture all information in a well-organized program guide. The Paragon account manager then maintains this guide to accurately reflect subsequent changes.
Program Spend Forecasts
As part of our consulting services, Paragon provides high-level spend forecasts. Paragon uses averages for home values and the estimate is necessarily dependent on various assumptions. We work with our clients to develop these assumptions in order to be as accurate as possible. The context for providing this service is often times the advent of change where no historical data can provide an accurate picture. Whether our clients are introducing their first relocation program, adding international assignments where they didn’t exist before, or making fundamental changes in policy, Paragon Relocation can provide the data and information needed. Up-front forecasts also assist corporations with budgeting and planning for future years.
Paragon judges how well different practices meet our clients’ needs, instead of just identifying the most often implemented solutions. Many times, the latter is not actually a best practice. The result is an evergreen list of tactics that are more effective at delivering the desired results. Paragon identifies industry best practices via multiple means and based on information from multiple sources. These include: 1) reviews of typical client policies and how they have performed; 2) examining exceptions; 3) analyzing policy changes and their impacts on current clients; 4) conducting employee assessment surveys to measure their satisfaction and to better understand their true experience; 5) collecting feedback from human resources and procurement leaders; 6) benchmarking studies; 7) attending industry education and training; and 8) reviewing industry studies, surveys and published articles.
Cost savings is a common goal for most companies. Paragon’s consulting team knows the best strategies for driving cost savings without sacrificing service or benefits. A well designed policy can cut costs and also drive a higher long-term return on investment through greater employee satisfaction and retention. There are many strategies to consider, including: 1) different benefits for different tiers of employees, 2) pre-decision consulting services, 3) reducing home marketing time, 4) reducing/eliminating home inventory, 5) reducing temporary living/travel costs, 6) reducing tax gross-up, 7) competitively bidding international shipping costs, 8) auditing household goods invoices and 9) negotiating lease terms for renters, to name a few. Paragon will perform a thorough needs assessment and present a plan that fits the organization and culture in each instance.
Documenting processes and procedures supports pursuing higher customer satisfaction by establishing the foundation to improve on existing practices. At the beginning of an implementation, Paragon will map all existing processes and procedures. It is typical to find inefficiencies and opportunities for cost savings. With global companies, there will sometimes be unexplained regional differences that represent opportunities. Our approach includes live interviews, team meetings, written analyses and simulations to capture an accurate picture of current practices. We will work directly with various stakeholders and departments, plus employees of varying levels. In the end Paragon provides recommendations for improvement and then documents every detail of the new plan.
Communications & Materials Development
As part of implementation, Paragon creates a variety of communications and supporting materials to ensure employees and all stakeholders clearly understand the plan and resources available to support them. This service is critical to educating employees about the process, keeping everyone aligned, setting proper expectations and coordinating follow-up activities. A strong communication plan and informative supporting materials are critical drivers of final employee satisfaction. This effort is tailored to each client’s needs, as no two clients are exactly alike. Our service normally includes: 1) announcement scripts, 2) email introductions, 3) PDF brochures, 4) web links and 5) orientation sessions.
Program Assessment Survey
Evaluating existing policies can be fraught with errors and misperceptions. Often the squeaky wheel gets the most attention and obscures important truths at the same time. Paragon’s Program Assessment Survey fairly evaluates the current program and can be critical to improving customer satisfaction. The survey gathers feedback from multiple stakeholders including relocating employees, employees on assignment or who were recently repatriated, spouses/partners, program administrators and key members of human resources or procurement teams, depending on the particular situation. The survey can be conducted in multiple formats, whether online, over the telephone or in focus groups. For existing clients, Paragon Relocation then compares the survey results to feedback from our relocation consultants and account management team. The end product is a succinct assessment of what is working, what isn’t and why.
A critical function of benchmarking is to establish how important each benefit is to achieving client goals, not just to compare the details from one company to the next or to industry averages. The final assessment illustrates commonalities and differences in context, helping our clients achieve their goals and improve customer satisfaction at the same time. Benchmarking can take place at the individual policy component level, or for an entire program. Our starting point is knowledge of typical client programs, best practices and published standards and trends. With that as a foundation, Paragon can investigate common practices within a specific industry or geography to assist clients with understanding common practices.
Talent mobility objectives should be aligned with a company’s overall talent management strategy and goals. While employer competition continues to increase for top recruits, not all companies have aligned these functions to better recruit, develop and retain talent. For global companies, the advantages of this kind of synergy can include filling skill gaps and identifying opportunities to enter new, high-growth markets. To assist with aligning mobility and talent functions, Paragon will: 1) complete a talent management needs assessment, 2) develop relocation policy and program recommendations that will support all talent initiatives and 3) propose an implementation approach that will maximize employee productivity during transition.