Can relocation help create a positive company culture?

Posted 01/03/20 Team Vaco

Believe it or not, a lot of digital ink has been spilled to answer this very question: Can relocation help create a positive company culture? 

Vaco often serves as a strategic partner for companies that are either considering relocating their corporate headquarters or expanding to a second location. As a result, we’ve spent a good deal of time thinking about the impact that moving has on a company’s culture, and whether or not relocation can help create a positive company culture.

Spoiler alert: We think it can.

Why do companies relocate, anyway?

Relocating a company is costly and disruptive, so why do companies and entrepreneurs do it? 

There are plenty of reasons why companies decide to move their headquarters to a new city or choose to open a second outpost in a new area.  Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  • There’s a better talent pool in the new location.
  • The new city offers massive tax breaks and incentives. 
  • The company’s current city is in a state of decline.
  • There’s an overall lower cost of doing business in the new location.
  • The quality of life in the new city is an improvement.
  • The company needs to upgrade its facilities anyway.

If we were to boil down all of the reasons companies decide to relocate, it would come down to this: it’s better for business. When the potential for increased revenue and a stronger company culture outweighs the costs of uprooting its business operations, a company may find itself ready to take the plunge.

How relocation can help create a positive company culture

While the bottom line is often a huge motivation for relocation, culture is also a major consideration. A change in location can lead to new opportunities, access to a higher-quality talent pool, and a chance to create an environment where innovation and diversity can flourish. 

In other words, a company’s culture may simply fit more comfortably in a new location. Which is why we believe relocation can help create a positive company culture.

“We set out to build a new home in Nashville and wanted to hire the best and brightest. We entrusted Vaco as our exclusive talent acquisition partner, and they far exceeded our expectations in finding high-caliber professionals to fit the roles and our culture,” notes a recent Vaco Nashville client.

Finding and attracting the best talent is a lot easier when your company is headquartered in a place where people want to live. 

Making your company’s relocation a positive experience

Relocating can certainly have a positive impact on a company’s culture, but we’re not going to deny that it can also be challenging. To keep morale high and buy-in even higher, it’s important to maintain the highest levels of transparency throughout the process. 

You’ll also need to be mindful of your employees’ concerns and stay attuned to their needs during the transition.

Relocating is so sensitive and complex that many companies rely on outside corporate relocation services to guide them through the process. Expert corporate relocation service providers pay close attention to company culture as they develop a relocation package. Relocation services typically include project management, custom communication strategies, budget development, cost management, vendor management, and talent solutions.

In many ways, however, the same rules apply for fostering a great company culture during a relocation as they do during periods of intense growth, which we covered in our article “How to maintain a great company culture.” 

As your company transitions into its new location — we’re talking before, during, and after the move — you’ll want to consistently reinforce your mission in fun ways. Talk to your team, gather feedback, and engage them in the mission of the company so they feel as invested in it as you do. Go ahead, embrace your company’s personality.

Here are a few more relocation-specific strategies to consider to keep your employees on board and energized during a corporate move:

Relationships should always rule

“At Vaco, we live by the phrase ‘free yourself.’ It allows you to focus on quality vs. quantity. You get to be your true self at Vaco without the stress of being micromanaged, and that to me is what makes Vaco so successful. At the end of the day, ask yourself where you want to be and how are you going to get there,” says Vaco Tampa Managing Partner Bradley Hewett.

As you plan your move, encourage your employees to support each other and be their true selves. 

Remember, relationships rule. 

Trust your employees to identify their needs and allow them the opportunity to share their ideas freely with key leadership. It’ll help them become more successful and it’ll help your company be more successful.

Create an environment that reflects your culture

It’s a whole new day. Design your new space with your employees and culture in mind. Above all, ask your employees what they want and need.

Your goal is to create an office environment that encourages collaboration and communication among your employees while providing them with the privacy and solitude they need to accomplish great things. 

Pro tip: As you design your new space, don’t forget to make your brand a driving factor.

Give yourself (and your employees) plenty of time

Make sure your staff have plenty of notice and have a large say in what’s happening. Hold town hall meetings, set up support groups, and make your relocation perks clear and appealing. The more your employees feel included in the relocation planning, the better they’ll be able to support your relocation process. 

Vaco has the experience, capacity,  and intensity it takes to facilitate a smooth corporate transition. Vaco gets to know your company’s culture inside and out so that we can deliver the right support during your move and then find the best candidates for your company in its new home. 

Contact us to learn more about our corporate relocation services.

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