The front lines of workforce mobility

Jun 29 | 2020

Lynda Lescault, CRP, GMS, Director, Global Accounts for Dwellworks LLC, pays tribute to the work of the DSP especially during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lynda LescaultA lot has been written about the many brave frontline workers in today’s uncertain world, especially those on the medical front, but also those maintaining our various supply chains to keep food on our tables and boxes of retail necessities arriving on our doorsteps.  Every one of them seemingly risking their personal safety to bring comfort and care to a hurting world.

Today, I’d like to take a moment to shout out a special thanks to those caring folks on the front lines of the workforce mobility industry, specifically, the vast network of Destination Service Consultants (DSCs) who help ensure a successful final-mile of the relocation journey into new cities, suburbs, and townships around the globe.

These key individuals in mobility’s supply chain, often referred to as “The Face of the Relocation,” are the ones who physically get to meet, welcome and guide transferees as they settle into their new city  – a crucial role within a complex process of moving someone for work.  Their charge, according to corporate mobility policy, is to help these mobile employees accomplish key settling-in tasks, swiftly and efficiently, so that the crucial talent requested at the new workplace is able to thrive in their new role without worrying about finding a roof over their head or a school for their child.

The reality of this role, however, has always been that these city ambassadors, hired and managed by Destination Service Providers (DSPs), are much more than just task-performers following a prescribed scope of work. The truly successful ones, the ones that employees rave about in those all-important closing satisfaction surveys, are the ones who possess a crucial combination of inherent attributes. They are smart, empathetic, resourceful, insightful, organised, hospitable, discerning, perceptive, understanding, available, responsive, and compassionate. While they all know a ton about the ins and outs of their city, they also understand that establishing trust, demonstrating empathy, and providing a warm welcome with the calm assurance of “We Got This” is as valuable as any other aspect of their role. And, today, even more so.

What the world of work will look like in a week or even in six months remains to be seen. The impact on the mobility industry is far from certain.  What remains a given is that talent will still need to be moved to fill critical roles for critical business needs.   And destination service consultants will continue to be called upon to use their “Can-Do” spirit,  to provide counsel and advice to worried transferees and their spouse/partners, and to encourage and creatively guide them, despite fluctuating government restrictions and varying degrees of personal risk, to deliver the same outcome: to get these newcomers ready for their work assignment free from the worries connected with settling-in to a new community amidst the realities of a pandemic.

While local restrictions may prohibit face to face meetings for the near term and virtual or virtual- accompanied guidance may be a part of the new normal on this front line for a while, the value of the DSP benefit as part of a corporate client’s Duty of Care responsibility has never been greater. At the bare minimum, providing access to a ‘local lifeline’ to address questions, introduce key resources such as medical centres and health care providers, quell concerns, provide advice and share the current status of the local market has never been more valuable.  Offering a quick connection to a market expert is a valuable essential service to add on to corporate policies which extend ‘lump sum/self-managed only’ relocation benefits – at least for these challenging times.

In summary, while destination service delivery models will evolve, driven by a changing landscape and the introduction of innovative tools to mitigate health and safety risk, the value of extending access to a local area consultant who can calmly and expertly guide a transferee through the complexities of settling-in to a new city for work will only increase.  These amazing individuals deserve a warm round of appreciation for their continued commitment to warmly, safely and skillfully supporting our mobile workforce on the front lines.

Lynda LescaultLynda Lescault
Lynda Lescault is director of global accounts with Dwellworks LLC, has been involved in the mobility industry since 1997. She began her career in California as a destination services consultant and quickly realized the tremendous impact this benefit could have on newcomers. Currently active in WERC, EuRA and many local mobility forums across the US, she remains fervent about the value of Destination Services and deeply appreciates Dwellworks’ global teams across the 13 countries they serve.

Photo:  Lynda Lescault

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