The first step of a journey can often be the hardest to take. This is especially true when the complexity of the task at hand seems daunting. Embarking on a review and potential overhaul of an active mobility program can certainly appear to be a long and winding path, but with the following checklist you can feel confident in taking those first steps toward program improvements.
Take the pulse of program stakeholders. Ask those involved with your mobility program to share what is working well and not so well. Group the most common responses and put them into a manageable list of targets for change while keeping an eye on retaining anything that is working well. It is common to find that 20% of program elements, whether flawed or missing, drive 80% of the issues.
Identify and implement quick fixes. Achieving momentum is key for maintaining stakeholder buy-in and helps the review from getting bogged-down. Being able to complete and push aside anything that can bring immediate improvement will boost morale and strengthen the resolve needed to tackle thornier issues.
Collect operational and experience data. There is no better predictor of the near future than the recent past, so have on hand as much historic program data as is possible to collect. Operational data will help you identify common drivers of exceptions, how often individual benefits and services are used, evolving patterns in how the business engages with the program, and cost drivers. Experience data will reveal drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction and any issues with hand-offs between supplier partners. The intersection of your findings from these data sources will help you prioritize the goals of your review.
Check what everyone else is doing. Start your program review by benchmarking mobility benefit elements and practices against what other companies are doing as it will help you identify deficiencies and vulnerabilities in your program’s ability to contribute to broader talent and ESG goals. Just keep in mind that it is okay to be different. You may find your program stands alone in some areas but if those differences support your company’s unique goals, move patterns and talent profiles, the benchmark results can serve to validate a current approach rather than boost an argument for change.
Conduct a stress test. Thinking through a hypothetical worst-case scenario and running it through your existing program can be a worthwhile exercise. What happens when plans change on a dime, family issues crop up midstream or the business decides to relocate a senior executive with little notice? Alternatively, conducting a postmortem on recent challenging cases can also help identify targets for change.
Set realistic expectations. Rarely are complete program overhauls feasible, especially considering the disruptions they can create for companies actively engaged with a high volume of mobility cases. Just making stakeholders aware of the initiative and giving them sufficient notice can help them cope with disruptions. Phasing-in changes can help you isolate variables and pinpoint and correct issues quickly whereas changing everything at once can make it harder to course correct if things veer off plan.
Solicit expert opinions. There is no reason to go it alone and even modest or incremental changes to your mobility policies can benefit from the perspective of knowledgeable outsiders. Consider reaching out to a provider to see what resources they have to offer. Chances are they have worked with other companies seeking to solve similar issues and can help frame solutions in the context of broader industry trends. This can help you steer clear of known pitfalls and introduce concepts and innovative approaches to put your program on a path toward leading- edge strategies and competitive differentiation.
If the focus of your project turns toward addressing high housing and/or living costs or assisting your employees with financing home purchases in a volatile rate environment, contact your U.S. Bank client relationship team for help. The team can provide a range of options to suit your program needs, offer insights into how to track and report on your program performance, assist with creating a business case for using specific benefits, walk you through options for a particular transferee and help you gain a clear understanding of estimated costs.