As the cost of moving executives around the country continues to mount, companies are being forced to re-examine their relocation policies, particularly where the executive's spouse and family are concerned.
Many studies have found that resistance by the spouse and children is high on the list of reasons for rejecting a job transfer.
While there are no clear-cut solutions to make the move less traumatic, many companies are beginning to explore "support" services that address family concerns and offer the relocating executive something besides the basics of arranging home financing or assisting in the selection of a house.
Ted Bell, executive vice president of Employee Transfer Corp., which assists companies in relocating executives, explained that very little is done to offer job assistance to the relocating spouse or counseling for the family, but both will be very necessary in the years to come.
Nan Strauss and Micki Frankel, counselors and specialists in employe counseling, have set up a practice in Chicago to counsel families of relocated executives.
"We deal with the human needs of the entire family before, during, and after a move," said Strauss, executive vice president of Frankel & Strauss Associates, Inc.
A recent study for the Employee Relocation Council, researched and written by Jeanne Brett, an industrial organizational psychologist at Northwestern University, and James Werbel, an assistant professor of management at the University of Texas, offered several recommendations to companies on their relocation policies.
One recommendation was: "Prepare to assist spouses of transferred employes in finding challenging jobs at the new location."