Senior Vice President, Global Business Development
The New England Relocation Association (NERA) 2014 Summer Meeting was held recently at at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood, Massachusetts. NERA is the nation’s first regional relocation organization created as the brainchild of several members of Worldwide ERC® in 1976. It provides an excellent forum for New England area regional relocation professionals for ongoing exchanges of ideas and information regarding our industry.
There were more than 60 attendees at this meeting. The meeting began with a networking breakfast followed by remarks from NERA President Christine Holland and industry updates from the meeting's sponsors.
Two presentations were offered as part of the meeting’s agenda. The first, “All Packed Up and Ready to Go: Your Duty of Care As a Relocation Professional”, was presented by Erin Giordano and Michael Reedy, from International SOS. The duo’s session focused on how critical it was for companies to recognize they hold a ‘Duty of Care’ responsibility for their employees (and dependents) who cross borders as part of their work duties.
Erin and Michael shared some strategies, tools and actions for implementing a Duty of Care program. There are three key aspects of ‘Duty of Care’ including Legal Perspective, Corporate Social Responsibility and Cost/Benefit. While health, safety and security risks are of importance to any employer, risk management becomes much more complex for multinational corporations (MNC) with employees (and contractors or subcontractors) required to work outside their countries of residence as expatriates or international business travelers.
The employee also has a ‘Duty of Loyalty’ to their employer. Employees can minimize risks by complying with company policies and procedures, abiding by local laws, and avoiding any unnecessary risks while in unfamiliar environments. It’s not a great idea to go bungee-jumping, sky diving or take a stroll on the beach under a tsunami warning while you are traveling on business or on an overseas assignment.
The second presentation on the agenda was “They’re Just Not That Into You.” The dynamic workshop was presented by Jeff Hiller of JB Training Solutions. He presented a very entertaining overview of the differences between the various generations co-existing in today’s workforce. Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, and Millennials each demonstrate unique characteristics. It’s critical for each group to abandon the stereotypes about each generation and keep an open mind.
A Baby Boomer or Gen X’er might now have a Millennial manager. Some interesting thoughts about how to adapt include Boomers not getting caught up in the “good old days” lectures, Generation X might struggle with a Millennial supervisor’s desire for collaboration since they value self-reliance and a Millennial might question the promotion of a fellow Millennial since they have a tendency to value equality more than hierarchy. Hiller emphasized the need for all generations to understand and respect each other in order to ensure success in the workplace.
Finally, and from a personal perspective, I was delighted to hear the announcement that I had been elected to serve on the new NERA board of directors effective July 1, 2014. I look forward participating in board duties and upcoming NERA events.