Think about it: The last time Michael and his entire family were transferred from San Diego to Chicago, his new immediate manager barely got out an e-mail on the Friday afternoon before that Michael would be joining the team the next Monday. Why not organize a small reception at the manager’s home, invite key employees and their spouses along with Michael and his wife, Lori, and make it a personal mission to make sure they feel comfortable in their new personal and professional surroundings? Because despite popular belief, I would submit that (1) what Michael does for a living isn’t who Michael is, and (2) if Lori doesn’t feel at home in Chicago, the stay for the job will be a short-term transaction rather than a long-term investment in the position of the company.

One of our clients has created a ‘‘family buddy system,’’ where they introduce a recently relocated family to several other families and help them adjust. From neighborhoods with great schools, to places of worship, to places to shop for groceries and find activities for the kids, they have determined that the level of engagement in the new community by the entire family directly correlates with the level of satisfaction and comfort by the employee in the new assignment.

To learn more, read the revised and updated Relationship Economics paperback edition with 40 percent new content, including an all-new chapter 10 on social media and business relationships (Wiley, Feb. 2011).

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