Hiring the right people is a key component of NEI Global Relocation's success.
“Our selection process is pretty rigorous,” said CEO Randy Wilson. “We want to have the right relationship with anyone who comes to us. Then we start our onboarding, a very in-depth process.”
“I think there's a lot of things that have made NEI a successful company, but I think ultimately it's the intangibles,” said Nancy Godwin, director of talent development. “We hire people with professionalism and a customer service background. Another reason is because we focus so much on training.”
All companies need well-trained employees to work efficiently, but training budgets at many companies have been diminished in recent years. NEI does not let that happen.
“It's extensive, it's multi-tiered,” Godwin said of the training offered to employees. “We start out teaching the basics. The first thing we have is Re-lo 101: What is relocation and what are the needs of our clients? What we try to do in the initial training is core competencies, then we go to intermediate knowledge, then we go to critical thinking, so we can give examples and case studies so people can explore in great detail. Then we go to analytical study, which is consulting skills. Each one of our topics is broken down into each of those four topics.”
NEI currently offers employees more than 200 training courses. Wilson offered a reason why the company offers more classes than some colleges.
“People do not go to school to work in the relocation industry,” she said. “It takes a unique type of person who has that commitment to detail, but also that passion for people, who can follow up and make sure everyone is taken care of.”
Once someone is hired at NEI, opportunities for advancement often become available.
“Our preference is to promote from within,” Wilson said. “That's why we are developing our individuals all the time.”
Godwin started 16 years ago as an executive assistant. She then became manager of operations development and has been director of talent development for the last three years.
Women make up 83 percent of the company's workforce.
“We are very focused on the advancement of women in the workplace,” Wilson said.
The employees at NEI consider themselves a family, which extends to the company being family-oriented.
“There are several situations where someone may have a personal need, and the company is willing to work with them to help them through the situation and make sure they are able to get the job done,” Godwin said. “Maybe someone has an elderly parent or a young child where they have a need to miss work more than would be typically expected, and NEI is very willing to work with that person to work out a schedule.”
For as crucial as flexibility is to NEI employees, it also is essential when working with clients.
“NEI provides service to our clients,” Godwin said. “There are certain points that we have to do a certain way to comply with IRS rulings, but there are a lot of other ways where we really want to meet the clients' needs.”
Though employees' schedules often flex around their families or their clients, many employees look forward to being in the office Oct. 31.
“Halloween is crazy at NEI!” Godwin said. “We all pull together to have an extra fun day. There's a food day — we often decorate pumpkins. We've had skits, and people decorate.”
Employees have a costume theme and compete for bragging rights and a pizza party.
NEI Global Relocation
First place, Large category
Offices: Headquarters in Omaha; offices in Geneva, Switzerland; and Hong Kong
Primary business: Relocation management and consulting