Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Monday, February 6, 2017

My job is moving to Europe

Jan. 23, 2017 "My job is moving to Europe, but I won't.  Do I get severance?": Today I found this article in the Globe and Mail:


I work for a multinational company headquartered in Europe. My position is being transferred to head office, but I am not interested in relocating to Europe. If I don’t accept the relocation or find another position locally within the company, my head count will be removed by a stipulated date. Is my employer legally obligated to pay me severance?


Daniel Lublin
Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers, Toronto

You can’t be forced to relocate to Europe (or anywhere else not reasonably close to your current job) unless you previously agreed in writing that your employer has the right to relocate you. Most employment agreements do not contain these types of clauses and, without them, a relocation cannot be imposed. Therefore, when your job is finally eliminated, you are indeed entitled to a severance package. The next question becomes what form of severance and how much you should receive.

Your employer is entitled to provide you with “working notice” of the future elimination of your position and this would be one instance where that could make a lot of sense. If your employer is aware that you do not want to move, it would be smart to confirm your future termination date in writing, since the time period between the date that this is confirmed and your last day of employment is considered a form of working severance that could reduce or in some cases eliminate the need to pay you anything further after you leave. As in all cases, your overall severance is assessed based on your age, tenure and position.


Eleanor James
Consultant, The James Thinkstitute, Toronto

It’s common for multinationals to transfer employees and it’s not always made clear from the start.

During the interview phase, potential employees are well-served by asking about the corporate culture and the possibility of transfer. Find out how it works and think carefully about it before taking the job.

Saying no can be a career-limiting move and, if a job is dependent on a transfer, it can be hard on your family and complicated by assets such as a house. Multinationals that want to have company-wide best practices will sometimes send employees for six months to teach those practices in other countries. It’s effective for the company and less disruptive for employees.

But in this case you know that your job is going overseas and you don’t want to follow it. If you want to stay with the company and you know they see you as a valuable asset to be retained, recruit the help of your boss and Human Resources and spend the time finding a new fit within the company – a job of the same calibre as your current job.

If you’re not so keen to stay, it’s time to start looking for something new. If offered “working notice,” use the situation to help you in your search outside the company.

"Leave a good impression on customers to increase loyalty": Today I found an article by Harvey Schachter in the Globe and Mail:

Even before you meet a prospective customer, you should be implanting memories of what it is like to do business with your company, says Windsor, Ont., marketing consultant Noah Fleming.

"Businesses think the experience starts with when they have a sale, but a customer is experiencing your business from before that time and then through the various stages of doing business with you," he said in an interview.

The appeal will inevitably be to the emotions, sensory inputs that turn into hopefully positive memories. It occurs through your various interactions with customers, since you will want them to purchase again. That sounds obvious, but he is always amazed at the number of organizations who enjoy the chase so much they prefer to hunt for new customers rather than focus on keeping existing ones.

He breaks the relationship - The Customer Loyalty Loop, as his latest book is titled - into four stages:

Imagination before persuasion: When we book a trip, we start to anticipate the experiences ahead. Similarly, businesses have to focus on the anticipated memory.
Back in 1919, marketer Claude Hopkins did this for Schlitz beer.

In ads for the company, he highlighted parts of the process that evoked purity, even though all other beer manufacturers had similar processes. But Schlitz gained by tying itself to purity.

Mr. Fleming suggests brainstorming with your team the three best compliments a customer might offer your business, and figuring out where you need to improve to receive those plaudits. Also, rid your closet of skeletons, looking with your salespeople at your product's shortcomings and then seeing how to turn those negatives into positives. If prospects find you too expensive, bring it up early in the conversation and explain why that's necessary for their benefit.

Conversion not coercion: Trustbuilding continues as you move to the sale. Often you need to slow down here to build that bond, giving the prospect a sense of security, rather than trying fancy influence techniques, and avoiding a gap between expectations and reality postsale. Again, you are building a memorable, positive experience.

In his book, Mr. Fleming mentions the importance of language for bonding - Starbucks created a lingo for its customers, while Tim Hortons adopted its customers' language for the brews, but in both cases the short forms enhance the experience.

It's critical to watch for resistance, which Mr. Fleming says comes in three main forms according to psychologist Erik Knowles. There's reactance, which is resistance to the sales process itself; skepticism; and inertia, which stems from the buyer and their situation, not you. Test your sales processes to see which experiences work and which don't - and keep testing.

He tells of one manufacturing firm that had a dramatic increase in its ability to win deals - and get approvals faster - by FedExing rather than e-mailing its proposals.

Experience choreography: Everyone in the company should know what experiences customers are to receive and everything should be aligned. That didn't happen with one Toronto luxury hotel where Mr. Fleming was hosting an event; it blew him away with its many indulgences but had one-ply toilet paper in the bathroom.

You want to create remarkable moments, not gimmicks but valuable benefits, like the Bentleys or Lexuses some hotels make available for guests.

Often he finds companies fighting tooth and nail with competitors, but the top executives have never even been on their opponent's website. "Try to experience what they are doing to see if you can do it better," Mr. Fleming advises.

Audit your customer journey, studying the process, testing your employee's understanding, talking to your customers to hear their stories, playing "undercover boss" by experiencing it yourself in some way, and creating a hierarchy of horrors, the worst eight areas of the experience that you must fix.

Happily ever after: To help the relationship continue forever, it's important to remind customers of the value they received and the hard work on their behalf.

He recommends a strong followup process, such as making sure sales reps contact the top 10 per cent of customers every 45 days and that every 90 days any customer who spent a dime with you is contacted.

Also consider his "Pick 3" process, listing various activities to boost your business and taking 15 minutes every day to, say, handwrite notes to three customers or ask three clients for referrals.

"We spend a lot of time focused on new clients rather than existing clients. You need the right process in place to nurture existing customers," he says.


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