Insight

A Health Check on Wellbeing Within Workforce Mobility

19 Jul 2022 | Louise Chilcott, Business Development Manager

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Employee wellbeing should be a key ingredient of every organisation’s international relocation policy. ‘Duty of care’ is essential, extending beyond tax, immigration and legal compliance issues to safety and security.

Research highlights that the employee wellbeing is valued by employees but not always implemented by organisations. The results are worrying.

The findings – from Simplyhealth and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) – show that there is less management focus on health and wellbeing compared with the first year of the pandemic. Seven in ten (70%) of HR respondents agree that employee wellbeing is on senior leaders’ agendas (down from 75% last year) and 60% believe that line managers have bought into the importance of wellbeing (down from 67% last year).

Supporting employee wellbeing is especially important within global talent mobility as assignees are often relocating to new cultures as well as new roles. Global health service company Cigna’s 2021 study showed that 89% of globally mobile employees suffered from workplace stress in the previous 12 months. 

More than half (56%) of globally mobile employees look for mental health support from their employer. However, only 30% receive it. Given the growing importance of wellbeing in attracting employees to undertake international relocations, this is a worrying situation. In addition, 12% of globally mobile employees say their stress is unmanageable, with 29% reporting physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach pains, due to workplace stress.

Mind The Gap

The disparity between assignee requirements and employer support must be addressed if talent mobility is to achieve its potential. Internally, wellbeing support should be reviewed, and initiatives developed. For global workforce mobility, truly bespoke support recognising individual assignees’ concerns and priorities should be delivered. Off-the-shelf, ‘one size fits all’ solutions simply don't have the flexibility to fulfil every assignee’s needs.

“Every international assignee is a unique individual,” says Sarah Huntridge of BTR International. “At BTR, we take the time to understand our clients, answering questions and allaying concerns at the very start of the relocation process. Our service is truly personalised, striving to accommodate every requirement. We genuinely care about making every relocation as stress-free as possible for everyone involved.”

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