Having an international workforce is both rewarding and eye-opening, presenting dozens of advantages and offering myriad opportunities for any business. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t come with challenges.

A simple way to attract, retain and ensure the wellbeing, productivity and loyalty of your employees around the world is by offering a global benefits scheme.

In fact, a priority for many people when applying for a new position is the benefits that one firm offers above another. Having an enviable scheme in place means your business is more likely to get the attention of and hold onto the top candidates — even during a global talent shortage.

As an expanding business, your growth ambitions can also be realised if you shift your focus to your employees. Not only is it imperative to employ the right people, but it’s more essential than ever to emphasise looking after your employees’ wellbeing. Deloitte even suggests that employee mental health will soon be as central to business policy as corporate social responsibility.

What benefits should you offer?

Global employee benefits can come in many shapes and sizes.

Popular benefits include health insurance, mental health support and family-friendly benefits such as paid parental or bereavement leave. In the wake of COVID-19, flexible working arrangements are also trending, with 76% of workers reporting they’d be more willing to stay with their current employer if flexible hours were available.

While many businesses believe that spending big and offering extravagant perks is the only way to go, many workers appreciate the low-cost options, such as parking benefits or allowances for commuting. These smaller tokens are a more practical way of rewarding your employees, which can have a big impact on their day-to-day lives and budgets.

It’s also a good idea to offer a variety of different benefits so that your staff can choose what suits them best, as one size is never going to fit all. What’s more, your overall benefits strategy should be flexible as there’s always room for improvement.

How can you offer the right benefits?

The key to choosing the right perks for your people is through sufficient research into what your employees actually value. You can go about this by conducting an employee engagement survey, utilising your recruitment statistics and continuously monitoring your current plan’s success. This way, you can offer your team something genuinely worthwhile.

The requirements and wishes of your employees will vary from country to country, too. Understanding local customs and cultures and ensuring you offer benefits that align with local norms and expectations is vital.

Employers can use technology to their advantage when it comes to offering global benefits. There are dozens of online platforms available to streamline access to rewards that can be tailored and personalised to each employee. Giving your employees a choice will result in greater user satisfaction and uptake while demonstrating that you care for each member of staff.

What else do you need to consider?

To deliver world-class employee benefits, your business needs to take local customs, regulations and expectations into account. Particularly if your business spans multiple countries with very different traditions and customs, it’s not always easy to find the balance between your company’s global strategy and the local requirements of each location.

Trying to be too general without fully considering each area you operate in may result in providing benefits that don’t align with local customs. Conversely, being too specific with your company perks may go against your overall global aims. The best way to overcome this is by taking a broad approach that can be narrowed down to each location so that the benefit remains relevant to each zone and accessible to all employees.

Compliance also presents a hurdle for international companies, particularly when choosing the appropriate global benefits. Understanding the regulatory landscape and local labour laws surrounding mandatory annual leave, for example, is pivotal when assessing what benefits to offer.

As an employer of record, assisting with your worldwide expansion is what we do best. A professional employer organisation removes the headache of employing internationally and can support your global employee benefits needs. Contact the team today to learn more about our international employment services.