With employees spread across numerous countries or even the entire globe, it can be difficult for global organisations to ensure all their employees feel part of the same team. A well-executed employee wellbeing strategy can be key to engagement within a global organisation, by helping to tie employees into your organisation’s values and purpose, whilst also showing them they are valued as part of the wider company. The age demographic of workforces is changing, as companies benefit from having the most experienced workers which typically fall into the higher age categories and employers struggle with talent shortages and use incentives such as wellbeing packages to retain employees.

Employee wellbeing programs are on the rise. The UK has seen a significant increase in the number of organisations offering wellbeing support in the form of EAPs, Private Medical Insurance and voluntary benefits such as discounted gym memberships and Cycle to Work schemes. However, this trend is beginning to spread globally, as organisations begin to view employee wellbeing in a new light following the global pandemic. There are numerous benefits for the provision of wellbeing solutions and these help to mitigate future risk especially on a global scale. They can be a vital absence management tool, reduce claims on health and risk policies and even encourage higher employee engagement.

Whilst the number of organisations that offer some form of wellbeing support is rising, a truly successful global approach to employee wellbeing is one which actively engages employees with their own wellbeing, their colleagues, and the organisation. Employees with access to a wide range of health and risk protection are more engaged at work. There are numerous benefits for the provision of wellbeing solutions and these help to mitigate future risk especially on a global scale. They can be a vital absence management tool, reduce claims on health and risk policies and even encourage higher employee engagement.

The pandemic has driven a need for benefits platforms which help to connect people, and this has also triggered a shift in what is most highly valued, with a growing change in attitudes towards the use of digital wellbeing and self-care solutions. Digital health has a clear role in alleviating the mental health crisis through the use of video chats and tools to build mindfulness and resilience skills forming a key competent as a means of engaging a global workforce through their wellbeing solution.

The following are a number of key considerations when constructing a global wellbeing strategy which benefits and engages employees.  


Cultural differences

It’s important to have a clear understanding of the cultural differences within the areas your organisation covers, and how these may impact attitudes to wellbeing. For example, within the UK there has been a change in attitudes towards issues such as mental health, however in other parts of the world mental health is much less widely discussed.

In order to engage an entire global workforce with wellbeing benefits, it’s vital that communications are adjusted in terms tone and approach. Whilst a more direct approach may suit UK employees, a more subtle style of communication could be required for other international employees.



Whilst it may seem obvious that global wellbeing services need to be communicated in different languages, this can sometimes be more complicated than it initially seems, for example where expats are involved or in multilingual countries. It may be that even within a single country, communications need to be in available in numerous languages. If the support available is not communicated in a language that is accessible for that employee, they are more likely to be disengaged from their benefits and even the organisation itself.

Another key consideration is the accessibility of the services themselves. Both access to local healthcare and economic disparities can impact the accessibility of wellbeing support. The WHO (World Health Organisation) stated that half the world still lacks access to essential health services, a statistic which has been made worse by the global pandemic. Where access isn’t readily available, support through Private Medical Insurance and other services can be vital in ensuring the health and wellbeing of a workforce, and even recruitment.

However wellbeing schemes often work by connecting employees with existing services in their region, but in countries where a framework of services is either patchy or none-existent, employees could fall through the gaps. To ensure global equity and accessibility to the right wellbeing support, you need to understand where these gaps are and how best to plug them. This could mean providing access to private medical care or filtering employees to another country to access a service remotely. Wellbeing on a global plan leverages the broader global and local wellbeing initiatives to support the global marketplace where possible.

Wellbeing and digital services can also be used to flag existing tools and benefits which are relevant to employees and have the potential to serve as a connection between individuals and providers in emergencies such as natural disasters where support is key to an employee’s wellbeing.



There is a growing recognition of the role which inclusivity has to play in our overall wellbeing. An organisation cannot hope to provide the right support for their employees without first recognising each person’s unique set of circumstances and experiences which contribute towards their wellbeing. This is particularly relevant when looking at international wellbeing, as there could be additional socio-economic or political factors to consider such as poverty, racial inequality, or LGBTQ+ rights.

To summarise, the key point is that a ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t work when constructing a successful employee benefits scheme. Although the level of support for employees should be universal, the types of benefits and how they are communicated should be tailored. Wellbeing is key to the success of an expat assignment to ensure that employees feel nurtured and supported and remain engaged and continue to feel connected. Wellbeing is now not just a nice thing to do but the right thing to do.