Talent mobility: Well-being in uncertain times

Employee wellbeing

We recognise that inadequate resources, exemplified by challenging work conditions like role ambiguity, can contribute to a state of negative well-being or ill-being such as burnout and stress. Conversely, individuals endowed with resources, such as robust social support, tend to experience a heightened sense of positive well-being such as job satisfaction, work engagement and work well-being.

Now let’s consider this in context.  We find ourselves in a world of work that is being reshaped by game changing drivers. Geopolitical and economic uncertainties are creating a climate of anxiety for both companies and employees. Simultaneously, societal and technological transformations are introducing a new set of challenges. This dynamic environment makes forecasting talent mobility trends a complex task.

In light of these changes, one of the priorities of top management has evolved: prioritising well-being.  Employee well-being is now at the forefront of our concerns. This emerging focus is prompting companies to adopt a more people-centric approach to productivity, thereby casting a spotlight on the importance of well-being.

What role can talent leaders play in promoting resilience and mental wellness among their mobile workforce? Meier of Mercer (2024) highlights that organisations are intensifying their focus on the well-being pillar. This is achieved by reassessing existing health coverage and capitalising on the advantages of preventive medicine and telemedicine. They are adopting stress-awareness initiatives and support programs with a specific emphasis on mental health. Efforts are being made to foster integration in the host location by establishing professional networks and initiating family integration programs, thereby enhancing social well-being. Furthermore, organisations are going beyond merely providing a cost-of-living allowance. They are offering information and support tailored to the personal financial situations of assignees, thereby focusing on improving their living standards and financial well-being.

Benefit coverage is being implemented in close collaboration between talent mobility and human resources teams. While HR is implementing general well-being benefits, it is crucial for HR and mobility teams to work in unison to deliver a cohesive experience for mobile employees.

Are we observing a trend where companies are implementing more tangible and noticeable well-being benefits for assignees, leading to reports of employees flourishing in their roles? Indeed, and this poses an intriguing question.

  • Financial Education: It can be challenging to navigate the financial frameworks of a new country. Providing financial education can help expatriates manage their finances effectively.
  • Familial Support: Moving to a new country can be stressful for the entire family. Companies can offer support services such as language classes, cultural training, and school search assistance for children.
  • Healthcare Support: Access to quality healthcare is crucial. Companies can provide comprehensive health insurance that covers medical services in the host country.
  • Nutrition and Exercise: Companies can offer benefits that support a healthy lifestyle, such as discounted gym memberships, inclusive wellness programs, meal plan access, and hosted nutrition workshops.
  • Work-Life Balance: Encouraging a healthy work-life balance can help expatriates adjust to their new environment. This can include flexible work hours, vacation time, and encouraging participation in local events and activities.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it demonstrates a handful of the ways organisations are supporting well-being in their workforces today.

While the implementation of processes and policies is crucial, it is equally important to comprehend the unique challenges faced by expatriates. We must strive to provide comprehensive, culturally sensitive, and accessible support services that cater to the specific needs of the mobile workforce.

For a free masterclass that can be added to your employee wellbeing program, visit www.temitalent.com.au/professional-development.

About the Author

Marie Castañeda is the Member Experience Manager for The Employee Mobility Institute (TEMi), the Australasian talent mobility industry’s professional development body. TEMi delivers training, networking and educational resources for global workforce management professionals, including Global Mobility Professional (GMP1 ®) certification.



2024 Talent mobility trends | Mercer

Work and non-work-related antecedents of expatriates’ well-being: A meta-analysis – ScienceDirect


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