However, achieving strong employee retention and engagement has never been so challenging, with companies across the world suffering the effects of poor employee mental health.
In fact, research from Morneau Shepell reveals that poor employee health leads to over 45 million sick days per year in the US. In addition, over $1900 of revenue a year is lost per employee due to absences; many of which are avoidable.
This isn’t just a problem for the US either. Nearly a third of the UK workforce will experience mental health issues during their employment. Furthermore, 500,000 Canadians will miss work each week because of stress and personal challenges.
Clearly this is a global issue that needs to be addressed by companies around the world, especially if they have international workers, or employees on assignment, who are more susceptible to feelings of culture shock, loneliness and depression.
Expat Assistance Programmes
One way that businesses can support their staff, especially those working abroad, is through utilising Employee Assistance Programmes or EAPs.
EAPs have become one of the most popular wellbeing initiatives among companies looking for a low-cost way to support their staff and increase overall productivity and engagement.
Most EAPs work by giving employees access to a confidential wellbeing service, which provides support and counselling, either via telephone or face-to-face. Counsellors are specialists in the areas that they provide support, including:
- Stress, anxiety and depression
- Alcohol and drug misuse
- Crisis and trauma support
- Marital and relationship difficulties
- Nutrition and natural health strategies
These types of services can be invaluable to employees that require emotional support in their everyday lives. Research has shown that not only does an EAP help with talent attraction and retention, but increases productive days at work by 36 per cent, while cutting staff absences by 9 per cent.
In addition, these programmes are particularly useful for companies that employ expats or international workers. The process of adapting to a new culture and coping with relocation and isolation can cause its own health problems, commonly seen among those working away from home.
Availability of EAPs
Companies that provide Employee Assistance Programmes will usually pay an external provider for the service; generally there’s a flat-fee per employee member. However, a more cost-effective way of introducing an EAP to a business can be to elect a health provider that includes the service within its benefits.
To learn more about our Expat Assistance Programme or group health packages, click on the link below or speak with a member of our team.
Integra Global – Expat Assistance Programme