With an increasingly global economy and workforce, it is increasingly common to have employees working from multiple countries. Working for an international company has its perks—the opportunity to travel, to live abroad, and to experience new cultures. Managing a multinational company, however, has its complexities. Take for example, employee benefits.
International companies with a small team based in the United States, or U.S. companies with international teams, must consider how to offer competitive employee benefits to recruit and retain the industry’s best talent.
Traditional, organization-oriented benefits such health insurance, pensions, and wellness programs, however, are often not logistically feasible or cost effective for multinational companies.
So where does that leave companies with international employees who want to offer competitive employee benefits? One popular solution is to offer allowances for employee benefits instead of offering the actual benefits. At PeopleKeep, we like to call this trend personalized benefits.
The concept here is simple. Instead of organization-oriented benefit offerings, allow each employee to customize their benefits using technology.
By personalizing employee benefits, employees have the freedom to evaluate and choose their own benefits—using employer-provided dollars.
Whether this type of model is used for health insurance, retirement savings, education benefits, or any employee perk—this strategy empowers the employee to design their own package and choose their own features, tools, and coverage levels.
For companies with one or two employees in the United States, or for U.S. companies with a small team abroad, this approach to employee benefits provides flexibility, cost-savings, and minimal administration time.
Example—Health Benefits Solution for International Startup
A small technology startup in San Francisco has 20 employees in California and three employees in Hong Kong.
Challenge: Offer a competitive health care package to employees, including the three team members in Hong Kong. The company prefers to offer one benefit offering to all employees, rather than administer separate plans for the domestic and international employees.
Solution: Offer all full-time team members a health care allowance of $300/month via personalized benefits. Each employee purchases coverage on their own which gives employees individual choice over the specific carriers, doctors, and level of coverage. Employees then use their employer-funded defined contribution plan to be reimbursed for their premium, up to the amount available in their balance.
Companies with employees in multiple countries face unique challenges when it comes to offering employee benefits. One strategy particularly well suited for international and multinational companies is to provide employer-funded allowances for benefits such as health care, retirement, education, and perks. This employee benefits approach allows companies to offer competitive benefits and it allows employees to customize their benefits to their location and preferences.
What other employee benefit ideas do you have for companies with employees in multiple countries? What questions do you have? Join the discussion with a comment below.