Expat staff 'more committed' to company goals

A major study has shown that globally-mobile employees display "significantly higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and productivity" than staff who do not take foreign assignments.

Survey finds that expat staff are 'more committed' to company goals
This year's 'US Employee Benefit Trends Study', compiled by global insurer MetLife and based on a survey of more than 5,000 employers and employees, focused on the attitudes and achievements of both staff with expat experience and the companies that employed them.Among the findings was the fact that globally-mobile employees were more than twice as likely as their non-expat peers to recommend their organisation as a place to work.

Expatriates report better job satisfaction

Additionally, 91 per cent of globally-mobile employees receiving expatriate benefits were satisfied with their job compared to 73 per cent of their colleagues who had not taken foreign assignments. Similar percentages reflected the two group's commitment to their companies' goals.“Globally-mobile employees lean on strong relationships with their employers to navigate work and life in a foreign country,” says Ann Deugo, vice president and head of MetLife Worldwide Benefits.“When the employer can make this a positive experience, these employees will reward their employer with increased loyalty, enthusiasm and commitment.”
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The importance of customising benefits packages

The study found that globally-mobile employees were generally more educated than their stay-at-home counterparts, with 31 per cent of the former having advanced degrees compared to 22 per cent of the latter. Some 29 per cent of expat employees were under 45 years and in executive leadership roles."Customising benefits for this highly motivated group should be a business priority and could provide a long-term payoff when it comes to loyalty and productivity," adds MetLife."Additionally, globally-mobile employees believe, more than other employees, that employers have a responsibility to provide personal and family security through employee benefits."Becoming a globally-mobile employee means leaving behind familiar safety nets and operating in new work environments, so this reliance on employers for security is a high priority."

Improving the commitment of globally-mobile employees

However, MetLife says that employers will only reap the benefits of employee loyalty if staff are actually aware of the benefits offered – and the study found that a perception gap exists between what employers offered their globally-mobile employees and their employees' understanding of what they were entitled to.The report found, for example, that two-thirds of expat staff said they would like to receive specific support to navigate local healthcare systems. While 64 per cent of employers said they offered such a service, only 42 per cent of employees believed they had this service as part of their benefits package."The right approach for employers who want to further engage this group is to customise benefits packages," says MetLife. "Customisation helps ensure globally-mobile employees will thrive in their work and personal lives, successfully adjust to new surroundings, and cease worrying about support for potential health and financial security issues."Ms Deugo adds: “There is immense potential for leveraging the commitment and loyalty of globally-mobile employees. By demonstrating enthusiasm for your brand, they become brand ambassadors who add value to any business.” 

For more news and features on globally-mobile employees, visit our dedicated Mobility Industry section.

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