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How to Craft the Best Benefits Package for a Global Workforce

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When employers operate across national borders, financial compensation is relatively simple. Software can effortlessly convert currencies and send payments around the world at the snap of a finger. But benefits packages for a global workforce? Well, they’re a bit harder to translate across international borders.

If you’re struggling to provide perks for your global workforce, here are some tips to help you craft the best benefits package possible for everyone on your team.

Centralize your tech stack

Before you start strategizing about a benefits package, ensure you have a solid platform in place to run your global compensation activity. Distributed HR provider Oyster refers to this as a “global employment platform.”

Related: How to Choose A Tech Stack for Your Startup

A “global employment platform” is an all-in-one solution for distributed companies that want to compliantly hire, pay, and provide benefits to talent worldwide. Compensation and benefits are just one piece of the employment puzzle. Why not centralize your tech stack and use one solution to help with hiring and paying your team, too?

A global employment platform streamlines everything from onboarding to payroll. In essence, it creates a central hub through which you can funnel the bulk of the compensation and benefits you offer to your employees. While it isn’t technically necessary, having this beforehand is useful.

If you plan on expanding your team around the world quickly, a sprawling tech stack can definitely slow you down. Laying a strong foundation, in the beginning, can be a game-changer.

Remember that not all benefits are created equal

When creating a benefits program designed to cross national borders, it’s important to consider each country and culture you’re working within. Something that is considered a benefit in one place might be an assumption in another or even an unwanted or unnecessary luxury.

Related: The 25 Best Companies for Employee Compensation and Benefits

HR Morning provides a good example of this in the form of PTO. In the U.S., paid or at least partly paid time off is a requirement in certain situations, such as parental leave after having a child or time off to address mental health concerns.

However, additional paid time off is often added to compensation benefits as a special perk. In places like Panama, though, PTO isn’t a perk. It’s a necessity. Employers must offer at least 30 business days per year and ten public holidays.

As you begin to sort through your benefits options keep this in mind. Not all benefits are the same everywhere.

Look for universal benefits

Benefits are often specific to a geographic area. For instance, a health insurance plan will likely follow state or national policies and standards. Something like a parking spot is even more specific.

If you want a benefits package to resonate with a global workforce, you want to build it around perks that are universally (or nearly so) appreciated. Look for things that most of your employees will find advantageous. After all, a benefits package’s primary goal is to help you attract and retain talent. It should provide clear value and come across as a special bonus reserved for your workers.

Remote employers can’t lean on basic perks anymore, either. You can’t assume that things like “remote work” and “flexible work hours” count. They are assumed benefits at this point, not perks. However, most employees would consider something like a housing allowance or reimbursement for educational costs a special advantage.

You can also adapt traditional perks for an international workforce. For instance, while a health insurance program may be tricky, an HSA account can pay out in many different countries.

Personalize your benefits package for a global workforce when you can

Finally, whenever you can personalize a benefit, do so. This gives your employees the ability to tailor a benefit to their unique circumstances.

If you need to create a benefits package for a global workforce, start with a streamlined global employment platform. Consider how each of your employees will view each perk and try to build a foundation of benefits that apply to everyone. From there, fill in the gaps with targeted benefits that employees can tailor to their unique situations.

If you can do that, you can create a benefits package for a global workforce that will speak to all of your workers. It will stand out as a desirable element that can attract top talent, whether they’re hailing from the mountainous Welsh region of Bangor, India’s tech capital of Bangalore, or anywhere in between.

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