How Are Companies Using Employee Assistance Programmes to Boost Employee Wellness?

According to a report from insurance broker Aon and TELUS Health, 45% of employees in Asia said their mental health is negatively affecting their work productivity. Cigna Healthcare’s Vitality Study 2023 finds that, 87% of Hong Kong survey respondents are experiencing stress, higher than the global average of 80%.

Leading multinational companies understand the importance of and are planning employee assistance programmes (EAP) that include stress management, mental health, substance abuse, and healthy sleep. Employee assistance programmes usually include outplacement services, which is vital when companies choose to downsize.

If the complexity of the employee’s role and the required investment in training is high, the loss for the employer will be amplified. This shows that high employee turnover can have a huge impact on a business in the long-run.

cost to value of an employee


The Harvard Business Review found a strong correlation between downsizing and voluntary turnover. A 1% downsize in the workforce leads to a 31% increase in voluntary turnover rate the following year. They also reported that surviving employees of the redundancy experienced anxiety, guilt, and even anger, which ultimately resulted in:

  • 41% decline in job satisfaction
  • 36% decline in organisational commitment
  • 20% decline in job performance

Businesses need to think carefully and plan their layoff processes if they don’t want the knock-on effects of poorly handled termination. Employees dictate a business’ success, meaning a drop in business productivity and commitment could cause serious financial and reputation problems for organisations. As companies with weaker brands saw 28% higher turnover rates according to LinkedIn Hiring Solutions Insights, you should be doing as much as you can to protect your employer branding.

Read also: Why Corporate Wellness is Important for Talent Retention in Asia

What is the ROI for Employee Assistance Programmes which includes, Outplacement Services?

Smart business leaders have recognised the possible problems and are implementing their wellness strategies to counteract possible difficulties. Gympass, an all-in-one platform giving employees flexible access to fitness and wellness, explained on their 2023 ‘The Return on Wellbeing Study’ that 90% of companies see a positive ROI from their wellness initiatives and almost 85% say that their wellness program helps reduce the use of sick days.

Asia Pacific companies are catching on to the trend, as global data found on Aon plc’s 2022-2023 Global Wellbeing Survey, shows that improving employee wellbeing factors can enhance company performance by at least 11% and up to 55%.

Outplacement helps transition displaced employees to new career opportunities through counselling, coaching and connections. Outplacement plans are usually tailored for the business, but typically contains:

  • Termination planning,
  • Resume optimisation,
  • Training and development,
  • Interview preparation,
  • Career counselling,
  • Connection to opportunities, and
  • Clinical psychological support.

Leading businesses are using outplacement services to:

  • Protect employer branding,
  • Cut future hiring costs,
  • Be a responsible employer,
  • Stabilise the workforce, and
  • Prevent legal disputes.

Read also: Strategic Reshaping in Asia: The Surge of Outplacement Services for Corporate Restructuring

Why is Corporate Wellness Important for Talent Retention in Asia?

In PwC’s 2023 Hopes and Fears Global Workforce Survey, it was learnt that:

  • About 30% of respondents are likely to switch jobs in the next 12 months – a number up 10% from 2022,
  • In Asia Pacific, 40% are extremely likely to ask for a pay raise or a promotion, and
  • 30% of employees are most likely to change employers in the next 12 months (June 2023 – June 2024).

This shift shows a change in employee expectations. Unless employers revamp their approach towards employee experience prioritising corporate wellness, attracting new talent and talent retention of existing valued employees in the current environment will continue to be an upward battle.

Choosing the Right EAP Vendor:

With the ROI being so high for well-designed wellness programmes, it is crucial that businesses find the right one and make it part of their business strategy soon as possible.

When choosing a vendor, you must consider the vendor’s experience, what services they cover, your budget, their service locations, and customer support. Some benefits of corporate EAP’s include:

  • Flexible working hours or working remotely,
  • Prioritising employee’s mental health,
  • Expanding the scope of wellbeing, including emotional, social, financial, and communal,
  • Help promote employee engagement and talent retention, and
  • Boosts morale and cuts cost of employee healthcare.

Asia Pacific businesses must choose programmes that are location-centric, catered specifically for working professionals in Asia. It is important to select a vendor that operates in multiple locations throughout the region and has extensive knowledge about the needs of businesses in different countries.

A flexible service package with Links’ EAP services include:

  • Confidential employee wellness hotline,
  • Wellness programme,
  • Outplacement services and,
  • Onboard orientation consultancy.

To learn more about Links International’s coverage and how we can tailor the perfect EAP for your business, get in touch with our recruitment team now!

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Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationPEO/EOR Secondmentoutplacementrecruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.

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