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3 most attractive employee benefits for third culture kids

Third Culture Kids – Children growing up in a culture that is different from their parents’ for a significant part of their life. Abbreviated as TCKs, these global nomads are becoming a hot topic of discussion for employers and HR specialists alike.  

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They often identify with multiple cultures, making them a valuable asset for businesses with an international working environment. However, being brought up in multiple cultures, their values and beliefs may be vastly different from those of local employees.  

In this article by Pacific Prime Dubai, we will explore what TCKs bring to the table when they enter your business and the types of employee benefits that best attract these cross-cultural talents.  

Why do businesses want to hire TCKs

Thanks to globalization, there are now countless expatriate communities found in almost every corner of the world. As expats start new families abroad, they are bringing up the first generations of TCKs. Today, as these cultural hybrids are starting to enter the workforce, they are one of the most highly demanded types of employees by international businesses.   

TCKs are the embodiment of multiculturalism. On average, they have lived in at least 4 countries throughout their lives, first got on the plane before they could speak, and 85% of them are bilingual. With their remarkable upbringing, TCKs possess 3 key characteristics that make the future face of international businesses.   

1. Unmatched communication skills 

There is nothing more familiar for a TCK than interacting with a group of people from multiple cultures. Being highly trained in cross-cultural communication from a young age, they are able to act as cultural nodes that bind your employees together.  

As TCKs identify with multiple cultures at once, they are also able to empathize with different cultural values present at your workplace, making them strong mediators and team leaders.  

2. Unique language skills 

Being fluent in at least two languages is now the baseline language requirement for many businesses. Growing up in several different countries, TCKs can easily meet this linguistic requirement.

A recent survey found that 85% of TCKs are able to speak two languages, while almost half are able to speak 3 languages or more. 

As the digital age brings people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds together in one workplace, the unique linguistic skills of TCKs are more relevant than ever before.  

3. Always-on adaptive skills 

Moving to an entirely different country or multiple different countries at a young age forces TCKs to adapt to changing environments. As cultural chameleons, they have developed a flexible mindset that is always ready to cope with change.  

In the context of a work environment, their flexible mindset translates to the ability to cope with sudden changes in project plans, working groups, and client demands. Flexibility is one of the most desirable characteristics that employers look for, making TCKs a valuable asset to your business.  

How to attract TCKs

While businesses want TCKs working for them, not all are able to successfully attract and retain them in their workplace. This is because employers often misunderstand the needs and values of TCKs, mistaking them as being similar to their local employees. 

Partially identifying with both their local culture and international cultures has led TCKs to develop their own “third culture.” Understanding the challenges that being in this third culture entails is the key to figuring out what kind of employee benefits attracts and retains TCKs.  

1. International health coverage

Like their expatriate parents or grandparents, TCKs are known to travel abroad more often than their local counterparts. Growing up in multiple countries means having friends, family, and relatives all over the world. 

As TCKs grow up and enter the workforce, their longing to reconnect and catch-up with their childhood friends and family abroad grows.

For this reason, TCKs are attracted to businesses that offer international health insurance coverage. 

2. Mental health benefits

TCKs face various challenges in their mobile upbringing, from having to make new friends once every few years to learning new languages. But perhaps the biggest challenge they face is searching for their identity and sense of belonging.  

Many TCKs feel like they don’t entirely belong to a single culture, giving them a sense of rootlessness and blurred identity. Failing to fit into a new environment can also lead to social exclusion and bullying at school. These challenges can often lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression

For this reason, providing mental health benefits can go a long way to help TCKs cope with mental health challenges and attract TCKs to your business.  

3. Financial wellbeing programs

There are many TCKs that are Millennials and Gen Zers, meaning that it was not long ago when they were in student dorms and partying with their friends in college. Along with these good memories come student loan debt and monthly rent struggles. 

The financial stress caused by moving abroad can be quite profound, which is why financial wellness programs can be highly valued by TCKs.

In a recent survey by PwC, half of all Millennial respondents stated that their loyalty to their company is influenced by how much the company cares about their financial well-being. Furthermore, over 80% said that they are more likely to be attracted to another company that cares more about their financial well-being.

While offering international coverage and mental health benefits can draw TCKs to your business, it is the financial wellness program that retains these young cross-cultural talents at your firm. 

Choosing the best plan for your business

With the wide array of employee benefits plans available in Dubai, figuring out a suitable plan for your budget that also attracts international talent can be difficult and often time-consuming. 

For further advice on employee benefits solutions, visit us at our Pacific Prime Dubai website or contact our team of experts today. 

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Phuwit is a content writer who helps inform readers on insurance-related issues through writing articles, blogs, and more. Phuwit strives to produce quality content that makes insurance easier to understand for readers.

In his free time, Phuwit enjoys reading and playing badminton. He also loves a good cup of coffee.