The employee support services your company needs to attract and retain top talent

In this article we’ll explain the role and benefits of employee support services, and take you through 5 providers we’re sure will enhance your company’s ability to attract and retain top talent.

min read

We understand that attracting and retaining top talent is a primary concern for any HR team. When turnover and recruitment costs are high, employers and employees both suffer.

So how can organisations create workplace cultures that inspire the best people to join and encourage existing employees to stay?

The reality is that today, workplace health and wellbeing support services in place have become deal-breakers for many existing or potential employees, and without them employers will struggle to keep hold of or attract the best people.

According to a survey conducted by Towergate health and protection, almost two-fifths (38%) said health and wellbeing support is a key reason for people choosing to work for them, and 36% stated it is why people choose to stay with their organisation.

Clearly, health and wellbeing employee support services are crucial for any organisation that wants to boost job satisfaction and reduce turnover costs.

In this article we’ll explain the role and benefits of employee support services and take you through 5 providers we’re confident will enhance your company’s ability to attract and retain top talent. 

What is an employee support service?

Employee support services, which often come in packages and sometimes referred to as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP), are a type of workplace benefit that provide employees with help, guidance, practical advice and referral services on a range of issues that impact health, wellbeing and performance.

Examples of the type of support EAPs provide include confidential, short-term counselling services for employees and sometimes their family members, online health portals, critical incident advise and and physical or psychological health assessments. Through these services, they support employers fulfil their duty of care to employees and help them create happy, productive workforces. 

Types of Support Services

There are three main types of employee support service – external, internal and embedded. Often adopting a combination of the three, companies will work with EAPs to provide a range of support services such as counselling services for mental and emotional health, access to physical health specialists, substance abuse assistance, wellness programmes and legal advise.

  • External – External support is provided by a third-party vendor outside of the organisation. Some advantages of external support services include professional expertise, confidentiality, and cost-effectiveness. External EAP providers include AXA Health, Bupa Health and Fertifa.
  • Internal - A workplace support initiative managed and operated within the organisation. Internal EAPs offer the advantage of being integrated with the company's culture and policies, and being more closely managed and reviewed by HR.
  • Embedded– These are integrated into the organisation's health and wellness strategy, often as part of a comprehensive benefits package or health plan. This integration ensures that EAP services are a fundamental aspect of the company's overall employee support and wellness initiatives.

The link between companies with comprehensive support service packages and strong attraction and retention isn’t a surprise. They are one of the best ways an organisation can showcase its commitment to employee wellbeing and support for personal and professional issues like stress, burnout, physical health issues and difficult life events. At the end of the day, a healthy, happy workforce that feels supported by the employer is one that’s going to see fewer personnel changes.

The 5 employee support services your company needs to retain and attract talent

There’s a wide range of employee support service providers in the UK, some EAP accredited, some not. We believe companies should not limit their employees by only working with accredited companies – you'll be missing out on some great opportunities!

We’ve created a list that contains a combination of both to give you a more comprehensive breakdown of those support services that have a strong, proven track record of attracting talent and retaining your best people, so you can make an truly informed decision on what providers you want to work with.

We hope you find it useful!

Care First

Care First is an international EAP and a great way for your employees to get access to qualified counsellors whenever they need. Care First offers a service integration, ensuring that there are no overlaps or interference with any pre-existing services, potentially helping businesses save money in the process. Every company is unique and so their EAP service should be too!

Care First works to fit the services seamlessly with any existing business services such as Occupational Health and Absence Management.

The service also includes specialist SME solutions to provide the most efficient and affordable cover for small businesses. They have designed a bespoke service for businesses with between 35 to 1,000 employees.

Find out more about Care First here!


Our wonderful neurodiversity partner, Lexxic, is a specialist psychological consultancy that helps organisations build neurodiversity “smart” workplace cultures which allow neurodivergent employees to truly flourish.

Since it was established in 2007 by Nicola James, Lexxic has put together a best-in-class team of qualified counsellors and psychologists to ensure that their neurodivergent patients are getting the best support possible.

It is estimated that around 1 in 7 people in the UK are neurodivergent, and workplace support that recognises the various challenges and skills associated with neurodiverse conditions is essential for employers looking to retain and attract neurodivergent people, and allow them to thrive within their organisation.

Discover more about how Lexxic’s neurodiversity support is helping companies retain its best people here.

Mind matters

According to a study conducted by the CIPD Good Work Index, the most common reason why employees in the UK considered quitting their jobs in 2023 was stress and burnout (even more than a career change).

Mind Matters works with employers to tackle stress and burnout within their organisation. Through a range of support options including specialised, confidential long and short-term counselling and hypnotherapy, the team at Mind Matters have helped thousands of employees reduce symptoms of stress and empower them to be their best selves, uninhibited by excessive levels of stress.

if you think your workforce could benefit from easier access to mental health professionals Be sure to get in touch with a member of the Mind Matters team.


For many people either currently employed or looking for their next role, workplace support for reproductive health is becoming a necessity. When you look at the impacts reproductive health issues are having on people’s careers, you can begin to see why:

20% of women say menopause symptoms hurt their career progression

72% of people say fertility issues highly impacted their working life

Reproductive health concerns are also having a massive impact on attraction and retention:

10% of women leave their jobs due to menopause symptoms

70% of millennials are willing to change jobs for fertility benefits

38% of people who were undergoing fertility treatment considered quitting their jobs

At Fertifa, we provide employees with diagnosis and treatment, advise from out best-in-class clinical team, educational support, financing, and ongoing healthcare for employers across the UK, Europe, Asia and the US. With Fertifa, your employees will get:

- Direct access to health assessments a specialist in-house clinical team

- Advanced diagnostics and testing

- Financing, reporting, claims management and reimbursements

Our support service covers all issues related to fertility, menopause, family-forming, maternity, men’s health, women’s health and neurodiversity.

If budget constraints are a concern – don’t worry! We offer packages that are tailored to the size and needs of your workforce, and the budget your working within.

If you’re looking to support your employees with their reproductive health, or simply want to know more about what we do, please don’t hesitate to book a call using the button below and a member of the team will walk you through our service!


BUPA (British United Provident Association) is a global health and care company providing health insurance, care homes, health services, and workplace health and wellbeing solutions that support millions of people worldwide. Although it’s renowned for its health insurance services, BUPA also offers a wide range of health and wellness programs aimed at enhancing overall physical and mental wellbeing.

When it comes to attraction and retention, BUPAs services help organisations in several ways:

  1. Comprehensive Health Insurance: Comprehensive health coverage can make a company more attractive to top talent, as it demonstrates a commitment to employee wellbeing.

A study conducted by Hooray Health and Protection found that 57% of employees choose Business Health Insurance as their top benefit Protection

  1. Mental wellbeing programmes: Wellness programs, health assessments, support for mental health issues, fitness programs, and preventive care services are also attractive perks for people considering their next move.
  1. Flexible Benefits: Another helpful aspect of BUPA's service is its flexibility. Just like Fertifa, BUPA offers a personalised benefits package to ensure the health and wellbeing services are best-suited for the needs of your workforce.

Common obstacles and challenges

As an HR team, you may know your workforce and their health and wellbeing needs inside out. You may even have identified the support services you want to implement to best support them. Even if that’s the case, you may come across some hurdles during the implementation stage.

Don’t worry – it’s completely normal and rarely a smooth process!

To help you through it, we’ve put together a list of potential challenges you may face as well as some of the ways you can overcome them:

  • Low employee awareness: A lack of awareness among employees about EAPs can prevent them from being made the most of. You might want to consider introducing support services to new employees during the onboarding process, or asking a representative from the provider to take your people through what they have access to (on an annual basis, for example).
  • Concerns about confidentiality: Naturally, employees may be reluctant to seek support from an external service for fear of personal information being shared with their manager or employer. Reassure them that all consultation and treatment is entirely confidential and that any discussions that take place will do so in a private, safe space.
  • Lack of signposting from managers: Managers play a crucial role in promoting support services and making sure that their employees are benefitting from them. Make sure your managers are pointing towards the services when appropriate and encouraging employees to use them as much as they need to.
  • Limited Budgets: Organisations may have limited budgets for support services. If you are concerned about budget limitations, be sure to reach out to a member of the Fertifa team so we can help you find a solution.
  • Measuring Impact: Demonstrating the ROI of support services can be challenging, making it difficult to justify their continued investment. Ask the service how other partnered companies are demonstrating impact, or even conduct internal surveys to show senior leadership that your employees value the service and that it's a worthwhile investment.

Get in touch!

If you have any questions or concerns about anything discussed in this article, or you want to discover how Fertifa can help you build a truly inclusive and supportive workplace culture, please don't hesitate to reach out via the button below.