Prioritizing employee wellness has been an increasing HR trend for the last three years. Factors that have heightened this demand include the “Great Resignation”, recent cost of living increases, and an impending recession. All of these factors also affect employee engagement. In fact, Bank of America’s 2022 Workplace Benefits Report highlights that “employers offering mental and physical wellness resources are seeing noticeable improvements in productivity, employee stress, employee morale, and employee creativity and innovation.” In this Astronology® we’ll discuss three ways to enhance your employee wellness offerings.
Leverage a Lifestyle Spending Account
Most employees and Human Resources professionals are familiar with health enhancement benefits such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA). Recently, Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSA) also have become an increasingly popular employee benefit. LSAs are employer – funded programs to help employees cover the cost of expenses that aren’t covered by traditional benefits. Employers create the limitations (employee allotment and program parameters) and employees can submit claims for reimbursement. Popular usage for LSAs include the following:
- Fitness: gym memberships, athletic clothing, exercise equipment, nutritional counseling
- Work from Home Expenses: home office equipment, office supplies, Internet bill
- Professional Development: continuing education courses, conferences, life coaching
- “Return to Office Incentives”: gas, meals, auto maintenance
- Care Services: adult and childcare related expenses
- Convenience Services: grocery delivery, food delivery, dry cleaning
- Financial Services: financial planning, budgetary education classes
- Pet Care: day care, grooming, insurance
- Work Uniforms or Equipment
A Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) article entitled “Lifestyle Spending Accounts Add an Option to the Benefits Mix” highlights the following three steps when developing your own LSA:
- Set a budget
- Determine how employees can use LSA funds
- Communicate to employees how the LSA works and how to claim the funds in the account
For organizations that need administrative support, there are third – party vendors that can administer the LSA program on your behalf.
Offer Financial Wellbeing Resources
The Bank of America’s 2022 Workplace Benefits also reports that “97% of employers say that they are in some way responsible for their employee’s financial wellness.” While having a fair and competitive compensation program will benefit employees financially, another way to enhance your employee’s well – being is to offer financial literacy opportunities. Such opportunities can include financial management services and special financial – themed lunch and learns. Hosting annual or seasonal learning sessions on topics such as investing and saving for retirement also can be helpful.
Prioritize Women, Senior, and Family Focused Benefits
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) must be considered in our employee benefits offerings. A Gallup article explains that “organizations need wellbeing strategies that are equitable and inclusive of diverse employees, as well as comprehensive DEI initiatives that deliver a consistent employee experience for everyone. No employee can do their best work if they are struggling in their health and wellbeing — and their needs vary.” This means, we may need to consider including benefits that support groups with different needs. Some of these groups include employees with families, women, and senior – aged employee populations. Such benefits to consider for these groups can include
- Expanded parental leave
- On – site or backup childcare or eldercare
- Health screenings
- Flexible work schedules
- Remote work
Taking an honest assessment of your employee population and their possible needs will help in developing employee benefits that can overlap and support multiple diverse employee populations.
We’ve shared three areas that can be enhanced for more effective employee wellness. Are there other employee wellness enhancers that should be highlighted? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comment box below.
Leave a Reply