Supporting employee wellness and health with Lifestyle Spending Accounts
The Great Resignation has made attracting and keeping quality employees a top priority for many businesses. Offering a Lifestyle Spending Account program is an effective means of doing just that.
Recent studies have found that upwards of 70% of prospective employees are interested in more flexible benefits options, and almost two-thirds actually prefer them to cash incentives.
A Lifestyle Spending Account typically covers specified employee benefits: things such as health costs, training, and education seminars, and vacation costs. Fitness and wellness in particular pay big dividends for businesses and their workforce alike. A healthier workforce is more energized and engaged and takes fewer sick days on the whole. This makes an ongoing fitness program an excellent long-term investment for any company. But how can you use a Lifestyle Spending Account to facilitate this? And what are the best ways to promote its use among your workers?
Tip #1: Provide choices.
It can be tempting to apply a one-size-fits-all option to address benefits: for example, setting up a company gym within your offices is a blanket solution that does not meet the needs or desires of every employee’s idea of wellness options. Which will exclude them from participating or taking advantage of a company gym as a benefit. A team member who works from home, for instance, wouldn’t come into the office just to use the gym.
Providing options for your Lifestyle Spending Accounts lets employees use funds in a manner that suits their circumstances. The work-from-home employee may instead purchase an exercise bike, or sign up for classes at a local yoga studio. Flexibility allows funds to be used as intended while empowering employees to find a means that suits their lifestyle.
Tip #2: Simplify benefits administration.
Every benefits plan always entails a certain amount of bureaucracy, and you need to be able to verify certain specifics for a Lifestyle Spending Account to function efficiently. Funding limits are only prudent, as are strict rules on how and where a Lifestyle Spending Account is to be used. Make sure you set aside adequate funds during the planning and implementation phase of the Lifestyle Spending Account. Provide transparency and invite feedback from your employees to ensure that the plan responds to their needs.
That requires a good deal of organization and paperwork — which smart HR managers will address by simplifying as much of as possible for team members. With the right tools, you can automate processes to run according to your parameters, allowing HR departments and other managers to easily handle specifics.
Tip #3: Encourage employees to maximize benefits through education.
Some employees may be unaccustomed to benefits such as a Lifestyle Spending Account, or otherwise unaware of how they can utilize these plans to match their lifestyle. Take time to educate them on the possibilities. That can include periodic reminders via email or text, social media campaigns, and mentioning it during meetings. A Lifestyle Spending Account and similar benefits — along with the flexibility entailed — also make great selling points for potential new talent and recruits.
Tip #4: Make benefits more accessible.
The more difficult a given employee finds accessing the benefits of a Lifestyle Spending Account, the less likely they are to take advantage of it. Focus on these questions during the planning stage and look for ways to enhance accessibility for your workers:
- What are the limitations on the account?
- Can they find any purveyor of the service in question, or must they go through employer-designated services?
- What types of costs does a vacation fund cover, and how should the employee document them?
The right tools can be invaluable in these situations, permitting transparency and ease of use without disrupting necessary guardrails.
Tip #5: Make Lifestyle Spending Accounts part of company culture.
The purpose of benefits such as Lifestyle Spending Accounts is to establish reciprocity and trust between the company and its employees. Lifestyle Spending Account helps workers find the mixture of benefits that work on their terms while ensuring the business enjoys an increase in productivity, worker health, and employee retention over time.
Benefits like this aren’t something you can address once and then trust to enjoy in perpetuity. Identifying, implementing, and providing relevant benefits that scale with the organization and more importantly, the lifestyles of the workforce is an ongoing process.
Accordingly, making Lifestyle Spending Accounts a core part of your company culture can pay off by helping employees find the right balance in their life. Not only does this improve participation and enhance the advantages of a Lifestyle Spending Account, but it also makes it easier to implement with new employees going forward. In other words, the more you make a Lifestyle Spending Account an integral part of your culture, the easier it will be to reap the benefits.
Find modern employee benefits solutions from Forma.
Implementing an LSA — ensuring it matches your unique needs and those of your staff — is a task only you can take on. When it comes to the right tools for the job, however, Forma has the answers you need. Our services and vendor network are designed with implementation speed, ease of use, and maximum options at top of mind, along with efficiency to save you money in the process. With Forma, you’ll see employee LSA engagement improve considerably, along with a reduction in the comparative number of inquiries and service calls. Explore Forma's Life Benefits.