What is a wellness stipend
Wellness stipends are a great way to increase employee engagement and retention. See the top 10 wellness stipends employers are using today.
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What is a wellness stipend?
In order to thrive as a company in today’s competitive market, it's important to offer flexible and custom benefit options that meet the diverse needs and goals of employees. One key way to do this is by providing benefits wellness stipends, sometimes called Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs). These accounts are at the forefront of the employee benefits market. They allow employees to use their benefits for a wide range of purposes, such as gym memberships, caregiving and work-from-home support.
Using LSAs can provide several advantages for both employees and employers. Wellness stipends allow employees to curate their benefits to fit their unique lifestyle, which can increase job satisfaction and loyalty. For employers, offering these accounts can give them a critical competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.
The appeal of wellness stipends can be felt in the workplace and it’s important that the implementation is successful. Companies must understand how to establish and maintain a spending account program that reaches its full potential. With insights from Forma's experience working with hundreds of customers, this blog offers a good first step in implementing a successful wellness stipend program. Human resources leaders and managers can use this roadmap to supports their company goals and the needs of their workforce.
The importance of wellness stipends in today’s market
LIfestyle Spending Accounts serve as a connection between employees' needs and traditional benefits provided by companies. Employers give an allowance to employees that they can use, subject to some restrictions, to meet their unique requirements.
The setup of these accounts can be customized by employers to direct employee usage. Options can include wellness services, home-office equipment, utility bills, grocery delivery services and tuition support. These options cover a vast range. The options are unlimited, and companies can select based on where they want to concentrate their benefits investment.
The flexibility of Lifestyle Spending Accounts provides advantages for both employers and employees. Employees can take charge and select meaningful benefits that align with their individual lifestyles and necessities. For employers, instead of relying on vendors with single solutions, they can now explore numerous options. These options include customization, inflation-proof benefits budgets, and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing world.
At Forma, an increasing number of employers have adopted a flexible benefits strategy. Today, 71 percent of customers offer a Lifestyle Spending Account compared to fewer than 7 percent in 2020.
The top 10 wellness stipends
Companies that prioritize choice and flexibility are directing their resources towards an innovative benefits strategy. According to a Gartner study on retention planning in 2021, 74 percent of HR leaders intend to incorporate more flexible options into their benefits strategy. A survey by Glassdoor revealed that 94 percent of employees seek benefits that have a significant impact on their health, well-being, and quality of life. Therefore, it's crucial to have a personalized, flexible benefits strategy.
Every year, Forma Research conducts a study surveying customers and others to see what benefits they are offering. Our latest Benchmark Report shows the top wellness stipends companies are offering.
- Lifestyle stipend: A lifestyle stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to employees to spend on activities or items that enhance their personal well-being, such as gym memberships, sports equipment, or wellness programs.
- Wellness stipend: A wellness stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to encourage employees to prioritize their physical and mental health. This stipend can be used to cover things like gym memberships, therapy sessions, meditation apps, and other wellness-related expenses.
- Work-from-home stipend: A work from home stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to cover the costs of creating a comfortable and productive home workspace. This stipend may cover expenses such as office furniture, computer equipment, or internet service.
- Learning stipend: A learning stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to encourage employees to pursue further education or professional development. This stipend can be used for attending conferences, taking courses or classes, or purchasing books or other learning materials.
- Family formation stipend: A family formation stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to help employees who are starting or growing their families. This stipend can be used to cover expenses such as adoption fees, fertility treatments, or parental leave.
- Caregiving stipend: A caregiving stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to support employees who are caring for a family member or loved one. This stipend can be used to cover expenses such as respite care, home health services, or counseling.
- Rewards stipend: A rewards stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer as a performance-based incentive. This stipend can be used to reward employees for meeting or exceeding goals, achieving milestones, or other exceptional work.
- Tuition/Student loans stipend: A tuition/student loans stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to help employees pay for tuition or pay down their student loans. This stipend can be used to cover expenses such as tuition, textbooks, or student loan payments.
- Team building stipend: A team building stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to build company culture, morale, and improve teamwork among employees. This stipend can be used to fund team-building events such as retreats, group activities, or meals.
- Commuter stipend: A commuter stipend is an amount of money provided by an employer to help employees cover the cost of commuting to work. This stipend may be used to purchase public transportation passes, pay for parking, or to offset the cost of fuel and vehicle maintenance for those who drive to work.
As seen above, the choices are truly endless. To see the full list of the most popular stipends, please visit review our Benchmark Report and <span class="text-style-link text-color-blue" fs-mirrorclick-element="trigger" role="button">schedule a consultation</span> with one of our experts.