The 4 W’s of Lifestyle Benefits | Benefits Collaborative

Com­pet­i­tive wages are no longer enough to sat­is­fy and sup­port val­ued employ­ees. Today, a vari­ety of ben­e­fits and perks play an essen­tial role in attract­ing and retain­ing talent. Lifestyle benefits, sometimes referred to as employee perks, are non-salary benefits given to employees to improve their overall lifestyle that go above and beyond standard medical, dental and vision benefits. These lifestyle benefits are rapidly becoming the future of employee benefits.

Around 60% of employees say benefit offerings are a significant factor in their decision on whether or not to take a new job. That’s why an increas­ing num­ber of employ­ers are uti­liz­ing lifestyle ben­e­fit plans to entice high-qual­i­ty appli­cants.  In fact, stud­ies show that 80% of employ­ees would select more ben­e­fits above a pay increase. Moreover, younger employees, like Millennials, are more apt to change jobs than their older Baby Boomer counterparts if they are dissatisfied with the employee benefits offerings available to them.

Lifestyle benefits are benefits to enjoy now.  These are meaningful services that meet the needs of employees today.  Not tomorrow, next week or even ten years from now.  Employees don’t have to be sick, deceased, disabled or over 65 to use them.

In this article, we will explore the 4 “W’s”—Who, What, When, and Why—of lifestyle benefits to explain how you can use this tool to improve your benefits package!

Who Are Lifestyle Benefits For?

Even companies with generous overall benefits packages can suffer from low employee engagement and productivity which can be exacerbated by the massive shift to remote work. Offering perks that are customized to your people’s unique needs is hugely beneficial for companies wanting to increase employee engagement and retention.  In the increasingly competitive job market, this really sets employers apart because it demonstrates a vested interest on the part of the employer to provide opportunities for personal, as well as professional growth.   Lifestyle benefits, particularly in the form of flexible perk stipends, are an ideal way to offer personalization and also promote an inclusive company culture.

What Lifestyle Benefits Can Employers Offer?

Lifestyle benefits can be customized to meet many different types of needs. For instance, an employee might be sending their child to college for the first time. If they want advisors or financial planners, a lifestyle benefits account can cover it. Or what if an employee wants to take advantage of a gym membership or health app?  This could also be covered through a lifestyle benefits program. Everyone benefits from a calm, happy, and valued employee!  Other examples of offerings you can include in a lifestyle benefits program include:

When Should You Offer Lifestyle Benefits?

Really the answer to the question of when you should offer lifestyle benefits is-now!  Now is the right time to make the most of lifestyle benefits by setting employees up and educating them of their perks.When organizations offer lifestyle benefits, it’s about building positive, long-term relationships between executives, supervisors and employees.  It’s about investment and dedication to employee well-being.

Why Provide Lifestyle Benefits at Your Company 

There are so many reasons to provide lifestyle benefits but it primarily boils down to one thing: employee satisfaction.  Employees want to feel valued by their employers and if this can be achieved by helping them afford the lifestyle they enjoy and envision for themselves, then do it!

We are, after all, living in the age of personalization.  Everything in our lives, from our Netflix subscriptions to Spotify playlists is customized to us and our preferences.  Lifestyle benefits can be designed in a way that addresses the various needs of your diverse workforce, whether that means supporting a 22-year-old recent graduate living in the city, or a 45-year-old executive with three kids in a home in the suburbs, lifestyle benefits are ideal for that type of personalization and inclusivity, especially in the form of flexible perk stipends.

If com­pa­nies want the best poten­tial can­di­dates, they have to think out­side the box with per­son­al­ized ben­e­fit offer­ings.  Every­one wins with a flex­i­ble lifestyle ben­e­fits plat­form. After all, physically and mentally healthy employees are more productive, which is better for the bottom line.