When employees experience robust well-being support at their workplace, it improves job satisfaction. Engaged and happy employees feel a more substantial commitment to their organizations. Modern employee well-being initiatives show you care about your team’s health and happiness and help you attract top talent.

In this article, you’ll find proven ways to boost your employee well-being program and elevate your benefits with Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSA). We’ll explain how to overcome common pitfalls of well-being programs so your employees and your organization can achieve their best health! 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Benefits of employee well-being programs

Effective total well-being programs offer numerous benefits to employees’ financial, physical, social, and emotional health. Here are some ways employee wellness programs benefit your people and your organization:

Improve financial literacy

When employees are financially stable, they are more engaged and productive at work. A study by PwC found that financial stress is a significant distraction at work. Nearly half of the employees surveyed reported being distracted by their financial situation during work hours. 

Financial education helps employees improve financial literacy, budgeting, saving, investing, debt management, and retirement planning. Empower your people to make smart, informed financial decisions. 

Strengthen physical health

Employees who engage in well-being programs are more likely to adopt healthier lifestyles. Wellness activities reduce the risk of chronic diseases, illness, burnout, and absenteeism. Opportunities for regular exercise and healthy eating lead to improved energy levels, better concentration, and increased productivity.

Bolster social connections and community

Well-being activities foster a sense of belonging among employees. Recognizing and celebrating employees’ wellness achievements creates bonds within teams. Challenges provide a shared sense of accomplishment, and volunteer activities allow employees to harness the power of collective effort and give back to the community. Wellness-focused Employee Resource Groups cater to specific interests or identity groups and help like-minded employees connect. 

Elevate emotional well-being 

Employees who participate in well-being programs improve coping skills and resilience in the face of challenges. Relaxation techniques help employees face work-related stressors. And wellness initiatives that include mental health services and resources promote emotional well-being.

Overcoming common pitfalls of employee well-being programs

Effective employee well-being programs are highly beneficial to workers and their organizations. However, organizations must overcome common obstacles for an employee well-being program to achieve its goals. Here are some reasons why employee wellness programs falter:

Assuming one-size-fits-all 

Broad well-being programs not tailored to the specific needs and interests of employees or too focused on physical health may fail to resonate. One-size-fits-all approaches don’t meet the diverse needs and preferences of employees. While holistic wellness programs often include fitness activities, they shouldn’t be limited to counting steps or tracking exercise. 

Lack of employee engagement

Low employee adoption and participation undermine the success of any well-being initiative. A traditional wellness program with a narrow scope and rigid expectations may see only single-digit engagement rates. Skepticism about the motives behind wellness programs, like cutting healthcare costs or overstepping privacy boundaries, can drive engagement down even further and tank program success. 

A 2021 Gartner well-being study found that companies saw an increase in participation from 11% to 21% when they expanded their well-being programs to cover emotional, career, and family well-being, compared to previous singularly focused programs.

Great workplace employee well-being programs are dynamic: they evolve and adapt to the changing needs of employees and align with the organization’s overall goals and values.

Vague goals and objectives

Without clear and measurable goals, it’s challenging to assess the effectiveness of a wellness program. Lack of criteria to measure success means employees might not understand what’s expected of them or the program’s purpose and desired outcomes. Confusion undermines enthusiasm and participation.

Overemphasis on rewards

Well-being programs that rely too heavily on monetary incentives won’t foster authentic investment or change behaviors in the long term. Many of these rewards are outdated, often lacking the real-time gratification employees prefer. Challenges focused on counting steps and wellness checks lack universal appeal. 

Lack of integration 

A workplace culture with toxic stress, excessive workloads, and long working hours contradicts the positive effects of employee well-being programs. Organizational cultures that do not prioritize work-life balance, stress management, or employee well-being undermine the success of wellness initiatives.


Inflexible well-being in workplace programs can’t adapt to evolving employee needs or address significant health and wellness concerns of a diverse workforce. Lack of choice leads to low engagement. Employees access wellness activities that align with their unique needs and goals.

The best well-being programs highlight an organization’s commitment to a holistic view of employee health and wellness and create a culture of care and appreciation in the workplace.

6 ways to boost your workplace well-being program 

Great workplace well-being programs are dynamic: they evolve and adapt to the changing needs of employees and align with the organization’s overall goals and values. Here are six ways you can overcome employee well-being program challenges and elevate your benefits to meet the diverse wellness needs of your people!

1. Personalize benefits

Recognize that one-size-fits-all solutions will not work for everyone. Offer flexible wellness benefits that can be personalized and cater to all aspects of well-being: financial, physical, social, and emotional health. Ensure that wellness resources are inclusive of all employees, including remote or off-site workers. Consider digital platforms and mobile-first programs to make participation convenient.

An early career employee may be focused on paying off student loans or finding courses to help them specialize in a career path. A remote employee may value an improved home office setup and time built into the workday for virtual fitness classes. And parents of young children will appreciate funds for a babysitter so they can actually go out and socialize.

2. Communicate 

Employee input and preferences should shape your total rewards strategy and well-being program. Consider a diverse representation of interests when you decide on goals. Clearly communicate and inform your employees about the well-being program’s offerings, benefits, and opportunities for participation. Inform your people of the organization’s program objectives and reassure them that protecting employee privacy is central to all initiatives. 

3. Assess and adjust 

Conduct a thorough assessment to understand the specific health and wellness needs and interests of your workforce. Tailor your program accordingly and establish clear and measurable objectives. Employee wellness programs should have well-defined, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) goals. 

Vague Goal: “Improve employee well-being.”

SMART Goal: “Increase employee participation in the well-being program by 20% within the first six months. Measure the number of employees engaging in wellness activities and tracking their personal progress.”

Continuously measure the program’s impact and effectiveness, such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and employee engagement and satisfaction. Use data and feedback to make informed decisions and adjustments. A flexible approach to employee benefits allows you to shift your priorities or goals as they change from year to year.

Watch On-Demand: LSAs, The Fully Customizable, Launch Anytime Benefit

4. Incentivize with intention 

Thoughtful incentives and rewards encourage program participation. Offer intentional and inclusive incentives closely tied to a well-being outcome. Consider webinars, social events, and cultural activities. 

For example, companies can incentivize employees to volunteer in community organizations that align with company-specific mission and values and pair this with an incentivized give-back challenge or activity.

5. Promote a healthy workplace culture 

Cultivate a workplace culture that values and supports employee well-being. Create an inclusive workplace environment, promote work-life balance, and encourage breaks. Implement workplace policies rooted in wellness, such as flexible work hours, policies against presenteeism, and mental health accommodations

Earned incentives allow employers to create well-being-related activities and challenges to encourage healthy behaviors and activities. Earning LSA dollars, for example, is a new way of thinking about incentives that can support strategic organizational initiatives and values and support a healthy workplace culture. 

6. Be flexible

Flexible scheduling and the ability to engage in wellness activities during work hours help employees balance their work commitments with their well-being goals. Flexible programs can cater to remote and in-person workers, as well as employees with diverse wellness needs, making participation more inclusive.

LSAs elevate employee total well-being

The best well-being programs highlight an organization’s commitment to a holistic view of employee health and wellness and create a culture of care and appreciation in the workplace. Elevate your approach to employee total well-being with modern LSA-based wellness programs. Innovative companies understand that LSAs are rich with features to engage and delight employees wherever they are in their careers and the world. 

LSAs are inclusive and engaging. And with almost 90% employee participation, there’s something for everyone. Spark joy with a Lifestyle Spending Account from Espresa, giving employees freedom and flexibility for life. With inclusivity designed directly into the Espresa platform, HR delivers what your employees want and need. When you empower your culture, everyone wins!

Ready to learn more about Espresa? Reach out to our team for a free demo! 

Empowering Family Friendly Benefits with Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSA)



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