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What starts as a usual day’s job has a lot of fabric attached to it—the hustle, the workload, tight deadlines, mental burnout, and whatnot. While the contract of employment asks for an employee’s “services” in exchange for remuneration, along with those services, a considerable amount of physical and mental exhaustion goes into the job as well. That’s where health and wellness come into the picture.

What is a Health and Wellness Stipend?

Gym memberships, swimming classes, Zumba sessions—you know the drill. Health and Wellness stipends are money or services worth the money distributed amongst the employees to take care of themselves. As these funds are released in the employees’ hands to be spent on their wellbeing, it’s a great way to show them that the organization cares for employee health and wellness.

The health and wellness stipends can be given out on the following basis:

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Semi-Annual
  • Annual

Health and wellness stipends are taxable items. These taxes can either be grossed up from the organization’s behalf or can be taken care of by the employee.

What Health and Wellness Stipends Are Not?

A common notion amongst many employees as well as employers is that health and wellness stipends are insurance policies that are bought by the employer for the employees. No, that’s not the case.

‍Here are a few things Health and Wellness stipends are not part of:

  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
  • Health Insurance Stipend
  • Stipends with Reimbursement Options

Now that we’ve made it clear, let’s move on to how an organization can offer Health and Wellness stipends to its employees.

Distributing Health and Wellness Stipends to Employees

Sure, sneaker money and gym pass sound like a decent way to distribute health and wellness perks and stipends, but are you sure that’s what all your employees want? The way to get them involved in employee perks and reward programs is to gift them the power of choice. This can be achieved by distributing health and wellness stipends along with a catalog of choices.

Thanks to digitized perks and rewarding platform, Xoxoday Plum, your employees have a huge catalog of health and wellness perks and stipends to choose from. Be it a massage this month or a vertical diet plan the next, your employees can easily pick out the perfect health and wellness perk that suits them best.

Here are some trending perks in the field of Health and Wellness that your employees would surely cash in and be thankful to the organization that empowered them with the choice to do so.

Best Health and Wellness Stipends to Offer Your Employees

1. Employee Assistance Programs

With the onslaught of work-life getting the employer and employees alike, it’s only human to feel mentally deprived and overwhelmed at the same time. Mental health problems are the biggest cause of low productivity and it matters more than any targets, goals, or numbers to be achieved. An Employee Assistance Programs EAP helps them in dealing with the problems of work and life.

Be it a discreet hotline number where one can talk their heart out about what’s bugging them or simply discuss what’s going on in their head, or a systematic cadence of seminars to deal with workplace stress, it’s the best and most crucial health and wellness stipend an organization can have.

Do note that this is a very intricate piece of health and wellness perk and in most cases, should be offered to the organization’s employees without any strings attached. Deteriorating mental health is the gravest cause of rising suicide rates and as ghastly as it sounds, it’s the organization that can stop it from happening by assisting the employees emotionally.

2. Discount on Drugs and Medications

Medications cost more than $1200-a-year for an adult's needs (inclusive of the family). Be it the over-the-counter drugs or prescribed ones, the best health and wellness stipend to offer your employees is a discount from where they get their medications. With Xoxoday Plum, your workforce is eligible for the following discounts of meds:

3. Subsidized Medical Tests

A doctor's visit often comes with the demand of a few lab tests here and then. These are quite a burden on the pocket and if the organization can take it as a Health and Wellness perk by offering subsidies/reimbursements on lab tests and check-ups, it'd be a great help to employees in lifting a burden off their chests and keeping them happy.

4. Bundled Healthcare Savings

With doctor's consultation fees skyrocketing every passing year, many people are intimidated by the thought of visiting the doctor's office. But health check-ups are substantial to keep tabs on what’s going on and a bundled medical savings kit offers a choice to save on consultation, pharmacy medication, tests, and savings on medical procedures. PS: This isn't related to insurance.

5. Online Doctor Consultations

Now that most people shy away from visiting the doctor's office, a quick teleconsultation is enough for preliminary screening of what's wrong. With many "App Doctors" now available at bay, organizations can get that service to the employees' disposal.

6. Healthy Eating Habits & Diet Plans

From keeping the pantry stocked with healthy fibre-full and protein-maxed stuff to giving out your employees hampers for referring to health consultants, taking care of one's diet is such a wellness perk that can be done in the office as well as outside. With many people adopting healthy eating lifestyles from going vegan to sticking to health supplements (more on that later), you as an organization can hook them up with low-cost diet plans at exclusive rates via Xoxoday Plum.

7. Pamper Your Employees with Salon and Spa Perks

No, we aren't talking about an in-house hairstylist, but getting your employees' hair done along with a mani-pedi here and now is surely a perfect way to get into their hearts. The hottest places to cash in one's bonus for employees are self-care in terms of massages, salons, and head-to-toe makeovers. At Xoxoday Plum, we've got your employees covered with offers on all fronts:

8. Women's Health

Thanks to the recognition of the biological share of problems that women face in their daily running, many organizations have revolutionized their policies with menstrual leaves and prolonged maternal leaves (let alone squishy pillows and hot water bags to cling on to). But women's health comes with a cost especially when it comes to doctor's visits.

9. Gym and Health Club Memberships

Did you know that corporate gym memberships are the most utilized health and wellness perk from all? Although most of the gym-goers barely hit the gym once a fortnight, they surely are at ease with the fact that when the next fitness revelation hits them at 2 AM in the night when they finish a tub of ice cream, they can hit the gym from the next day thanks to the membership from their employer. Here are the best gym and club membership deals for your employees that come with Xoxoday Plum.

10. Savings on Doctor Visits & Health Check-ups

Doctor visits are important in analyzing what's wrong-- be it a preventive one or to get a hold of what could go wrong with the symptoms. But every doctor's visit burns quite a hole in the patient's pocket and that's why as an employer, you can help your employees by providing them savings on health check-ups. Here are some offers on Xoxoday Plum that will surely keep your employees content before a doctor's regular visit.

11. Pandemic Prevention

COVID-19 has got us all by the scruff of necks and there's nothing much to do but wait it out, wash our hands, and wear masks while maintaining social distances. Presenting your employees with COVID safety kits might be a great idea to show that you care.

12. Protein and Health Supplements

As the new lifestyle comes with lots of changes in the way people follow their health, the importance of eating right is now openly showcased as indispensable. With most people into workouts and diets, there's been a rise in adaptations of health supplements, protein shakes, bars, and whatnot. While keeping a huge tub of whey protein in the breakroom might be a good start, here are some discounts and offers for your employees on Xoxoday Plum which shall make your employees yearn to live a healthy life.

13. Skincare & Beauty

Now a huge and important expense in an adult's pocketbook, skincare, and beauty has its standards. Organizations can help their employees get a net price off on their next perfume purchase or skin serum. Here are a couple of offers on Xoxoday Plum out of many others that can be found on the Xoxoday Store.

14. Next-Gen Smart Healthcare

As technology keeps coming up with marvellous breakthroughs in the field of medical sciences, people are looking up to cures of the deadliest ailments from science's end. Putting that aside, however, here are a few perks you can offer in the name of smart healthcare to your employees.

15. Men's Health

Men's health is often not taken specifically into consideration, but don't worry, at Xoxoday Plum, we've got your George Washington's covered. Here’s an offer especially for the men's health and supplements marketplace: Numan.‍

Benefits of Health and Wellness Stipend

1. High Optimism and Morale

Showing the workforce that the organization cares for them makes a world of difference in the morale on the office floor. The promise of a health and wellness stipend isn’t just a sharp-minded workforce, but a revolution at the workplace. People get in the groove as they are mentally and physically healthy, the positive morale emanates from their daily doings, and all in all, it pays off.

2. Reduced Health Risks

The aim of signing up for any health and wellness perk for an employee is to personally get better in one way or another. Now it might be something as aspirational as fitting into a shirt that no longer looks good on them, reducing cholesterol levels, or just getting fit for the sake of it. This reduces any health risks which liberate the employees’ minds to achieve more than what they used to.

3. Value for Money

When the organization simply imposes a one-size-fits-all health and wellness stipend on all the employees, there’s a high possibility that they won’t use it. People want to make the most of what they choose (which is why Xoxoday Plum offers the freedom of choice) and if they’re allowed to do so, the money invested in health and wellness would surely pay off.

4. Reduced Healthcare Costs

How a health and wellness program can reduce healthcare costs is a simple answer to the question “how effectively the program has been implemented”. Healthcare costs won’t be reduced by a monthly presentation on eating right and a Zumba class once a quarter. It has to be a comprehensive process that would reduce the cost of healthcare for both employees and employers.

5. Improved Productivity

We all know people at work who are physically fatigued and can’t give it their best not because they don’t want to, but because they just can’t. Now an organization can’t set an 11 PM bed-time rule for employees and intrude on their personal life, but what it can do is give them a health and wellness regime that helps them stay in their best shape. This astronomically improves productivity and there won’t be lots more sleepyheads filling the chairs (well, at least after their first cuppa joe).

Organizations Setting a Benchmark with Health and Wellness Perks

These corporate giants aren’t just acing in nourishing their employees with health and wellness stipends, but they are owning it. Have a look and take some inspiration:

  • Google owns up its share of health and wellness with a People & Innovation Lab (PiLab) which studies the whole science behind making life at Google better. With employee fitness camps and on-site fitness centres, maternity clinics, and chiropractors, Google knows how to keep Googlers happy.
  • Microsoft offers its employees $800 every year to spend on health and wellness. Along with that, there are free gyms and fitness clubs at select Microsoft locations to work it out.
  • Basecamp is all known for its perks and a $100 a month allowance makes it the pioneer in the health and wellness perks front too. This fitness allowance can be used anywhere for the sake of health and wellness.
  • Hinge the dating app offers an exercise stipend and workout dates stipends to its employees.
  • Accenture has a 24/7 open hotline to help its employees battle anything from an ant to an elephant when it comes to mental health. So far, countless cases of substance abuse have been solved thanks to Accenture’s efforts in the health and wellness of its employees.‍

Ready to take the Healthy Road?

Now that you know pretty much everything there is to know about health and wellness stipends, it’s time to ramp up your health and wellness program and get your employees healthy and ready to roll!

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Syed Maaz

Syed Maaz LinkedIn

Maaz is a writer by heart and by deeds. Since he discovered the wrath of words on people's minds and hearts, he's made it his quest to match people's thoughts to intricate topics by demystifying them.