Lending Club is the world’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform. Over the last decade, they’ve helped millions of people access credit and invest for the future, with over $35.9 billion in loans issued to date.
As a company, they help their 1,800 employees feel valued with perks and benefits to support a happier, healthier life.
Perks with Purpose
During the weekly orientation sessions for Lending Club’s newest hires, benefits specialist Holli McGue hears the same question over and over:
“When can I start using IncentFit?”
Over the last two and a half years, Lending Club has partnered with IncentFit to offer a wellness plan that rewards employees up to $750 per year for exercising. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most popular perks so far.
“It’s funny because we launch different benefits all the time, and this was one the most well received benefits we’ve ever had,” says McGue. “IncentFit was a great way to reward our employees for the types of activities they wanted to do.”
The San Francisco-based staff is already quite active and logs plenty of steps in their day-to-day commuting, says McGue. So their IncentFit plan is designed to suit that lifestyle, and push employees to go beyond their normal routines.
Introducing a new benefit takes careful consideration to get right. Lending Club is a great example of a company that assesses its programs and is not afraid to adjust course.
Previously, they’d offered gym memberships to all employees, but only at one physical location. Aside from limiting how and where people could exercise, it was difficult to prove that the memberships weren’t being wasted.
“It was pretty clear that we were just paying and people weren’t going,” says Susanne Harris, Vice President, Benefits & People Operations. It also wasn’t fair to people who wanted to do something else, like running or taking fitness classes
“We came across IncentFit and liked the idea that you pay only when [employees go to the gym].” says McGue.
The initial plan with IncentFit had incentives for running and walking, but during an annual review the benefits team realized that the rewards structure was unbalanced.
“Our reward for walking was too low and for running was way too high. Regular runners hit their $75 per month goal in a week and a half, whereas it was almost impossible for a walker to hit the goal,” explains Harris.
The administrators worked with IncentFit to balance the reward structure and introduce the concept of a threshold: participants have to hit 10,000 steps of running or walking in a day before they earn money.
“We discussed they types of activities that we wanted to see, what we could financially afford, and what would be a meaningful amount for people to actually take home,” says Harris. The result meant that everyone was rewarded appropriately, despite varying levels of fitness ability.
“Everybody’s pretty happy. And we’re not forcing people to do something we think they should do. We’re saying go do what you want do,” says Harris.
The benefits today include:
- $5 per gym visit
- $3 for 10,000 or more steps per day of walking or running
- $0.50/mile for biking after one mile per day
- $5 per race event
For example, to receive the full annual benefit you’d need to check in at the gym an average of 3.5 times per week or hit at least 10,000 steps four or more days a week.
“We’re incentivizing people to do just a little bit more,” explains Harris.
The perk is popular for the financial incentive, but it’s also building a sense of engagement. Now around the office you might hear someone comment on their step count or go walk around the block to reach their daily threshold. “It’s really driving them to pay attention to that,” says McGue.
Now two years in, Harris can pinpoint at least one difference: happier people.
“I think we have a happier population because they’re being reimbursed or rewarded for something they’re making an effort to do. It’s a benefit that the people love, because it’s really customized to them,” she says.
“We needed to step back and think about why were were offering this program.” says Harris. “For us it’s about doing the right thing for our employees…and [we know that] a well employee is a happy employee, is a more engaged employee, is a more productive employee.”