The number one rule of employee benefits administration is that no program should be one-size fits all.
What is a one-size fits all solution? The best example is any basic reimbursement program. Gym reimbursement programs typically require employees to submit receipts for gym memberships, and then reimburse them through their wages.
But this option doesn’t work for everyone: sometimes people won’t work out at all, sometimes they don’t have a gym, and sometimes they prefer the freedom to exercise elsewhere–like Zumba class on Monday but outdoor running on Thursday.
Assuming your employees all want a gym membership, and that they’ll go to the gym if that membership is free and subsidized, will just end up wasting your money.
Avoiding a Paperwork Headache
A second important rule to follow is that the more paperwork a program requires (for your and your employees) the lower the engagement will be.
Employees want the process to feel seamless, and physical paperwork is a major friction point.
For traditional fitness reimbursement programs, like the one WageWorks offers, submitting paperwork and waiting to be reimbursed can feel like submitting an insurance claim. Common complaints include the wait time, the costs of submitting and gathering the documents, and issues with appealing rejected submissions.
Even if employees receive compensation in their wages, this program is not likely to work for a millennial population: submitting fitness receipts via fax isn’t appealing to anyone.
A Tailored Solution that Works
What’s the answer to this? A fitness rewards program that is both flexible and automated.
At IncentFit we allow employees to submit documents through our app, making paperwork and faxes a non-issue. Just snap a picture, upload it, and we’ll review based on your plan requirements.
We also reimburse fitness activities in other ways. If your employees don’t belong to a gym, and the traditional reimbursement program doesn’t work for them, no problem! We can pay people for any type of fitness activity. This flexibility allows you to have the features of a traditional gym reimbursement program, but with the benefits of a modern approach. The money is disbursed in employee wages, into their HAS, FSA, or directly deposited. We handle everything.
WageWorks is a leader in FSA and HSA administration, so it can be tempting to use benefits administration companies for your fitness reimbursement program as well.
Unfortunately, these programs are an add-on for benefits companies: they don’t specialize in fitness rewards, and don’t have the infrastructure to create tailored programs. But if you can afford to reimburse and reward fitness for your employees, then we recommend choosing a program that will work for them.
Check out our Rewards program for a simple solution to benefits administration.