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Lifestyle benefits are becoming increasingly popular among H.R. professionals as a type of employee perk. These benefits support an employee’s personal goals outside of work, such as financial, health, or education goals. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are crucial in creating a safe and inclusive workplace for employees. H.R. professionals play a vital role in promoting DEI in the workplace. In this article, we will delve deeper into the topic and discuss ways to implement DEI in your company.

Employee discount programs are also an essential aspect of H.R., and at, we specialize in providing such programs. These programs help employees save money on everyday expenses at local stores and restaurants.

How Lifestyle Benefits Fit into a DEI Strategy

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a massive aspect of H.R., and it should be considered throughout the entire employee experience, including compensation and benefits. Many H.R. professionals report that offering benefits that cater to a diverse workforce is a top challenge.

However, companies have found that offering various lifestyle benefits can help employees achieve their personal goals and foster a sense of inclusivity in the workplace. Exclusive employee benefits can also play a role in this, but it is important to ensure they are inclusive and support a diverse range of employees.”

What Makes a Benefit “Exclusive”?

Exclusive employee benefits are designed to serve a specific group of employees, such as upper management or those who meet specific sales goals. These benefits can effectively motivate employees, but it is crucial to ensure a variety of exclusive benefits cater to different employees and life events.

A diverse selection of exclusive benefits can create an inclusive benefits package that caters to all employees’ different needs and preferences. It is vital to refrain from having a benefits package that only serves a specific group of employees, leaving others with few or no relevant benefits.

What Makes a Benefit “Inclusive”?

Inclusive benefits are available and relevant to all employees, regardless of their diverse needs and preferences.

There are several ways to make a benefit inclusive. One is offering freedom of choice, where employees can choose from various options that best suit their needs. For example, a health and wellness stipend allows employees to use the funds in a way that makes the most sense, whether its gym passes, massages, or counseling.

Another way to make a benefit inclusive is by expanding its scope to be relevant to a broader range of employees. For example, instead of offering maternity leave exclusively for women who have recently given birth, a company could offer a variety of family-building benefits, such as leave for new fathers, adoption or fostering, and benefits for infertility treatments.

This would cover a larger group of employees and a more comprehensive range of family-building scenarios.

Lastly, a benefit can be inclusive if it promotes equity within the company. Equity is the goal of giving every employee an equal chance to succeed, and this may require giving more help to those who start with less.

Employee benefits that support equity may look exclusive at first glance, as one group is helped more than others. However, they are ultimately relevant to protected groups and give them the same chance to succeed as other employees.

How to Design an Inclusive Benefits Package

Designing an inclusive benefits package does not have to be complicated. Most employees are willing to share their needs and preferences for benefits with their employers.

As an H.R. representative, it is important to actively seek input from employees and anticipate their needs to offer benefits that will set the company apart from others.

The first step in designing an inclusive benefits package is to gather information from current employees. This can be done through formal surveys or informal conversations during check-ins and exit interviews. By asking the right questions, you can gain valuable insights into the needs and preferences of your employees.

It is also essential to consider the needs of potential future employees when designing an inclusive benefits package. Companies known for being inclusive and diverse are highly desirable to job seekers. 60% of job seekers prioritize finding a workplace that is diverse and inclusive of all types of people.

By expanding the diversity of your benefits, you can attract a wider pool of talented employees, which can give your company an advantage during a challenging hiring environment.

Lastly, keeping an eye on current events and legislation that could affect employee sentiment is paramount. These can significantly and immediately impact employees, particularly those with protected status. For example, when Roe v. Wade was overturned, businesses that reacted quickly by offering stipends to employees needing to travel across state lines for legal abortions sent their employees a strong message of support.

By being proactive and having inclusive benefits in place, or by having done the research, a company can be more nimble in responding to emotionally charged situations.

Examples of Popular Inclusive Benefits

After evaluating your employee benefits, have you identified areas that could use improvement? Fortunately, most employers don’t have to start from scratch when choosing employee lifestyle perks.

The perfect starting point is to look at the success of other businesses and the popular perks they offer. Below is a list of inclusive perks that are currently in demand.

Flexibility: The pandemic lockdown forced many companies to offer flexibility in scheduling and work environment quickly, and now employees have grown accustomed to this freedom and want to continue it.

Flexible scheduling and remote work options allow employees to design their workday around their unique needs, such as being present for their children’s activities or being able to schedule necessary appointments. 

Floating Holidays: Even if your company already offers paid holidays, these may not include holidays that are culturally, religiously, or ethnically relevant to some employees. Floating holidays allow employees to choose their time off to honor important days, even if they differ from their co-workers.

Family Leaves: The U.S. has been criticized for its lack of government-sponsored parental leave. Families with ample time to heal and bond after welcoming a baby experience many physical and mental benefits. Many companies are now expanding their family leave policies to include paternity leave, leave for adoption or fostering, and family-building benefits.

Diversity-Friendly Healthcare: Healthcare is one of the most requested and offered benefits among U.S. employers. However, many businesses still need to thoroughly consider how their group health insurance plans genuinely represent the diversity of their employees to ensure that it is entirely, somewhat, and adequately covered. For example, do domestic partners have the option to be added to an employee’s healthcare plan?

Does the healthcare plan cover providers who are LGBTQ+ friendly and understand the physical and cultural needs of diverse people? Are there sufficient providers within a reasonable distance of your employees’ homes, even those in traditionally underserved areas? Are there virtual healthcare options available?

Wellness Benefits: While most people want benefits that support physical and mental wellness, the specifics can look very different from person to person. Therefore, having a wide selection of health and wellness benefits allows employees to choose the ones that best fit their unique health conditions and lifestyle choices.

Financial Services and Education: Your employees may all be in different stages of their financial journey, but all are dealing with money issues.

From paying off debt to investing for retirement to stretching their daily budgets, there are many areas where employees can use your help. This is especially true during a time when inflation, education debt, competing caregiving responsibilities, and other financial challenges unequally affect some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Professional Development: As the world changes, so do the skills requirements at your workplace. With the current reshuffle, businesses are searching for ways to retain their talent. Helping your employees reskill, upskill, or even just “skill-shift” can greatly benefit them and the company in the long run.

Discount Programs: A Popular and Inclusive Lifestyle Benefit

Discount programs are a valuable tool for promoting inclusivity in employee benefits. However, not all discount programs are created equal in terms of inclusivity. It is important to evaluate its relevance and accessibility to a diverse range of employees and potential employees. An inclusive discount program should be tailored to meet the needs of a diverse workforce and should be easily accessible to all employees.

Employee Discounts Need to be Relevant:

  • An inclusive discount program is relevant to a wide range of employees and accessible to everyone. Relevance can come from discounts on everyday purchases, such as food, clothing, and gas, which are essential to many employees. Additionally, deals accessible to all employees, regardless of location, are also significant.
  • One inclusive program is, America’s largest employee discount network. They offer a wide range of discounts on everyday purchases, such as food and clothing, as well as travel and automotive services. Additionally, they have direct partnerships with over 1 million locations throughout the U.S., making their discounts easily accessible to employees in every metropolitan and micropolitan area. This means there are significant discounts within a reasonable distance of 99.6% of the U.S. population.
  • Additionally, negotiates high-value discounts that can’t be found anywhere else. This allows for inclusion across various demographics, including all genders, races, ages, socio-economic statuses, and working conditions. Whether employees are fully remote, in-office, hybrid, full-time, or part-time, they can benefit from these discounts.

How to Partner with a Discount Program That Supports your DEI Strategy

When selecting a corporate discount program provider, there are many factors to consider. However, ensuring that the discounts offered to align with your company’s DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) strategy is vital. We compiled some pointers to help you find the right provider:

  1. Ask to see their company’s DEI policy. This will give you an idea of how committed they are to DEI within their organization.
  2. Compare their discounts to your employee demographics. This will help you ensure that all your employees are represented and that the discounts offered are relevant to them.
  3. Ask if the provider is open to diversifying their offerings on your behalf. For example, if your employees live in a less populated area with limited in-store discounts, ask if the provider is willing to try and sign up businesses that your employees are interested in.
  4. Look for providers like, who have always been committed to creating a win-win-win situation between employers, employees, and merchants. This includes ensuring that discounts are inclusive and align with DEI principles.

By following these recommendations, you can ensure that the corporate discount program you choose will be beneficial to your employees and align with your company’s DEI strategy. 

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