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Lead Bank Meets the Needs of a Growing Workforce With Modern Benefits

“We have a changing workforce, and we're going to continue to grow and scale. We need to adjust and ensure that we're offering benefits of actual value to our staff.” - Angela Blackburn, Chief People Officer
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employees in the benefits program
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centralized platform for pre- and post-tax benefits
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implementation process
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employee experience

Key Results

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High scalability
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Intuitive interface
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Reduced administrative burden
Benepass App Wellness Screenshot

Lead Bank, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is a tech-enabled financial services company redefining the standards of banking for fintech and embedded finance.  

Lead Bank values and supports its hybrid workforce across the country. Angela Blackburn, Chief People Officer, shares that, “One of our operating principles is to be client-obsessed, and my clients are our employees. I’m supporting them with all the things that they need in their personal or professional lives so that they can bring their best selves to work every day.”

Lead Bank offered all the traditional benefits like medical, dental, vision, FSA, HSA, dependent care, and more. They constantly benchmarked their benefits and marketed their offerings to stay highly competitive. However, after an acquisition last August, it became clear that a more scalable perks program was necessary to meet the needs of a growing workforce.

Responding to change

“We have a changing workforce, and we're going to continue to grow and scale. We need to adjust and ensure that we're offering benefits of actual value to our staff.” - Angela Blackburn, Chief People Officer

Lead Bank wanted to address the needs of its new workforce, including those in California with long commutes. And they needed to find a way to do all this with a small and already very busy team. “Handling everybody's wellness submissions for reimbursements can be a significant effort, and we knew it was not a scalable benefit in that fashion,” Angela said. 

Perks programs 

They decided that a lifestyle spending account (LSA) and card-first approach would allow employees the flexibility to use their wellness benefits in the way that best suited their unique needs. An LSA is a non-salaried allowance that can be used according to an employee’s personal preferences. Wellness for one individual may look very different from wellness for someone else. Lead Bank wanted to be flexible and open-minded regarding the different pillars of wellness and established a new LSA program with Benepass. 

“I think oftentimes organizations think of wellness as just a gym membership,” said Angela. “We’ve incorporated so many elements of self-care that somebody could use it for things like Botox or acupuncture. Our employees are excited about the flexibility and that they can actually use it for something applicable to them.”

Today, Lead Bank is also building a new commuting benefit with Benepass to allow employees the flexibility of choosing how and when they would like to commute. A card-first approach also allows Lead Bank to save money in their hybrid workplaces since people can buy daily passes instead of monthly or yearly transit passes. 

Pre-tax programs

Lead Bank also wanted to respond to events on a wider scale and became interested in offering its employees a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) specifically for mental health and abortion travel. An HRA is an employer-funded account that offers employees money to pay for eligible healthcare expenses.

“We want to provide a benefit that helps people if they’re not able to get the services they need within their state or a certain mileage radius,” said Angela.

With the Benepass HRA, organizations can provide more inclusive healthcare coverage that employees can use as needed without adding to insurance costs. Traditional HRAs require employees to pay upfront for medical expenses before they can be reimbursed. The Benepass HRA leverages financial technology to make a card-first approach possible, creating a more intuitive, equitable experience for employees. The Benepass team processes transactions and reimbursements to validate eligibility, which means more privacy for employees’ sensitive medical information and less administrative burden for People and Finance teams.

Lead Bank also offers additional health expense aid through a Benepass FSA program. A flexible spending account (FSA) is an employer-sponsored healthcare benefit that allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for qualified medical expenses.

Why Benepass 

“Out of the platforms we examined, Benepass seemed to have the scalability that we were looking for and seemed to be the most user-friendly.” - Angela Blackburn, Chief People Officer

The Lead Bank People team utilized their benefits broker to make recommendations of platforms that provided lifestyle benefits. It became clear that the flexibility provided by Benepass would offer the customization that Lead Bank was seeking. 

“I think some organizations make you fit into the box that they create for you and don’t have a lot of customization,” Angela said. “With Benepass, I think we’ll be able to continue to grow and offer different benefits as we see fit and the needs of our staff change.”

Additionally, unifying pre-tax and lifestyle benefits under one card cuts costs and streamlines administration for the team as most companies use two or more point solutions to manage these benefits. 

Another key element of Lead Bank’s criteria was an easy user experience. Angela and the team knew that if an interface was too complex or clunky, it was going to be underutilized. “Benefits can be frustrating for people and sometimes add stress,” Angela said. “My goal is to ensure that we're offering benefits that decrease stress and frustration.” 

Benepass offered a highly intuitive platform that employees could access via the web or mobile app. Using one singular card across benefits programs streamlines the employee experience and increases engagement. “Having one card for all benefits really makes life easy for employees,” Angela said. 

A trusted partner 

“The implementation process has been easy, efficient, and streamlined, which I appreciate.” - Angela Blackburn, Chief People Officer 

As a small and busy team, Angela values Benepass’s partnership. “I would for sure give customer support a 10,” she said. “They have been phenomenal, super responsive, so helpful on the calls, very thorough, and very proactive.” 

The team plans to explore the analytics features Benepass offers to continually refine the program going forward. “I anticipate that we’ll be looking at that at least every month and then sharing those numbers with our Finance team so that we can track and manage future programs,” Angela said. 

Key results

“My goal is to ensure that we're offering benefits that decrease stress and frustration.” - Angela Blackburn, Chief People Officer 
  • High scalability: Benepass’s flexibility and card-first approach allows Lead Bank to continually refine its programs and add new categories as needed. 
  • Intuitive interface: The intuitive and mobile-friendly approach allows employees to check card funds and reimbursements and be reminded when funds, like those in an FSA account, will soon expire. 
  • Reduced administrative burden: By consolidating pre-tax and perks programs in a singular platform, the team reduces the amount of time they spend managing programs and improves the employee experience.
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