“We care about and appreciate employees and want to give back to them as many ways as we can. This is an addition to the normal benefits package and something new that a lot of employees haven’t experienced.” - Denise Ortega, Director of Benefits and Wellness
OcV!BE is an upcoming entertainment and commercial development in Anaheim, California, consisting of a new concert hall, amphitheater, office buildings, apartments, hotels, shopping, restaurants, and more. The project is proposed and financed by the owners of the Anaheim Ducks and operators of Honda Center and is planned as a modern urban village built around sports and entertainment. With over a dozen entities under its purview, ocV!BE needed a benefits solution that equitably served its diverse employee base.
“Our CHRO and leadership group communicated that it’s important to them that employees have a balanced benefit package, that there’s something for everyone. Benepass has been really well-received by the full gambit of everybody.” - Denise Ortega, Director of Benefits and Wellness
After exploring methods for attracting and retaining talent, ocV!BE leadership learned about the growing popularity of lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs). A Mercer Insights Survey found that 70% of companies are considering adding an LSA to their benefits package. The flexibility and inclusivity of an LSA make it an attractive benefit option for people-first companies with diverse employee bases.
ocV!BE introduced an LSA to support employee wellness while giving employees more freedom over their spending. The team opted for an LSA because employees can tailor the benefit to their individual preferences and lifestyle needs. Knowing their workforce is diverse and multigenerational, ocV!BE opted to create as few spending restrictions as possible so employees could spend on a wide range of expenses.
Employers have complete control over their LSA benefit design and can implement as many or as few spending parameters as they desire. Giving employees more choice in how they spend their funds increases employee engagement and satisfaction. It’s a smart strategy for companies that want to demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being, regardless of what that means for any individual employee.
ocV!BE includes the following eligible categories in its LSA design:
“I think people are really surprised that we built it without a lot of parameters,” said Denise Ortega, Director of Benefits and Wellness. “It’s very open and you can use it how you see fit in most cases. The whole idea of the benefits strategy is to create a balanced program that satisfies people and really looks out for their wellness and their family’s well-being as well.”
“The website’s very user-friendly. One of the priorities when we’re looking for a vendor is that employees can use it easily and there won’t be a lot of heavy lifting on us or our brokers to educate employees.” - Denise Ortega, Director of Benefits and Wellness
When evaluating LSA vendors, ocV!BE was on the hunt for an option that would be easy to administer without creating extra work for their team. Benepass integrated directly with Workday to automate employee enrollment, and the Support team handled employee communications so employees could understand how to access their benefits from day one.
“The integration was really seamless,” Denise said. “It’s always nice to have a vendor take on the heavy lifting that we may not have enough people in our department for.”
The team required a vendor that would allow them to scale and grow their programs without needing to add more point solutions. Each entity under ocV!BE’s domain requires a separate billing process, so consolidation is essential to avoid an unmanageable workload.
“We have so many entities, which means separate bills for every single entity,” Denise said. “It makes it a little difficult when it comes to invoicing time. If we can just grow with one vendor that we’re happy with, that makes the most sense.”
“We care about and appreciate employees and want to give back to them in as many ways as we can.” - Denise Ortega, Director of Benefits and Wellness
The employee experience was also top of mind as the team explored LSA solutions. Benepass’s card-first approach makes it easy for ocV!BE employees to spend on items that positively impact their well-being. The team felt it was more inclusive because employees wouldn’t have to spend their own money before being reimbursed, which can be a barrier that prevents employees from enjoying their benefits.
“Having HR not be the middleman or not having employees do extra legwork to use their funds makes more sense,” Denise said. “Some people just don’t have those funds upfront. Giving employees the option to utilize a card that’s already pre-funded makes more sense than having them submit for reimbursements.”
Although the ocV!BE team explored other options such as giving employees money on their paychecks, Benepass ultimately seemed like a more meaningful and intentional way to provide benefits to their employees.
“If you give a thousand dollars, it goes into your checking account and then it’s probably not going to be spent on a massage; it’s going to go to a bill,” said Leonor Romero, VP of HR. “In this case, it is really for the employee’s wellness or their family’s.”
“We advocated to give employees the opportunity to spend wellness-related dollars however they saw fit.” - Denise Ortega, Director of Benefits and Wellness