Boost Team Performance With Fitness Benefits

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A workplace where energy levels are high, focus is sharp, and collaboration flows as smoothly as a well-oiled machine is something that all business decision-makers and managers aspire to oversee. But rather than this remaining an unreachable aim, weaving fitness benefits into your company’s fabric can become a tangible reality. And since a growing number of leaders recognize that robust health can turbocharge performance, you can’t stand on the sidelines for this one if you want to keep your talent satisfied and loyal.

So, how can the average organization tap into the potential trove of advantages on offer here? Well, the integration of fitness benefits covered by HSAs/FSAs could be your strategic move. This isn’t just about gym memberships—think holistic wellbeing additions to your benefits package, intersecting with financial savvy. Let’s explore making strides towards vitalizing your team’s wellness and work dynamic through actionable and compliant steps.

Unlocking the Potential of HSAs and FSAs

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are both tax-advantaged tools to manage medical expenses and can be a lynchpin part of your team’s wellness strategy if implemented effectively. Here’s what each involves in a little more detail:

HSAs are available to individuals with high-deductible health plans, allowing them to save for medical expenses on a tax-free basis. Noteworthy is their triple tax advantage—contributions, growth, and qualified withdrawals are all untaxed.

FSAs are typically offered by employers and permit employees to allocate pre-tax earnings towards healthcare costs, reducing taxable income.

That all sounds great, but why should you really consider these in your fitness benefits conversations? Well, given that healthcare spending in the US hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, equating to almost $13,500 for each citizen, everyone needs adequate funds to cover their needs.

For typical team members, this isn’t solely confined to medical bills but increasingly factors in things like purchasing fitness equipment to hit their personal exercise goals. In fact, with around 25% of workers signed up for a HSA scheme, the sheer demand is undeniable.

All this means that engaging with HSAs and FSAs as part of your benefits can encourage healthier lifestyle choices while providing tangible financial incentives—a powerful combination for your workforce.

Crafting a Fiscally Fit Benefits Package

Integrating fitness benefits into your organization’s health plans isn’t just about adding another perk; it’s about constructing an environment that prioritizes well-being and smart financial planning.

As you consider incorporating HSAs/FSAs, it’s key to both understand and communicate what types of expenses these accounts can cover. There are all sorts of fitness essentials you can get with your HSA/FSA, which invites an engaging way to promote health and fiscal responsibility in tandem.

What it takes is a proactive approach to offering these benefits. Reaching this point looks like:

  • Identify Eligible Expenses: Start by clarifying what qualifies as a fitness-related expense. Typically, doctor-recommended items for specific medical conditions are covered, such as ergonomic supports or physical therapy equipment.
  • Educate Your Team: Host informational sessions detailing how employees can use their HSA/FSA funds for eligible fitness expenses. Knowledge empowers utilization.
  • Facilitate Access: Partner with suppliers who specialize in HSA/FSA-approved fitness gear, providing direct access for your employees.

There’s hard data to show that money spent on wellness-focused benefits packages repays itself many times over, with Jonson & Johnson being an oft-cited example of an employer that got back $2.71 for each dollar it siphoned into such schemes. This translates into stronger commitment and lower turnover, not only in major brands and multinational employers but also in smaller businesses. So, introducing the right resources and education around HSAs/FSAs for fitness needs means you’re investing in both your team’s happiness and your business’s longevity.

Navigating HSA/FSA Compliance with Legal Agility

Ensuring your fitness benefits align with tax laws and health account regulations is crucial to introducing a compliant and beneficial program. The IRS sets specific guidelines for HSAs and FSAs, so maintaining legal agility ensures that the program runs smoothly without hitches that could disrupt the intended advantages.

Consider these strategic actions:

  • Consult with Experts: Engage a tax advisor or attorney who specializes in employee benefits to ensure all proposed fitness benefits meet eligibility criteria for HSA/FSA spending.
  • Review Regularly: Tax laws evolve, as do healthcare policies. For instance, there have been a lot of changes and expansions of eligibility in the years following the pandemic, so reviewing official info before introducing changes or sending off tax returns is wise. As part of this, schedule annual reviews of your fitness benefit offerings against current regulations.
  • Update Policies Accordingly: Once you’ve solidified the legal groundwork, update your company’s internal policies to reflect these changes and ensure ongoing compliance.

With employees preferring benefit boosts to salary increases at a factor of 4 to 1, according to an AICPA study, it’s important to both meet these expectations and avoid doing so in a way that treads on the toes of regulators. Adopting a legally sound approach to integrating fitness benefits into HSAs/FSAs lets you demonstrate both innovation and responsibility—a combination highly valued in today’s competitive employment market.

The Infrastructure of Internal Support in Building Wellness

It’s one thing to offer fitness benefits; it’s another to cultivate a thriving culture that breathes wellness. Infrastructure speaks louder than intention, and your internal policies need to echo the commitment you’re making to your team’s health.

Here’s a foundational overview of what’s required for constructing this support system:

  • Develop Comprehensive Wellness Programs: Incorporate fitness benefits into broader wellness initiatives that address mental, emotional, and financial health. Making money worries a key aspect of support is especially relevant given that 57% of employees currently complain of stress related to finances being their biggest obstacle at the moment, according to PwC.
  • Foster a Supportive Atmosphere: Create an environment where employees feel encouraged and motivated to prioritize their wellbeing. This could include offering incentives for reaching certain health milestones or recognizing participation in wellness activities. It’s all part of gamifying the workplace in various ways to incentivize improvements collectively.
  • Measure Impact: Implement tools for tracking engagement with the fitness benefits program and conduct surveys to assess employee satisfaction and outcomes.

Cultivating internal support ensures the investment you make in your team’s physical fitness transcends the walls of a gymnasium, becoming part of the ethos of your organization. If this is something you can proudly shout about in a recruitment context, then all the better!

Elevating Management Through Wellness Strategies

Leadership is generally talked about in relation to its role in steering the organization toward profitability. However, it’s also a process that needs to embody the values and initiatives that matter most to a business—including wellness. Leadership can foster a more engaged and productive workforce by championing a fitness-minded culture.

Set your leadership on the path to promoting health:

  • Lead by Example: Encourage company leaders to participate in wellness programs, showcasing their commitment to health as both a personal and professional priority.
  • Train Managers: Equip management with the knowledge to support their teams’ health objectives, ensuring they can guide employees in leveraging HSA/FSA for fitness benefits effectively.
  • Craft Clear Communication: Develop messaging from top-tier management that highlights the importance of well-being within corporate goals and mission statements. This helps improve internal communication more generally, so it serves a multifaceted purpose in this instance.

It’s important to note that lots of leaders are well aware of the realities they face regarding workplace wellbeing, as evidenced in Deloitte’s latest Well-Being at Work survey. Just 58% of respondents said that their state of mind and physical fitness were in good shape, which is actually a drop from previous years. Even those in top-level positions are feeling the strain, with 75% of respondents sitting in C-suite positions saying they’re exploring the idea of leaving their current role in favor of one elsewhere that puts more emphasis on wellbeing.

So essentially this needs to be a top-down change for companies that are currently lacking in the wellness benefits department. No organization can afford to do little more than paying lip service to this aspect, or an exodus at every layer could be on the cards.

Tracking Progress Towards Wellness Goals

Implementing fitness benefits is a strategic move, but without measuring outcomes and progress, it’s hard to quantify its impact. Establishing systems to track wellness can validate the effort and investment, providing critical feedback for continuous improvement.

Follow these steps to measure your team’s journey towards health:

  • Set Clear Metrics: Define what success looks like in the context of your wellness programs. Whether it’s reduced healthcare costs, decreased absenteeism, or improved employee feedback, clear metrics matter.
  • Utilize Data Analytics: Leverage data collection tools to analyze participation rates, employee satisfaction scores, and any correlations with performance indicators.
  • Regular Feedback Loops: Create channels for employees to provide input on the fitness benefits offered and how they intersect with their use of HSAs/FSAs.

Diligently tracking wellness initiatives’ progress against defined objectives lets you not only witness the fruits of your labor but also create a responsive framework that fosters a continuously improving work environment. It’s this that sows the seeds of future team success and does so in a sustainable way.


Integrating fitness benefits with HSAs/FSAs forms a mosaic of organizational vitality in forging the path towards a healthier workforce. It’s a strategic endeavor that merges well-being with financial acumen, positioning your company as an employer of choice.

As you thread these elements into the company’s culture, keep one eye on the fact that it’s not just about the perks—it’s about building an ecosystem where wellness is as fundamental as productivity. Stand by these initiatives and watch how they invigorate your team, bolster satisfaction, and catalyze success.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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