Competing budgets that require no competition
Financial and Human Resource leaders often compete for the same budget as it applies to spend management with reimbursements and 401k matching. However, Espresa has seen a significant desire to move towards a more flexible model where the employee is no longer forced to have the company choose for them, but rather, the employee decides how their allocated allowance will most favorably impact their lives, regardless of their stage of life.
“The needs of a more seasoned worker are often very different from those of, for example, a millennial or GenZ employee,” said Dr. Alex Shubat, co-founder, and CEO of Espresa. “A young family may have greater impact to their financial fitness by applying a greater portion of their company allocated budget to childcare or work from home aids, with a smaller portion to their 401k or retirement account. However, a more senior person in a higher income bracket may want to maximize their full contribution limit to their 401k and access the maximum amount matched by the company thus gaining greater positive pre-tax benefits.”
Espresa is a leader in the global reimbursements space with support in every currency and language, along with purchase power parity built in for global clients. “It’s important to provide employees with equality of benefits, no matter where they reside,” said, Dr. Shubat. “Espresa automatically delivers inclusive purchase power parity to all employees based on their plan design, including outsourced adjudication so that HR and finance teams can do more with fewer resources.”
Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) – the benefit with talent retention built in
With LSAs having achieved greater popularity and interest in the work-from-home and pandemic environment, Espresa further enhanced its platform for ultimate employee flexibility. Including bi-directional communication between employees and adjudicators built directly into the platform. The claim remains active during adjudication pending final approval or denial, as compared to other systems where a simple clarification, for example, causes the claim to be rejected. Additionally, adjudication can be done by Espresa within days, not months.
“With all my corporate executive leadership experience, benefits budgets are always the one thing that is hotly debated,” spoke Gabrielle Toledano, COO at Keystone Strategy and former CHRO of Tesla and Electronic Arts. “Many aspects drive budget discussions, including competitive pressures, employee retention, and overall total employee wellbeing,” Toledano continued. “I believe in the power of employee choice which can be offered directly to an employee rather than made or forced from the corporate level. Since there could be five generations working in a given company, the priority of retirement savings versus everyday necessities, especially during the pandemic, can alter or drive an employee’s decision to emphasize dollars towards their LSA versus their 401k match. With employees, freedom to choose wins.”
Employee freedom to choose is a new retention currency
Espresa’s modularly architected platform has developed features to make the reimbursements transaction frictionless for both the HR team and the employee. “It’s really about creating the best experience possible,” said Susan Lovegren, former chief people officer for Medallia and Juniper Networks. “A lot of classic platforms are what I often refer to as accounting platforms. They’re typically used for expense reports related to travel, cellphone bills, and that sort of thing. The approval flow is typically set up with employee’s manager and then finance,” Lovegren spoke further. “This is fine for a small population that uses expense reports for travel. With LSA type programs, all employees can submit claims while the approval needs to be outsourced to handle the volume of support. Since the budget is known upfront, with Espresa, when employees access the platform, they can see how much is left in the program. This makes for a great user experience and high level of adoption.”
Espresa continues to design its platform experience to de-stress employees around the globe within a war-on-talent and emerging candidates’ market. “At the end of every day, we as leaders must continue to innovate in the space of culture benefits,” discussed Dr. Shubat. “A platform with the ultimate in freedom to choose, is the only way to care for our people, not just effectively, but with empathy.”
Espresa, Inc. is the world’s first Culture Benefits® platform offering a modular ecosystem of non-traditional benefits and employee experience programs within a single SaaS and mobile solution that drives consistent employee engagement and happiness at scale. Espresa is a global organization supporting all languages, time zones, and currencies. More information is available at https://www.espresa.com/product/reimbursements-allowances/.