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In the fifth episode of our podcast series ‘HR Insights’, our host Emily Ramji discusses wel...
In the fifth episode of our podcast series ‘HR Insights’, our host Emily Ramji discusses well-being benefits for the modern workforce with Jonathan Shooshani, Co-Founder of JOON.
Jon has spent the last decade working at the intersection of wellness and technology and is passionate about building businesses that help people lead happier and healthier lives. In this episode, Emily and Jon discuss how organizations can best support their employees by gathering the right information and designing tailor-made interventions that have the most impact. Jon highlights the importance of creating customizable approaches to wellness that focus on best supporting each individual and not the workforce as a collective. In recent years, wellness and well-being have become buzzwords for many new products or brands in the market, everything from alcohol to chocolate has been branded as a form of wellness. JOON’s approach to well-being couldn’t be more different.
Their concept of total employee well-being is looking at an employee's health in a more comprehensive manner, rather than just thinking about their physical health. JOON takes into account our mental, financial and family health amongst other factors. This concept was developed after Jon discovered a problem within the well-being and benefits world. Companies were offering benefits, however, their employees weren’t using them. There was a need for a more personalized, bespoke approach whereby employees had a choice of well-being options that aligned with their needs. This is where the idea of bringing in a more personalized approach was born and the creation of JOON began. In the podcast Jon talks us through how JOON’s offering works, an employee links their card to JOON and each month their employer will give them a certain amount of money to spend on their wellbeing. The platform has multiple well-being categories that you can spend in, such as; mental health, family care, fitness, student loans and so on.
These categories put the employee in the driver's seat, so they can really choose what they need/want to invest in in order to feel well. Jon explains how employees' needs are always changing so this gives them the flexibility and freedom of choice to choose how they wish to add to their well-being at any point in time. Some examples of what employees could spend their JOON credit on are: paying for child care, paying towards a Peloton bike, trying a meditation app like Headspace or even paying for therapy expenses - the JOON platform will validate that. Then at the end of the month, the employee will be reimbursed without having to do anything. Another feature of JOON is the advice they offer for employees who don’t know how to spend their credit. Any employee can get in touch with the JOON team and they will take the time to learn more about their well-being and lifestyle goals.
Then they can point them in the right direction and make a personalized recommendation plan about how to use their credit in a meaningful way. Something that Emily highlights here in the podcast is the importance of service being easy, in our modern society, everyone is so busy with balancing their work and life that when a platform such as JOON comes to the forefront, part of their offering has to be that the service is accessible to use. Jon shares his own personal well-being journey and how JOON was derived from a great experience he had with a previous employer. He speaks about how he had been suffering with chronic knee pain for many years and when he found himself in a new job within the natural foods industry, his employer offered to expense yoga lessons for him - something he’d been thinking about doing for many years but always put off due to the cost. Jon said “Many times money is the thing that deters us from changing behavior, employers now have the ability to remove some of that friction and empower their people to do what makes them feel good”. This made Jon realize that organizations can provide their employees the opportunity to practice wellness is a way that is meaningful to them.
JOONs innovative concept brings a great conversation to the forefront surrounding how well corporate wellness is being tackled and how it can be improved going forward. As we come out of the pandemic, compensation and benefits will play a key role and have an impact on the future recruitment process and ultimately be a deciding factor for many candidates choosing roles. This demonstrates how organizations need to be tapping into the current trends within the benefits world and investing in concepts like JOON or similar. Being able to create a more inclusive and equitable offering that's meaningful to everyone will result in people feeling their best selves so they can work to their full potential. To listen to the podcast click here, you can connect with Jon and Emily on LinkedIn, and navigate to their profiles by clicking their names.