From Student Debt Assistance to Family-Forming Support: Benefits and Well-Being Go Hand in Hand 

You know this, but it bears repeating. Prioritizing physical, psychological, emotional and financial wellness is key to supporting our overall well-being. This holds true during the busy holiday season and throughout the entire year.  

Employee benefits that address emotional, physical and financial well-being

It can also be easier said than done, so we need as much support as possible in this vital endeavor. An in-depth framework recently published by the US Surgeon General outlines a vision of the workplace as an engine of well-being. The report states, “Our workplaces play a significant role in our lives. Work affects both our physical and mental well-being – in good ways and bad. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the relationship between work and well-being into clearer focus.”   

Supporting Employee Well-Being 

As Promega Benefits Manager for Madison, WI-based employees, I couldn’t agree more. Comprehensive, thoughtfully curated employee benefits are some of the most effective tools organizations have to concretely support the well-being of their employees. And that means prioritizing, and continuously evolving, a workplace culture that cares for people and helps them harmonize the many parts of their lives. People are our most important asset. Their health and well-being are the very foundation of great workplaces and the key to continued success of organizations, employees and their families, as well as communities overall. 

In fact, Promega was recently recognized with two new Culture Excellence Awards in the areas of Employee Well-Being and Compensation & Benefits as part of our national and regional honors as a “2022 Top Workplace” from research firm Energage. The Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance also recognized us as an “Exemplary Employer” of caregivers as part of their educational campaign during Family Caregiver Awareness Month in November. 

Awards and recognition like these are fantastic indicators that we at Promega are on the right track, but there is still room for growth and improvement as we seek to more fully support employee well-being. This is an exciting time in the world of benefits, reflecting society’s return to a “new normal” post-pandemic and including broader perspectives to be more inclusive and equitable.   

Prioritizing the Spectrum of Life Events 

Promega prioritizes employee benefits that honor the entire spectrum of life events and experiences. Over the past year, we evaluated our offerings from various perspectives, including employee feedback and through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. We aimed to identify and address any gaps between our benefit offerings and our employee population’s needs. Some of the changes at our Madison campus that evolved from these processes include: 

  • Increasing our Caregiver Leave benefit from 3 weeks to 6 weeks of paid time off annually to care for aging parents, ill spouses or domestic partners, children with medical needs or new family members through birth, adoption or foster care.
    • Caregiving remains an activity that occurs among all generations, racial/ethnic groups, income or educational levels, family types, gender identities, and sexual orientations. 
    • 61% of family caregivers are also working¹. 
  • Launching a new family-forming benefit to assist employees with fertility healthcare, adoption and surrogacy. Employees are eligible for up to $10,000 in support.  
    • 63% of LGBTQ+ people are planning to build families using assisted reproductive technology or adoption². 
    • 1 in 5 heterosexual women aged 15-49 experience infertility³, and infertility can occur in both men and women. 
  • Implementing a Student Debt Repayment Accelerator Program that enables employees with student debt to receive an additional $100/month from Promega toward their loan repayment. 
    • 87% of black students borrow money for education vs 60% of white counterparts and tend to have higher debt amounts and higher interest rates4.
    • Women hold 2/3 of the country’s student debt5
  • Expanding the definition of “medically necessary” in our medical plan with respect to gender affirming services for transgender individuals to include many surgical services that were previously excluded as cosmetic in nature. 
  • Providing greater inclusion in our medical plan for individuals requiring therapy for an Autism spectrum diagnosis and/or developmental delays. 

Responding to Ever-Evolving Needs 

Our work continues as we respond to the ever-evolving needs of our people and our organization. I am encouraged to work for an employer that consistently recognizes the value of investing in employee benefit offerings. Many of us work not only for the intrinsic reward it provides and to pay our bills, but also for the access it provides to these types of services. And these benefits, in turn, go a long way in supporting our overall well-being.  

Promega is certainly not the only organization reviewing and expanding employee benefits. What benefits are being added at organizations you are part of? What benefits do you see as most important and/or wish companies would offer?  



2. Family Equality 2019 LGBTQ Family Building Survey. 

3. ;

4. Student Borrower Protection Center. 

5. American Association of University Women, “Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans,” 2020. 

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Diana Clark
Diana Clark is the Benefits Manager for Promega Corporation in Madison, WI.

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