Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s extensive financial wellness offerings led to a win at Benefits Canada‘s 2023 Workplace Benefits Awards on Oct. 20.

The apparel company won in the Financial wellness category for its Fund Your Future program, which offers financial benefits and resources to support employees in making informed decisions no matter where they are in their financial journey. It consists of long-term savings plans — a group registered retirement savings plan in Canada and a 401(k) in the U.S. — as well as an employee share purchase plan and financial literacy initiatives.

In 2022, Lululemon set out to build on its existing work to deliver a more comprehensive financial education program that provided employees with a greater sense of confidence in their money management, as well as practical support.

Read: U.S. workers more likely to stay with employer offering financial wellness benefits: survey

Another focus of the program is financial well-being that aims to transform generations and level the playing field, particularly in underrepresented communities, says Jared Fu, Lululemon’s manager of health and wealth operational excellence.

“What makes our financial wellness initiatives unique is we focus on underrepresented communities, which is why for one of our initiatives we partnered with a South Asian money expert to provide honest and relatable financial coaching for women of colour from immigrant upbringings through coaching and mentoring to overcome their financial traumas and build generational wealth.”

In order to help employees feel confident in their financial literacy, Lululemon began offering educational sessions, created a financial literacy hub and established employee focus groups to assess their needs more directly.

Read: Survey finds gender, generational gap in employee financial wellness

Recognizing the majority of its employees are generally younger and grew up consuming content on social media, the company also partnered with a financial literacy content creator to develop a series of short, educational TikTok-style videos.

As a result of these initiatives, enrolment in the group RRSP increased by 181 per cent, while the average RRSP account balance increased by 25 per cent and the average ESPP participation rate reached 58 per cent across all eligible employees.

“We know with our younger demographics that financial literacy is not as high as with an older demographic,” says Fu. “So to be recognized [for these efforts] highlights and reaffirms that we’re on the right track in terms of the programs we put in place, as well as the education and financial literacy offerings we have to support employees.

“Different people are going to have different financial situations, but we want to make sure we have a robust amount of offerings to support employees wherever they are.”

Read: Financial wellness programs should have measurable, tangible impact: study