One sign of our times is the pursuit of good health—wellness— with the goal of reducing healthcare costs and creating happier, more productive employees.
“Credit unions’ consciousness about employee wellness is growing every day,” says Brian Berchtold, vice president of sales and marketing for Hubbub, a “technology-driven wellness program provider. Our brand and values—integrity, truth, and transparency—align with and mirror credit union values.”
He says wellness programs traditionally have been something human resource departments addressed.
“However, many C-level leaders are now recognizing their worth, Berchtold says. “A well-implemented program improves a credit union’s culture, productivity, and bottom line because of better cost control over health-care expenses.”
Hubbub’s program is employee centric versus top-down-driven. “Most businesses still use the approach of setting goals and then driving them down,” Berchtold says.
“But we recognized that wellness doesn’t end when the workday is done. It’s a 24/7 endeavor.”
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Otherwise, Berchtold says, such at-home behaviors as digging into a fried chicken dinner or lounging on the couch can counteract whatever healthy behaviors employees display at work.
He says Hubbub’s program focuses on three areas:
Plus, the program doesn’t ask participants to cut out all of their favorite foods. “That’s not how human nature works. Instead, we might suggest eating smaller portions and adding five minutes of meditation to a daily routine.”
Employees are encouraged to create their own programs and to invite relatives and friends to participate at no cost. “The formal program is easy to set up and costs $3 per employee per month, regardless of a credit union’s size,” Berchtold explains. “This includes everything a credit union needs to implement and run a wellness program.”
One way to entice participation is to throw a smackdown against another credit union, tracking it with a March Madness-type system, he says. “Employees on the fence about making changes in diet and exercise may decide to jump in because they’re part of a group effort rather than being singled out. There’s also an incentive program that offers electronic gift cards and other encouragements that develop long-term program visibility among employees.
“The key is making sure leadership is on board and has established a wellness committee,” Berchtold continues. “Keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all. Let employees find regimens that work best for them.”
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