Rebecca Nelson
Rebecca Nelson

Promoting a balanced lifestyle

Initiatives at Great River FCU encourage well-being and staff volunteerism.

October 4, 2016

Striking a healthy work-life balance is a primary goal for Rebecca Nelson.

When it comes to healthy, balanced living, Nelson tries to practice what she preaches and strives to help her co-workers to achieve that goal, too.

“I try to set an example for the people around me,” says Nelson, human resource manager for $163 million asset Great River Federal Credit Union in St. Cloud, Minn. “And I encourage them to strive for balance in their lives, as well.”

Toward that end, she created two initiatives at Great River Federal—one that nurtures all-around well-being and a second that boosts staff volunteerism.

For the first initiative, she drew inspiration from a well-being conference, a book, and an idea-sharing session with the credit union’s insurance broker.

She gained “great insight,” she says, “into how important staff well-being is to businesses, as well as to families and the community.”

Nelson solicited staff volunteers to serve on a five-person well-being committee. “I got a huge response,” she says, “and now have a waiting list.”

The committee provides employees with ideas, programs, and opportunities to improve their well-being in five areas: physical, financial, community, social, and career.

As just one example, the committee launched a “Spark an Activity” program that uses the credit union’s instant message platform to send hourly messages presenting an exercise or stretching idea.

“That encourages employees to get up out of their seats throughout the day,” Nelson says, “which is beneficial to their overall health.”

Nelson also set up a volunteer committee, which has “the overall goal of making a difference in our community,” she says.

Employees receive eight hours per year to volunteer for community organizations and events. This ties into community well-being, Nelson explains, which is one of the five areas of this initiative.