Wellness Programs Deliver ROI: Onsite Coverage
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Workplace wellness programs lead to better employee engagement and lower healthcare costs for credit unions, Brian Berchtold, vice president of sales and marketing for Portland, Ore.-based corporate wellness solutions provider hubbub health said at the CUNA HR and Training & Development (HR/TD) Council Conference Friday.
Berchtold shared the benefits of wellness programs during a conference breakout session, “How Better Employee Health Means Better Business.” Nicole Colgan, director of human resources/employee development for the $961 million TwinStar Credit Union in Olympia, Wash. and Barbara Cecil, director of human resources for the $498 million Maps Credit Union in Salem, Ore. backed up his claims by offering wellness program examples from their cooperatives.
Healthier employees are happier and more energetic, and therefore more productive at work, Berchtold said. He added that a healthy staff means lower overall medical costs for organizations.
“When you look at a wellness program, it really ends up being a business solution,” Berchtold said.
Citing Gallup, he explained when an organization implements a wellness program, 24% of employees will participate, 10% of employees won’t ever participate, and 66% of employees will be “on the fence” about participating.
The goal for credit unions, he said, is to find a way to win over that 66%.
Cecil said Maps Credit Union’s wellness program incorporates fun challenges that encourage employees to get their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers down. Workers are also encouraged to bring items such as veggie trays, fruits and healthy drinks to office potluck celebrations, she said.
It’s important to be patient when tracking wellness program results, as it can take time to get employees on board, she noted.
“Based on everything I’ve heard, it takes two to three years to see a return on your wellness program, so you have to focus on the baby steps along the way,” Cecil said.
Berchtold affirmed credit unions must have the support of their executive teams and other leaders in order for their wellness programs to work.
“The wellness program will not have any chance of succeeding unless leadership is involved in the program, and that’s not just in the C-suite, that’s across all levels in the organization,” he said.
TwinStar Credit Union involved leadership in its wellness program by producing humorous videos that featured the CEO, Jeff Kennedy, engaging in healthy activities such as yoga, Colgan said.
The credit union also appointed employees who are passionate about wellness to a committee, ensuring representation from different credit union departments.
“When you have the leadership buy-in, that makes it more fun and gets that competitive spirit going,” Colgan said.
Wellness programs that engage employees’ family members, such as those that include home cooking challenges, can be particularly successful, Berchtold added.
The CUNA HR/TD Council Conference runs from April 22 to 25 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, Calif.