The value of “employee health” at Voyage Federal Credit Union is something that didn’t mean much prior to 2010; but it has changed quite a bit since 2013 -– all for the better! Employee health and well-being has become quite successful over the past several years at our organization including a complete change of our mission, values and name to how we think and offer well-being to our employees.
We knew we wanted to provide something extra and different for our employees. We knew we did not have all the “big bank” opportunities but we knew a “small bank” feel could make a bigger impact. In 2012 we were fortunate to learn about the South Dakota WorkWell Mini Grant and how that could help us impact our employees’ well-being with education, resources, opportunities and a partnership. We applied for the grant and are happy to say we were awarded funds to support our mission and values then and we are still recipients of the grant today – four years later!
When we started in 2013 we knew it was our employees that mattered and we needed to learn from them what they wanted. Surveys and a wellness team that was dedicated to success uncovered activities, incentives and education that were warranted and wanted. We took advantage of the great community in which we live and partnered with wellness centers, personal gyms, health advocates and people that had the same values we did and provided education in a group setting along with team building activities that keep our employees engaged. Drawings and incentives were used for participation and leaders kept everyone headed in the same direction. The one thing we wanted was more involvement. We also were not afraid of change and to ask for feedback. Feedback told us we need to focus more on the individual; they wanted to know more about their health and well-being so that is when our program took a more personal approach with biometric screenings, health risk assessments and the opportunity to visit with a health coach annually. Our participation jumped to 60% and the conversations changed! We then knew what challenges to have, what education to bring our employees and what resources we needed to have available. We created and a launched our FITbit initiatives. Challenges could be tracked using your FITbit and Voyage awarded monies to help offset the cost of the FITbit. They were successful!
In 2015, taking care of our employees’ well-being became part of our CULTURE! Our snacks changed, our break activities changed, we got to know our neighbors and it began to feel different. We didn’t lose sight of what our employees wanted which was the individual spin, and because of the WorkWell grant we didn’t have to lose that. Screenings, the HRA and coaching remained consistent, and this year they were able to compare numbers which was a lot of fun. We also know that we can’t lose sight of employee feedback and the need to keep it fresh. We can’t let it get pushed to the back burner and it is something we talk about monthly as a group. This year we went all out and listened to our employees and now have an online portal that brings all our well-being information together. Our individual health record for the past couple years is housed there, challenges are pushed forward monthly with a mix of group and individual activities and we have a variety of resources for education. We still have our struggles, but now we watch for them and address them right away. We will be doing one-on-one education for those employees that want to know a little more about the online portal and how to utilize it to its fullest potential. Our screenings and coaching visits are coming up in June, and we just wrapped up our involvement in the Big Squeeze (a huge community event focused on the risks of high blood pressure). Our next challenge coming up is a 10,000 step challenge which will involve our FITbits. This was a company-supported opportunity a couple years back and we continue to stay committed and engaged. This is our VOYAGE!