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CU Snapshot

 Feb '18Jan '18
# of CUs5,7575,758
Total Assets
($ billions)
Total Savings
($ billions)
Net Cap.
Loans to Savings82.6%84.1%
Loan Delinq.0.8%0.9%

         Credit Union Indicators

Run Effective Wellness Programs

10 tips to boost your employees' health.

Implementing a wellness program can be challenging. Credit union leaders suggest these 10 strategies to boost participation and results:

1. Get support from the top. Ensure your senior leadership and middle management are on board. "Seeing our senior leaders at our wellness events speaks volumes to employees," says Meredith Siemens, executive director of public relations and communications for $1.4 billion asset South Carolina Federal Credit Union in North Charleston, S.C.

2. Focus on community-building. Sure, you hope to put a dent in health-care premiums. But wellness programs better your employees' lives through a sense of community and work-life balance. "Make it about engaging the employees," Siemens advises.

3. Have a broader mission. Serve as an example for your community and start a "grassroots movement" for wellness. "We hope we can plant the seed and our employees can take a commitment to wellness to their families and communities," says Kimberly McLaughlin, South Carolina Federal's human resource (HR) representative.

4. Keep it fresh. Go beyond just a wellness week and create varied and regular events at least once a month to build momentum and pique employees' interest, says Siemens.

5. Include wellness in the hiring process. "We speak about the wellness program during our recruitment process. And once new employees come on board, we talk about it from day one, so it's at the forefront of their minds," says McLaughlin.

6. Make it easy. Bring the wellness solutions to your employees. If possible, provide an on-site gym or enable easy access to healthy foods. "We joined 'Fruit My Cube,' an online farmer's market service that delivers individual orders of fresh fruit and vegetables directly to the workplace once a week," says Robyn Whalen, vice president of HR and administration at $209 million asset 1st Financial Federal Credit Union in Wentzville, Mo.

7. Create buzz. When kicking off its first company-wide challenge, 1st Financial Federal's wellness committee wore professional dress attire accented with purple tennis shoes to an all-employee breakfast. "People were definitely wondering what was up," says Whalen. "It created a lot of buzz and excitement about the challenge."

8. Celebrate. When changing habits, even the smallest victories matter. Champion participation and engage employees with small daily or weekly prizes. "We wanted our employees to know that every step really does count, and together we can reach our goals," says Whalen.

9. Let employees drive. 1st Financial Federal requested employee volunteers for a wellness committee "to provide direction, guidance, ideas, and feedback," says Whalen. "We ensured that we had at least one volunteer from each department and branch location so all employees were represented at every level."

10. Communicate. Support, timing, and communication are key to implementing an effective wellness program, says Patti Tuma, president of CU People Inc., a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider. Put some thought into the best time to launch the program, avoiding your busiest season. Think about employees' communication preferences. Without awareness, Tuma says, wellbeing initiatives will be underused and undervalued.

(Via Credit Union Magazine)