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Wellness programs are focus of HRTD Council paper

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MADISON (4/13/12)--While more credit unions have introduced wellness programs to help employees their health, the initiatives must be well-designed to have a positive impact, according to a new white paper from the CUNA HR/TD Council.

"Credit Union Wellness Programs: Good Health is Good Business"  makes the case for well-designed employee wellness programs.

While each credit union should develop a wellness program that fits its culture, employees and organizational goals, certain elements are essential, according to the paper.

These elements include:

  • Executive support. The paper recommends that the CEO send a letter to employees emphasizing the initiative.
  • Employee buy-in. A wellness committee, focus groups and a survey are among the ways to design a wellness program around employees' wants and needs.
  • Environmental scan. This is an assessment of the workplace to determine what healthful policies and choices can be put in place for employees. Some employers offer healthy items in vending machines. Others offer fitness centers or subsidize gym memberships.
  • Program logistics. After an organization has conducted baseline health screenings, demonstrated executive support, and obtained employee input and buy-in, it can determine what programs to offer and who will be responsible for them.
The paper also includes four cases studies featuring credit unions that have produced positive results from their wellness programs. The council serves credit union human resources and training and development professionals.