EagleBank’s workplace wellness program began in June 2014 with a naming contest. Associates at EagleBank were asked to submit wellness program name suggestions. The winning name, “Soaring to Wellness,” was chosen by the Wellness Program Committee and approved by the Wellness Manager and Chief Human Resources Officer. The program name fondly relates to our EagleBank mascot, the eagle, and encourages employees to soar to their wellness potential.
2. Why did EagleBank decide to implement a wellness program?
EagleBank’s CEO, Ron Paul, and the Senior Staff feel very strongly that the health of our employees is of utmost importance. EagleBank began in 1985, as a small, local community bank. Since then, EagleBank has grown and become recognized for its emphasis on putting relationships first--not only with customers, but also with employees. The wellness program is an extension of this focus.
3. Was the program developed in-house, or did you use a consultant?
With the support of Senior Staff, Human Resources was able to hire an outside contractor, HealthFitness, to oversee EagleBank’s in-house wellness program.
4. Tell us some of the key components of your wellness program, and any unique aspects you’d like to share about it.
Soaring to Wellness is a free, comprehensive wellness program, which includes health education seminars, incentive programs and challenges, a wellness portal, and a Wellness Committee, which is made up of EagleBank employees. In addition to these programs, EagleBank has two operational on-site fitness centers, with one more under construction. Fitness center membership is free to all employees, as is participation in the group exercise program. The on-site wellness staff also offer personalized exercise program consultations and personal training sessions. Another benefit that is available to EagleBank employees is monthly on-site chair massages at select locations.
5. What are some challenges that you’ve had to overcome with your program? How has it evolved over time?
One of the biggest challenges is geography. EagleBank has office locations and branches all across the DC Metro area, ranging as far north as Shady Grove, MD and as far south and east as Old Town Alexandria, VA, all the way west to Dulles, VA. Since the fitness centers are not easily accessible to all employees, Soaring to Wellness strives to deliver programming that is easy to do no matter where associates are located. Another benefit that is available to employees is reduced fitness center membership offered through CareFirst, the EagleBank medical insurance provider. Another way Soaring to Wellness reaches associates is through quarterly on-site visits from the wellness staff. During these visits, an interactive health education activity takes places, blood pressure screenings are administered, and upcoming programs are promoted. The Wellness Committee is another great way to spread the word about programming and engage associates across EagleBank’s footprint. Team competitions outside of the fitness centers are also held throughout the year that entail activities such as highest number of steps taken or hours of exercise per week. Finally, Soaring to Wellness goes outside the four walls of the office and plans outings that are related to physical activity, such as the 5K which included a 9-week training program held last April in Rock Creek Park and a hike at Great Falls, VA in the fall. Friends and family were invited to participate in both activities.
6. How has the program been received by employees? What percentage of your employees participate?
EagleBank employees have provided very positive feedback about the program. Each quarter, Soaring to Wellness issues a newsletter, “Soaring to Wellness Quarterly,” where employees share the success they’ve enjoyed from the program. Here are some testimonials from EagleBank associates:
“Before I started the Wellness program and going to the gym, I had very little energy. My knees and back hurt most of the time and I had to consider walking distance when planning trips.
Since starting the Wellness program and exercising, I have lost 55 pounds and dropped 4 pant sizes. But I have gained much more. I now have confidence in myself that I can achieve what I want to do, like the 5K. I have moral and emotional support from my co-workers (friends) who are at the gym with me everyday. I feel better than I have in a long time and have a lot more energy than before. I enjoy the classes that are offered (you get a workout but have fun at the same time).” – EagleBank Associate
“Before joining the fitness center, the biggest challenge for me was not lack of time or motivation, but lack of commitment. It admittedly took me some time to commit to fitness, but now that I’ve started working out consistently, it’s
become part of my daily routine.
After I finish working out, I get that exercise high that so many fitness enthusiasts talk about. I feel so good not only physically, but mentally. Since enrolling in the EagleBank wellness program, I have not only lost weight, but I have lowered my blood pressure. The wellness program goes far beyond the fitness center. There are some really good health seminars that offer tons of useful information on the benefits of exercise, nutrition, and stress management. It has truly changed my life.” - EagleBank Associate
Seventy percent of employees who work at the Operations Center in Silver Spring are fitness center members. Each month, the fitness center is visited 215 – 250 times. The Soaring to Wellness website has 73% of EagleBank employees registered and the site is visited, on average, 200 times per month.
7. What have been the benefits of implementing the program? ROI/VOI
Soaring to Wellness is still growing and changing. Since the program is fairly new, we will be able to better assess a full year comparison by the end of 2016. We have, however, noticed from the blood pressure screenings and testimonials that employees are paying more attention to their health and well-being. Several associates have been able to dial back medications and are receiving praise from their primary care physicians for increased physical exercise and efforts to implement lifestyle changes.
8. What advice can you offer other businesses that are considering a workplace wellness program?
As you can see from the testimonials and information provided above, our employees are excited to work for an organization that not only focuses on the financial performance of the Bank, but also the health and well-being of its employees. The Soaring to Wellness Program not only enhances the health of our employees, but it also increases morale and provides an opportunity to meet and interact with other employees through group wellness activities or discovering a new workout buddy. As this program progresses, we anticipate a reduction of healthcare claims and fewer days of sick leave, as well.