6035 Lifestyle: Good health = happy employees
by John Hazlehurst
When Ent Federal Credit Union was founded in 1957, three banks dominated the Colorado Springs market: First National Bank, Exchange National Bank and Colorado Springs National Bank. Named for Gen. Uzal Girard Ent, commander of the Ninth Air Force during World War II, Ent FCU was a tiny, specialized player, at first serving only service members stationed at Ent Air Force Base and their dependents.
The Ent Air Force base has long since closed (replaced by the Olympic Training Center), and the three once-dominant institutions have merged or closed their doors.
Ent is now the leading financial institution in southern Colorado with $4 billion in assets and more than 240,000 members, according to its website.
Thanks to its health and wellness efforts, the credit union has been named the 6035 Healthiest Large Company by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
Ent’s business mission statement is “to improve members’ quality of life through education, unbiased financial advice and access to the highest quality financial products and services.” And it carries that business mission through to its employees.
One of the region’s largest employers, Ent pays particular attention to the health and well-being of its staff.
The company’s employee benefits include:
• insurance (health, dental and vision);
• paid time off (PTO);
• gym membership discounts;
• short- and long-term disability;
• life insurance;
• retirement savings plan;
• employee service awards;
• employee health and wellness program.
The Health and Wellness program is focused and comprehensive. Seventy percent of Ent’s leadership team (at the vice president level and above) currently participate. Employees who participate are given $10 in every paycheck as incentive to continue participation.
The program has many components, including blood drives, local 5K running events, other community fitness events and lunch-and-learn presentations on a variety of topics. These include: quick and fit, maintain don’t gain, dental hygiene, proper nutrition, food labels, gut health, healthier recipes, diet fads and facts, healthy eating on the run, creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace, food is medicine, healthy holiday eating, stress management and the power of sleep, according to Victoria Selfridge, vice president for corporate communications.
Participating employees first complete a customized health risk assessment, personally assessing their own well-being. Assisted by a clinical health coach, the employee then completes a biometric screening that assesses 15 health risks. If an employee demonstrates three or more risk factors, he or she is encouraged to work with a health coach and establish treatment goals.
The program is free for all employees, even if they do not participate in the medical plan.
Selfridge said the program’s goals reflect the company’s mission statement. It’s dedicated to:
• improving employees’ quality of life;
• maintaining the dignity and privacy of employees; and
• improving health measures to reduce increases to employees’ health care costs.
The wellness program focuses on a partnership between Ent and its employees to achieve a common goal of being a world-class workforce by:
• maintaining or improving health risks year-over-year;
• supporting each other by building camaraderie; and
• employees holding themselves accountable for their well-being.
“Since the implementation of the wellness program,” Selfridge said, “our health care renewal premiums have been single digit increases, where the trend has been double digit across the Front Range. While we don’t currently correlate sick days [absenteeism] or employee turnover statistics to participation in our Employee Health and Wellness Program, we believe the wellness program has boosted employee morale and created a healthier and more engaged workforce.”
The credit union provides a full range of financial solutions through 27 service centers throughout Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Pueblo and Denver. They offer members online, mobile and telephone banking services, a Colorado call center and both consumer and mortgage loan centers.
Ent Federal Credit Union • ent.com
Type of business: Credit Union