Here at UMB, we encourage our associates to take personal responsibility for improving their health and that of their families. Already an important part of the company culture, we saw room for improvement in our current wellness plan and we knew we could do more. So in 2012, UMB rolled out a Health and Wellness program that was more thorough than anything we had done before. I volunteered to be the executive champion for this program because it’s important to me and it’s important to our associates.
We want to have a healthier workforce. When we live a healthier lifestyle, we can positively affect our team. Living healthy often means you’re more alert, energetic and have fewer sick days. Not all health conditions are within our control, but many of them are. With our wellness plan, we focus on what our associates can control and put into place initiatives that give them the power to change their lifestyles for the better:
- Medical plan discount incentive for associates enrolled in our medical plan who participate in various activities and receive a discount toward their monthly premium. Activities include completing health screenings (cancer, dental, vision, etc.), engaging in physical activity, and certifying that they are tobacco free.
- Wellness coaches hired through Wellness Coaches USA‡ to confidentially discuss health and wellness related topics and answer questions our associates might have. They can simply ask questions or even set goals with the coaches. The coaches will give them advice and tools to meet those goals and meet with associates to check on their progress.
- Monthly newsletters to share our program offerings with associates. It includes an associate spotlight, information about what fruits and vegetables are in season, healthy recipes, and different ideas for exercise.
- My blog to share with associates my thoughts and experiences on the monthly wellness topics. I also let them know about my wellness goals and how I’m progressing. For example, I’ve shared how I am working with our wellness coach about nutrition so I can develop healthier eating habits. Then in a later blog post I will share how I have been progressing toward that goal.
So far we’ve seen some fantastic progress. Our wellness coaches and health insurance carrier reported these findings over the past year:
I’m extremely proud to say we’ve been recognized for the amazing efforts of our associates. UMB has been recognized as a Healthiest Employers finalist in Milwaukee (2012)‡, St. Louis (2012)‡, Wichita (2013)‡ and Denver (2013). Just recently, the CEO Roundtable on Cancer‡ honored UMB with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard‡ for our efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for associates and their family members.
I realize this is only the beginning. We’re starting with awareness and slowly moving into building more engagement in the programs over time. We encourage our associates to evolve beyond any unhealthy habits they’ve developed and learn to lead a healthier lifestyle. As I’ve learned with the goals I’ve set with our wellness coach, the small successes will build over time and lead to a big difference.
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Mr. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.
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