The company introduced its Commit to Fit program in March with the goal of keeping insurance costs down and health and morale up.
“If people are healthier, and usage of the insurance plans and programs are lower, logically, it’s going to keep health care costs down,” Stefanski says.
It’s already had an effect on employee health. Three months into the program, three employees who joined the smoking cessation part of the program had their blood pressure medication reduced and the third was off medication entirely.
Employees can earn up to $1,000 if they quit smoking for a year, with the money paid out in increasing amounts every three months that they’re smoke-free. About 8 percent of Third Federal’s employees have joined the smoking cessation program, which accounts for most of the smokers.
But the Commit to Fit program tackles worker health from a lifestyle standpoint, as well. Employees earn points for everything from getting a flu shot to participating in walk/run races around town. They can even earn points for bringing a healthy dish to one of the company’s potluck events.
As the point totals grow and employees get healthier, their wallets and purses get fatter. As with the smoking program, employees can earn up to $1,000 for their participation.
The results benefit Third Federal far beyond just saving money on insurance premiums.
“The fact that we’re showing an interest in one’s personal health here, we think people are going to think more of the company, more of Third Federal in general,” Stefanski says. “They can and will be more productive because management cares about them. We really do care about our associates.”
A healthier work force has been a long-standing goal at Third Federal. For several years, it has provided smoking cessation programs and workout rooms, as well as a number of other programs to help employees improve their health.
“This is not new to Third Federal,” Stefanski says. “This more recent go at it is more comprehensive and has been more effective than any other plan we’ve had before. Since 1987, annually we’ve had fun runs and walks. We published a recipe book for healthy eating that the associates contributed to. We’ve even sponsored onsite Jazzercise, when that was popular in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
What makes this program different is the impetus. It wasn’t created from the top and handed down; instead, Stefanski handed the task for creating the program to a team of employees.
“One of the reasons why all this has come together pretty well, I actually handed this off to a group of associates that have been here for awhile,” Stefanski says. “The team has taken this concept a lot further than I ever thought it would go. It’s really, really having a huge impact on the entire company.”
That impact is twofold as employee health will continue to improve and the company’s financial health is also strengthened.
“We value what they do and how they do it,” Stefanski says. “Now we’re saying, ‘If you do more, you’re going to create a situation where you have better health, that’s going to benefit Third Federal in the long run in terms of health care costs, we’ll (give you incentives) for that.’”
HOW TO REACH: Third Federal Savings & Loan (888) 844-7333 or www.thirdfederal.com