When we decided we wanted to start a program, first thing we did was talk to our
insurance broker about what to do. Our senior management team
got together. We decided, yes, this is a worthwhile
endeavor. It’s part of our overall plan to
incorporate wellness in our company. We actually created a
strategic initiative. What triggered our really taking action was the H1N1 flu scare. In our
business, downtime is very expensive and it’s very
important for us to deliver our loans on time. We started this
program in the fall of last year; our insurance broker suggested that we set a budget of $1500. What we found in starting this wellness
initiative is it really took on a life of its own. The first thing we did to show that we
were taking action was creating a Healthy Habit Wellness Kit, included these sanitizing wipes so that
people could wipe down their phones and
doorknobs. The second thing we did was we wanted to help reduce
stress and we came up with walking as a key to that. Kaiser was very helpful in our wellness program. We
contacted Kaiser about getting some pedometers and Kaiser helped provide some pedometers for our teams. I just went into it full force, I’ve actually done fantastic at it, lost 25 pounds over the course of the
first 12 weeks. We decided we’re gonna eliminate the
vending machine and make room for a second refrigerator; a glass refrigerator, we’ve got a sticker on
it that says “Got Health?”. The refrigerator, it’s given me the opportunity to bring the lunch versus buying. And we’re packing those lunches that are health-conscious. With the
combination of the wellness kits and eating
healthier and walking with your team members and
having a dedicated walking schedule, all of that combined has allowed us to have a really low
absenteeism rate. Walking has definitely created a sense of unity within Vitek Mortgage. The support you get from upper-level
management, all the way to your peers, the people
you work closely with everyday, are all supportive and all encouraging. Initially, we thought, wow, you know, this
could be a lot of work, but it’s gonna be worth it. What we found was it’s more than worth it and it wasn’t as much work as we thought.
It didn’t cost much, it didn’t take much extra effort, and the benefits have been huge.