Employee wellness is more than a gym discount at Oakworth Capital

Register now

Oakworth Capital Bank wants to make sure its employees take a moment for themselves.

To achieve that, the Birmingham, Ala., bank has made employee wellness a top priority. In the last 12 months, the bank has added secondary health insurance that covers additional costs for employees, such as most co-pays and coinsurance. It also has introduced the OakWell program to reinforce a healthy lifestyle.

The $540 million-asset bank takes a broad view of wellness by providing free healthy snacks and beverages in the breakroom, flu shots on-site and workout classes. It also emphasizes stress management and financial wellbeing.

The OakWell program includes sessions on time management, retirement planning, paying for a child's college education and how to break bad habits.

Jennifer Shaw, associate managing director for talent and leadership development at the bank, said the program is a reflection of Oakworth's core principle to help people succeed.

"We know our associates are hardworking professionals focused on serving others, and understand that when you are a professional focused on serving others it isn't easy to focus on yourself," Shaw said. "We wanted to make it convenient for our associates, to provide them with the resources that they need to take care of themselves and their families."

More Best Banks to Work For coverage:

This focus on wellness helped catapult the bank from No. 18 last year to the top spot on this year's Best Banks to Work For list.

Employees can earn OakWell points for making healthy choices such as getting a flu shot or getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. As they earn points, they are entered to win prizes that promote a healthy lifestyle such as a standing desk or a subscription to a healthy meal service. There is also a $25 bonus for completing an annual wellness checkup.

Employees seem to have bought in. It's not uncommon for them to ditch the conference room to hold walking meetings. They have provided a steady stream of suggestions for guest speaker topics and have come up with many of the ideas that have been incorporated into OakWell.

"I've never worked at an organization that does a better job helping associates to succeed," Shaw said. "Our associates see every day Oakworth cares about them personally and wants to help them to be successful. That matters to people."

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Community banking Employee engagement Health and wellness Best Banks to Work For