When Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation went to self-funded insurance in 2015, Nancy Stobbe recognized an opportunity. “We were doing wellness initiatives in the corporate locations but were not serving our entire network. I told our HR director that I thought it would be integral to roll out a wellness program for everyone.” She was totally on board and said, “Let’s move you into that position.”
With the prospect of serving thousands more, Nancy sought training. “I earned certification with WELCOA,” she explains. WELCOA (the Wellness Council of America) is a national resource for building high-performing, healthy workplaces. Certification enables practitioners to stay current with best practices in forming wellness programs and encouraging healthy behaviors.
Today, as Fairway’s wellness program manager, Nancy partners with Fairway’s Vice President HR Benefits, and a team of five certified fitness trainers led by fitness director, Rebecca Armstrong, to plan and implement Fairway’s wellness program. The team actively promotes wellness offerings through a broad array of communications and Fairway’s trainers coach employees one-on-one and through Facebook Live.
Years of wellness promotion has taught this team many lessons. “We get so many emails. Wellness communications tend to get lost or overlooked with business emails taking priority,” says Nancy. “We target a lot of social media – Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. “A couple of team members work on social posts that promote all our benefit offerings.” Regularity is key and each week the team posts Mindful Monday, Wellness Wednesday, and a Friday Fact on all their social platforms. They alternate content around Fairway’s wellness and benefits programming.
Community building plays a big role for the fitness trainers. “Our Facebook Live classes are great,” says Rebecca. “A lot of people we’ve been training at our corporate offices tune in to our live classes and can actually feel like they’re with us. It allows all our remote employees to participate, too. The addition of Wellbeats allows all our employees to work out when it’s most convenient for them and in as little as 5-minute classes. The variety of classes offered makes sure we can meet the needs of all our employees, no matter their fitness level or stage of life.”
In addition to a Fairway Facebook wellness group, a Fairway Wondr Health Facebook group was established. “Wondr Health is a holistic health program, focusing on weight/nutrition, sleep and stress that we offer quarterly,” says Nancy. “We had over 345 register for our first group.” Fairway trainers participate, share recipes, and lead discussions on what people are struggling with. “We also encourage those employees to use Wellbeats,” says Rebecca.
With a dispersed workforce across the country, it’s challenging to reach everyone. “When employees first come on board at Fairway they are flooded with onboarding tasks and training,” explains Nancy. “We conduct Wellbeats re-welcome campaigns after they’ve had time to get acclimated.” Wellbeats’ re-welcome campaign targets eligible employees who have not created a Wellbeats account. Like the welcome campaign, these employees receive a series of emails describing Wellbeats’ fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes and encouraging them to create an account. Fairway’s successful Wellbeats re-welcome campaign in December gained 2 times the unique logins and 2-3 times more new users than the prior four months.
Fairway sponsors Wellbeats wellness challenges throughout the year and has found the most popular are in February (Heart Health Month) and October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). “For our #PaintTheStreetPink Wellbeats challenge in October, we partnered with Fairway Cares, which is our nonprofit, and Fairway JOY, a committee centered on doing good works for others,” explains Nancy. “Fairway Cares creates care packages for people in crisis. Employees can nominate recipients and they’ll send out a big box full of really comforting things.” Coupled with prize drawings, the catchy theme and benevolent cause boosted participation to more than 85 people.
When Wellbeats added nutrition and mindfulness classes in addition to fitness, Nancy’s team took full advantage. “Wellbeats offers the holistic gamut that we’ve been trying to program around,” she says. “I love how progressive Wellbeats is. They’re always adding new and relevant content.” And perhaps most important, “Wellbeats helps keep our remote workforce active and engaged in their wellness goals.”