Corning Credit Union: Helping people help people

Published by: LifeWorks,

Glass manufacturing

The Corning Federal Credit Union was founded in 1936 to help Corning Glass Works employees with their financial needs. The company’s motto is: “People helping people,” and as a member-owned, not-for-profit, independent financial organization, it stands to reason that its employees’ physical and mental health is just as important as its members’ financial health.

Taking a preventative approach to health and wellbeing improvement, Corning Federal Credit Union drove increased use of health risk assessments (HRAs) among its employees. This resulted in a reduction of health risks, leading to employees saving money through their health insurance.

A combination of wellness services and the ‘life support’ platform (EAP) helped both employees and the HR team in significant ways. Employees are more motivated and likely to address their personal well-being in several areas, including mental health, with increased use of counselling services and positive uptake of features like health coaching. For HR, administration is easy and user friendly, freeing up a lot of time and resources.

Brandy Andrews, Human Resources Benefits Specialist at Corning Federal Credit Union, said: “Addressing employee well-being proactively has helped in lowering the general population’s risk factors for health problems.

“The wellness program through LifeWorks, combined with the biometric screening through our health insurance, play a big role in helping employees get healthier.”

One of the most successful aspects of the wellness services is health risk assessments (HRAs), which help employees identify specific health risks and compliment a biometric screening program offered through the health insurance provider.

Ultimately, addressing risk in this preventative manner helps employees save on the cost of their premiums. For Corning Federal Credit Union, 70 percent of employees who participated in the health insurance screening program were considered low risk. The few employees who were considered high risk started making lifestyles changes to address specific health issues.

This put the spotlight on another feature that has become incredibly valuable – health coaching. These personalized, telephonic coaching and support programs address several topics, including stress management, sleep improvement, general health, and diabetes prevention.

“Health coaching is among the most valuable tools for our employees.” Andrews said. “We are continually promoting it through announcements, benefits bulletins, and banners on our intranet. Fortunately, those employees who use the coaching services rave about it, so we’re using those testimonials as well.”

Within the life support platform, employees rely most on the free counseling sessions, with access to clinical counselors and specialized professionals via both telephonic and face-to-face settings.

“High deductible health plans are becoming more popular. However, this shift means seeing a mental health counselor costs employees more out of their pocket through insurance,” Andrews said. “This is why access to free counseling sessions is the most important piece of the EAP. Otherwise, most employees are less likely to seek the treatment they need.”

This benefit is also enjoyed by employees’ family members, who can contact professionals who specialize in psychology, social work, and other human-services related professions.

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