Bank Iowa Tops List of Healthiest Companies in America

KHBT – Interactive Health this week released its list of the healthiest companies in America, and Bank Iowa is at the top. The designation is based on the overall health of a company’s team members, as well as a high rate of participation in wellness programs.

Selected from a pool of more than 1,500 candidates for the award, Bank Iowa is the only company headquartered in Iowa on the list.

Bank Iowa’s 3-year-old wellness program was inspired by the family ownership’s desire to play a more active role in helping team members live their healthiest lives.

“Looking out for one another is a way of life for many Iowans, and we want each of our team members to feel supported in their pursuit of total wellness,” said Paige Duncan, Bank Iowa Board of Directors Chair and the daughter of Bank Iowa Co-Founder Robert Duncan. “We all know health is more than physical, and increasingly so in our connected world. So much of how great you feel is social and emotional, as well. I can’t think of a better way to honor the energy our team members give the bank, its customers and their communities than to create an environment that prioritizes their mental, physical and emotional health.”

More than 75 percent of Bank Iowa’s workforce currently participates in the bank’s wellness program, which constitutes a year-over-year retention rate of 87 percent. What’s more, 98 percent of the participating team members who responded to a survey about the wellness program rated it as valuable to them.

There has been an impact on team members’ actual health, as well. To measure this, Interactive Health relies on the Personal Health Score, an index composed of five modifiable risk factors. To qualify for the Healthiest Companies in America award, companies must achieve an aggregate Personal Health Score of 0 or less. The average score of this year’s healthiest companies was -3.8. Bank Iowa scored a -5.7, a full 2 points ahead of its 2017 score of -3.3.

On-site health evaluations are the foundation of Bank Iowa’s wellness program. Participating in the evaluation helps team members down a path of earning up to $500 off his or her total premium costs for the year. Through a HIPAA compliant, secure, web-based platform, team members can share the results of their assessment with their physician, which often saves the team member the expense of labs at their regular doctor visit. Chief Administrative/HR Officer Kate Wolfe says this is particularly impactful for the large and growing number of Bank Iowa team members who take advantage of the bank’s high-deductible healthcare insurance plan.

The Human Resources team has also coordinated a series of challenges throughout the year to keep team members engaged in the wellness program. Steps or water-drinking competitions with prizes like Zappos gift cards and Apple Watches are run through the Interactive Health web platform, which syncs with most fitness wearables.

“Health and wellness has become an integral part of the Bank Iowa culture,” said Wolfe.

Bank Iowa CEO Jim Plagge, himself an avid cyclist and runner, knows healthy, active team members are happier and more productive. Yet, he says, there can be even bigger impact on soft skills. “Team members who feel good about themselves have more to give to clients,” said Plagge. “We have clients who are thriving and some who are struggling, and our team members are equally invested in the financial wellness of each segment. Overall health has a strong ripple effect, and if you’re paying attention and really cultivating it, you can realize pretty incredible benefits you never anticipated.”