press releases

Encouraging Employees to Thrive in Wellness

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – When it comes to health and wellness, United Federal Credit Union (United) helps its employees “thrive”. In January 2019, United introduced a new program called Thrive. The purpose of the program was to help employees make a purposeful commitment to their wellness.
“Recognizing that wellness comes in all different forms, we want our employees to have access to resources and meaningful programs that help them achieve their individual wellness goals,” said Annmarie Sawyer, Benefits and Wellness Administrator.

The program is an easy to navigate, interactive platform. It provides employees with the tools and resources to become aware of their overall health, identify risk factors and develop a plan that works for them to succeed in hitting their wellness goals.  It offers many ways for employees to participate, from a health risk assessment, digital coaching, self-paced wellness courses, weekly webinars focused on overall health, and wellness challenges which encourage employees to adapt new healthy habits from skin health to financial wellness.

“Our programming focuses on the various areas of wellness, challenging United employees to expand their understanding of what wellbeing is and how to incorporate those into their daily lives,” Sawyer explained.

Thrive fits into United’s overall wellness program as part of its Total Rewards package. Total Rewards encompasses compensation, benefits, well-being, recognition, and development elements that are all aligned to our company culture and are used to attract, retain, and engage employees.  United’s wellness program works together with the other aspects of Total Rewards and helps focus on overall wellbeing for employees and their dependents.

The program offers points for a variety of activities and milestones, such as daily steps, calories burned, health screenings from a doctor, self-help courses, and medical certifications—like CPR. 

“When employees participate in Thrive, points are earned and those points are turned into rewards and other incentives,” explained Sawyer. “United encourages employees to make the most of their preventative health care benefits and offers an annual wellness reimbursement benefit – all administered through Thrive.”

Employees are then able to use points they earn to continue their wellness journey. A tiered points system can be redeemed for items including home exercise equipment, fitness trackers, or other items which encourage a healthy lifestyle.

A unique aspect of the program is its focus on overall wellness, instead of just fitness. “It’s important to acknowledge that wellbeing is an ongoing practice of small, daily acts that allow you to manage stress, be more productive, and feel happier and healthier,” said Sawyer. “The different areas of wellness are interconnected, so you may notice that tending to one area may actually have a ripple effect on other areas.  For example, focusing on financial health can influence your emotions which can positively influence your physical health.  And likewise, not tending to your social or intellectual wellbeing can negatively impact other areas of your health as well.”

Nearly four years into using Thrive, United has almost 90% of employees participating in the program. The employees take part in the program in various ways, including participating in monthly challenges, submitting wellness reimbursements for things like gym membership fees, earning points by linking their fitness tracking devices, receiving preventive health screenings and many other incentives.

“As the benefits and wellness administrator, one of the most rewarding things about my job is seeing employees sharing their knowledge, struggles, tips and inspiration through Thrive,” said Sawyer. “The monthly challenges, which focus on a variety of topics, always elicit the most thoughtful comments participants share with each other.  The challenge wall is akin to social media at its best – all participating together, encouraging each other and rooting our teammates on to a happier and healthier Team United!”


About United

United Federal Credit Union has served its Members since 1949 by helping them to build a sound financial future. United consists of more than 191,000 Member/owners worldwide and manages assets in excess of $3.8 billion. Its corporate office and main branch are in St. Joseph, Mich., with additional branches in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal opportunity lender. Equal housing lender. For more information visit