Health is wealth at BankNewport

By Susan Shalhoub
Contributing Writer
Consideration of employees’ well-being just may be the best investment a company can make. More

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Health is wealth at BankNewport

Courtesy BankNewport
FEEDING A NEED: BankNewport’s employees pitched in to collect more than three-quarters-of-a-ton of food for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank over the winter.
By Susan Shalhoub
Contributing Writer
Posted 6/25/12

Consideration of employees’ well-being just may be the best investment a company can make.

BankNewport’s programs include performance rewards, charitable endeavors and health initiatives. All aim to show employees and the community the bank’s appreciation.

Job recognition for its 246 Rhode Island employees is a layered approach. Monthly awards are given out to staff members who meet set goals. In addition there is a spot award that managers can bestow upon an employee at any time. And an executive-bonus program is also in place.

The Middletown-based bank helps nonprofits such as United Way – raising more than $60,000 this year – and offering two weeks for employees to volunteer during work time.

But BankNewport’s biggest priority might be its employees’ health and wellness.

It offers a $200 reimbursement to help employees get healthy – whatever that means to them – whether it’s quitting smoking, joining a gym or taking classes. “This is important to the team as a whole, because a healthier workforce is a happier, more productive workforce,” said Wendy Kagan, senior vice president of human resources.

Its Vitality Program positions employees to take preventative steps that can help them avoid serious health problems. “We care about our employees’ health,” said Kagan.

The bank also offers a health-risk assessment and yearly physical. Employees pay a lower health-insurance premium for taking part. And the good-health promotion will continue to grow.

“We are moving into a new headquarters next spring or summer and will continue to expand our wellness initiatives,” Kagan said. •

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