Movement Mortgage has been named by the Charlotte Business Journal as one of the healthiest employers in the Charlotte, N.C., metro area — an accolade that underscores the company’s commitment to developing a health-conscious workforce.

The mortgage lender, headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., was listed among 24 other companies in the Charlotte region recognized for fostering health and wellness initiatives for their employees.

Movement will claim the award on Friday, when representatives from the 25 companies will gather for a fitness and team-building event that includes a 5k fun run, outdoor yoga class, wellness expo and company adventure race challenge.

Companies that made the list were assessed after completing a survey that gauged the availability of smoking-cessation programs at their offices, plus the use of health screening to flag areas of concern for employees.

“Because our employees, in many cases, spend more time with us than they do with anyone else in their lives, we are beholden to them to find ways to help them thrive in multiple areas of their lives,” says Aimée Dodson, director of Movement’s Thrive department.

Team members at Movement’s Fort Mill, S.C., campus work out in the gym during their lunch break. Photo by Noah Turley.

Thrive helps promote and maintain Movement’s culture through campaigns and projects designed to spur employee engagement. Its programs focus on bolstering employees’ physical health, financial well-being, relationships and community involvement.

“We really believe that if all four of those areas of a person’s life are healthy and strong, they’ll be living their best life,” Dodson says.

What does that look like day-to-day?

Team members in two of the company’s operations centers have unfettered access to a fully-furnished gym, where they can take classes from CrossFit to yoga. The company issues health challenges like walking more throughout the day or drinking more water. Fresh fruit is stocked in the break rooms and the cafe offers a menu of healthy drinks and snacks — no candy or junk food.

An employee-assistance program provides free counseling for team members and their families. Corporate chaplains roam from department to department, visiting employees at their desks and offering a listening ear. Employees can volunteer with the nonprofit Movement Foundation, in their communities or on overseas mission trips.

The company’s urged team members to shore up personal finances with campaigns like #SaveABillion, a 90-day challenge to save for retirement. As a result, 97 percent of all employees contribute to the company’s 401(k) program at some level, and 62 percent take advantage of the company’s full match if they contribute 6 percent of their income.

Movement employees and their families gather for fun and games during one of Movement’s annual Family Fun Day events. Photo by Noah Turley.

“We believe that by giving employees the tools and resources to lead healthier lives, we are helping them to be better husbands and wives and mothers and fathers, as well as better employees,” Dodson says.

Those tools include the company’s wellness rate campaign, a four-step points challenge that pushes employees to take health assessments, get physicals and receive a biometric screening to earn a $1,000 subsidy on their health insurance premiums.

Last year, 54 percent of Movement’s employees took all the necessary steps to earn their wellness rate. But for a few team members the result was much greater than cheaper benefits.

Because he took a physical at Movement’s behest, a market leader in California learned he was on the cusp of a fatal heart attack. Another market leader in Virginia learned she had a rare form of blood cancer. And a loan officer in South Carolina discovered she had leukemia.

“We have, every year, scenarios that come to light where people’s lives have been saved” because of Movement’s health initiatives, Dodson says.

About the Author:

Jonathan McFadden

Jonathan McFadden is a copywriter for Movement Mortgage and contributing author to the Movement Blog. A former newspaper reporter, he is a fan of compelling, narrative storytelling, despises cliches and believes the Oxford comma should be outlawed. When he’s not writing for Movement, he serves at his church, creates content for the Dad Will Do It website and eats — a lot.