Chris Van Horne, Fort Worth Reporter
Bell Helicopter's "Well at Bell" program provides incentives and tools for employees to have healthy habits.
Health and lifestyle coaching and health-related rewards are becoming as commonplace as medical and dental insurance.
According to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 35 percent of employers offer rewards and bonuses to employees for completing health and wellness programs. That's up 12 percent from just four years ago.
But it's something one of Fort Worth's largest employers has been doing for more than a decade.
Bell Helicopter's Fort Worth headquarters is cooking up new recipes in the new employee center and cafeteria. New recipes at the Fusion and Salad Bars are popular items. While there are now plenty of healthy options on the menu, healthy living has been a goal at Bell for the last 12 years.
"We realized a few years ago that people bring their whole selves to work," said Suzanne Purdum, Bell's director of total rewards and talent acquisition. "We need to concentrate on not only providing health benefits, like medical and dental, but looking at a person holistically."
Purdum oversees Well at Bell, which offers employees medical screenings, guidance and motivation to get and stay healthy.
"Well at Bell not only increases the education and awareness about your health, we also offer a reward of $300," Purdum said "That $300 reward really drives participation and motivation in the program."
And participation is significant, with nearly half of all of Bell's U.S. employees taking part.
"Being healthy has always been really important to me and I felt like I had to take advantage of these interactive tools that are available," employee Bridget Bishop said.
Well at Bell is an online guide, tutor and coach that takes an employee's biometric information and makes program recommendations with each course earning an employee credits. After 20 credits, the employee gets the reward, which was paid out to 2,500 employees last year alone.
"It's really good to know that the company cares about its employees. I think that's rare to find," Bishop said.
Healthy programs not only benefit the individual employee, but they serve a greater business purpose, too. The programs are an incentive to recruit and retain the best personnel possible.
"We really want our employees to be happy, we want them to enjoy working for bell, we want them to be invested, we want them to motivated, we want them to love to come to work," said Jill Morgan, of Bell's employee programs department.
And as successful as the Well at Bell program has been, Purdum said the company wants all of its employees to join.
"We just want to provide that education and an easy tool to use, and they'll benefit from that. We all benefit from that," she said.
Benefits include lower insurance costs, increased production and happy, talented employees.
Well at Bell, one of several programs to help keep employees healthy and fit, also offers individualized wellness coaches and advice.