Bradleys Inc.

Bradleys Inc. is a leader in the electric motor repair, rewinding and testing industry, and employs more than 100 professionals in south Texas. Located in Gregory, Texas, the company’s 110,000-square-foot facility is 60 miles from the Eagle Ford Shale. The company has served the petroleum, petrochemical, manufacturing and mining industries for 85 years. As the company has grown, so has its productivity-related and health insurance expense. 

Four years ago, like many large and small companies, Bradleys’ health insurance premiums were rising annually at rates of 20 to 30 percent, and it didn’t take a genius to realize neither the company nor the employees would be able to afford the insurance premiums within a few years. After analyzing the data, Bradleys discovered that 80 percent of all insurance claims were made by employees who hadn’t seen a doctor in at least a year, although their health plan covered annual visits and preventative tests at 100 percent. 

Bradleys found that most employees used hospital emergency rooms for their treatment and didn’t have a family physician. The company embarked on a journey to educate and improve the health and wellness of all employees to see if it could affect these numbers. After four years, the results are far more reaching than the goal Bradleys originally planned to achieve.

First, Bradleys designed the tenets of its wellness program, called “Bradleys Strong,” based on holistic wellness principles to live a healthy life. They are: 

+ Nutrition

+ Exercise

+ Learning

+ Passion

+ Rest

 

Bradleys built a 2,200-square-foot gym that was better than many commercial fitness facilities. This gym features free weights and Cybex equipment for weight lifting and aerobic exercises. The company hired a degreed nutritionist and certified fitness trainer with a world bodybuilding title to develop training programs, work out in the gym with employees and evaluate employees’ progress. An annual physical completed by the employee’s family physician was the qualifier to use the gym. Along the way, Bradleys encountered a series of key challenges.

Challenge #1: I Won’t Take Time Off to Go to a Doctor

The employees wouldn’t leave work for their physicals. To overcome this challenge, the company hired a wellness-based physician to perform employees’ annual physicals at its facility. Bradleys was finally ready to let the healing process begin.

Challenge #2: Leading a Horse to Water  

In 2010, Corpus Christi, Texas, was declared the fattest city in the United States by Men’s Fitness Magazine. Separating the employees from their white chocolate mocha coffees with whipped cream, donuts, breakfast tacos and tortillas to make healthier food choices was Bradleys’ second challenge. Educating employees on fat content, carbohydrates, empty calories and their effect on energy level and overall well-being was offered by Bradleys’ nutritionist.

In an effort to change employees’ eating habits and reprogram their palates, the company provides fruit to each employee 10 minutes before the “taco van” arrives at the facility. Green and red organic apples, bananas, pears, oranges, and peaches – whatever is in season and fresh – are driven around the facility. Today, fruit is still delivered throughout the facility.  Many of the employees have created their favorite healthy recipes using fresh organic fruit, vegetables and herbs from their company garden and prepare them for their colleagues to enjoy.   

Challenge # 3:  Empty Promises on TV and Radio

Turn on any channel on your TV, and you’ll see infomercials and commercials promising fast, painless weight loss with diets, systems and products that are largely ineffective and expensive without rigid compliance. A fool and his money are soon parted. Teaching the employees that eating healthy foods at regular intervals is a better way to lose weight than skipping meals and starving themselves is a never-ending process. 

Challenge #4: Celebrity Chefs

“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and a variety of other popular celebrity-chef shows feature rich, fatty and sodium and sugar-laden entrees, and desserts and sides that are lacking in healthy, balanced nutrition. Teaching its employees to prepare fresh foods full of flavor without all the fat, sugar and salt was Bradleys’ Challenge No. 4, and remains an on-going goal to this day. 

Challenge #5:  Anxiety, 

Insomnia and Stress

Challenge No. 5 is rest. Many employees suffered from underlying nutrition-based issues due to lack of sleep. As their nutrition and exercise improved, generally so did their quality of sleep.  Excess stress, whether emotional or physical, thwarts any good nutrition-based wellness program and further increases nutritional deficiencies. 

So, if employees are eating poorly and under family or work stress, it’s no wonder employees are depressed, suffering from anxiety or simply falling asleep while at work, sitting in meetings or at their desks. Insomnia, broken sleep patterns, sleep apnea or simply sleeping only a few hours a night plagued many of the employees. The wellness physician, along with Bradleys’ trainer, created nutrient supplementation, nutrition and exercise programs to correct these.

Additionally, Bradleys requires all employees to take at least one week of their vacation time. In previous years, employees would sell back their entire vacation time immediately after the Christmas holidays, leaving them without a rest period. Time-off enjoying your passions are as important to wellness as a good night’s rest, nutrition and exercise. “As people age, we often forgo our own passions,” says Workforce Development Manager Nigh Clary. 

Challenge #6: Being In Control of Success

Challenge No. 6 is the hardest to overcome, though it is reinforced daily: Teaching the personnel they control their career and determine their path to success or failure. Somewhere along the line, people have forgotten that we each “reap what we sow.” If we choose to apply ourselves in a trade, vocation or avocation, always striving to improve our mind, body and spirit, our lives and hearts will be full.  “As a company, Bradleys’ responsibility is to provide each employee with a career path and the opportunity to grow in their chosen field through on-the-job training, on-site and off-site education courses,” Clary says. 

“Bradleys Strong” has evolved into an internal workforce development program and has produced reduced absenteeism, reduced tardiness, increased productivity, employee and family participation and higher morale. The company also has experienced reductions in large insurance claims of $167,206 between 2011 and 2012, $20,628 between 2012 and 2013, and $1,500 so far between 2013 and 2014. 

Bradleys has documented many success stories of improved employee and family health, including reversing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The company has enjoyed a minimum of 10 percent savings in health insurance premiums annually from the creation of the Bradleys Strong Workforce Development Program, despite the added National Healthcare Program expenses. Bradleys continues to track the successes of its employees’ wellness, productivity and career development.

Corporate Head Office

Energy & Mining International
Cringleford Business Center
Intwood Road, Norwich, UK,
NR6 4AU

  +44 (0) 1603 274 130

Click here for a full list of contacts.

North American Office

Energy & Mining International
Finelight Media
207 E. Ohio Street Suite 351
Chicago, IL 60611


Click here for a full list of contacts.

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