Thriving companies rely on healthy, motivated employee, who are productive at work and who have a sense of wellbeing. Jacob state that,” In reality, life is not always as simple as that, and employees have to deal with illnesses, trauma, stress and unbalanced lifestyles. “Employee wellness is no soft issue; human capital is a valuable asset which should be well managed with as much focus as any other strategic business development,” Jacob says. BlueCollar understands the effect that individual health and wellness has on companies.
Wellness is a theory that affects all parts of our lives and certainly a crucial notion that we should bring into the work environment. Corbin describes wellness “as a person’s state of well-being that contributes to an improved quality of life”. Many organizations in South Africa are becoming more aware and conscious of the issues related to employee well-being or wellness. Hooper states that” there is increased public interest in integrating wellness activities with employers’ responsibilities,” he says. This move towards healthy workplaces and empowered workers mirrors trends between positive psychological states and organizational well- being. This suggests that organizations do not realize the extent to which employee wellness contributes to organizations’ bottom line.
Organizations that invest time and resources in an employee wellness culture, with the focus on being proactive rather than reactive, can expect a return on the investment. The possible return on investment might include lower absenteeism, healthier employees, fewer accidents and lower staff turnover. It is estimated that the average South African worker spends 8- 9 hours a day doing work-related duties so it makes sense to incorporate elements of wellness in such a major area of our lives.
Employee Wellness Programmes (EWPs) in South Africa.
Wellness programmes are intervention strategies intended to promote the well-being of employees. They could be curative and preventative in nature. The purpose of introducing a wellness programme in an organization is to create an awareness of wellness issues, to facilitate personal change and health management and to promote a healthy and supportive workplace
Many companies have introduced various programmes for their workers. This includes Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and EWPs to address wellness issues in the workplace. These two programmes EAPs and EWPs they address similar issues about employee wellness. This article will use EWPs to describe programmes intended to improve employee wellness and well-being.
When an organization introduces an EWP, it allows employees to take charge of, and responsibility for, their own well-being. EWPs typically include activities that focus on relieving the stress of employees that personal finances, substance abuse, health problems, career crises and job demands cause.
The support employees receive from their organizations through EWPs presents great benefits to those who use these programmes. They include increased mental wellness, energy, resilience, life and job satisfaction as well as reduced stress and depression. The reasoning behind this approach is that the wellness of an employee can influence the wellness of an organization and vice versa.
Berridge states, “The success and effectiveness of EWPs depend on a number of factors, including the rationale, use and evaluation of the programmes. Various researchers emphasize the importance of a needs analysis to identify the stressors and issues that employees experience. Organizations should conduct this needs analysis before designing and introducing an EWP. This will allow them to target issues that they need to address accurately,” He says.