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Employees in an organisation can be categorised as follows: top performers, performers, under-performers and non-performers. One of the outcomes of performance management is to retain the top performers, to keep them on track and to enable them to excel. Performance management also aims to encourage the under-performers to become performers and get rid of the non-performers.

In the above context, presenteeism is evident, where people are at work but have little productivity. Absenteeism on the other hand has negative effects in the workplace, as it affects employee morale, disrupting the bottom line.

The question is how does employee well-being contribute to staff retention and better performance?

How do the following aspects impact on well-being at your work place? Would you have the desired productivity if these aspects are not well managed?

Below are the six aspects of work, which if managed poorly could create stress in the workplace. The standards were introduced in the UK to encourage good practice and raise awareness of how organisational/working methods and activities influence stress.

  • Demands – such as workload and work environment.
  • Control – a person’s individual influence over how their job is carried out.
  • Support – from the organization; management and colleagues.
  • Relationships – to reduce conflict and deal with unacceptable behaviour.
  • Role – understanding of what the job entails; what is expected and needed.
  • Change – how change is managed within the organisation.

We acknowledge that the management of people must involve the management of their well-being. A manager of people is also a manager of well-being. To separate the human being from their performance is catastrophic.

Many managers have learnt the hard way. Yet to expect a manager who is focused on organisational goals and processes to be equally competent on managing or caring for the well-being of staff is a tall order.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that well-being is not a specialist role of HR managers or health practitioners – rather it is the joint responsibility of employees and management. This must however be addressed on par with any other work processes in an organisation.

When well-being becomes a culture on how an organisation is run, we have a winning formula that is unstoppable, where employees commit their loyalty to the business objectives, is of personal value to them. The value being more than their pay cheque.

A healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a continual improvement process to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of all workers and the sustainability of the workplace by considering the following, based on identified needs:

  •  Health and safety concerns in the physical work environment;
  • Health, safety and well-being concerns in the psycho-social work environment, including organization of work and workplace culture;
  • Personal health resources in the workplace; and
  • Ways of participating in the community to improve the health of workers, their families and other members of the community”.

 What about the wellness days?

In wellness days, often those that are stressed, overworked, or at a high pace of work do not have the time to attend such events conducted at their workplaces.

In these events, people are motivated to patronize external service providers for their care and not enough about learning how to take care of themselves.

The wellness day initiative is another top down activity where employees have little say on what matters to them.

Activities can be seen to be disruptive to work processes and therefore the less of these wellness initiatives the better.

Very often these wellness days are based in the medical model (absence of disease) which although useful is embarrassingly limited.

Get a team involved

However with a wellness culture established in an organisation, any effort made on employee wellbeing is an essential business activity, where employees are the internal customers.

Where employees are engaged in managing their own wellness at work, this provides another platform for leadership development.

 Focus on quality of life

Since we (employees) spend most of our waking-daylight hours at work, what can employers do to help their employees and themselves (as Managers) achieve their well-being?

Humanity is reeling for want of quality of life – employers demand their pound of flesh while employees themselves postpone their quality of life in favour of earning a livelihood. Hence there is very little happiness all around. Everyone is grumpy in spirit- trying to keep up with the Joneses of the top notch in the workplace, while they miss out on life.

 How to create workplace wellness programmes

The upcoming 2 x day course on 20 and 21 Aug, is designed to train workplace health and wellness representatives, committee members, managers or interested employees on how one set up workplace wellness programme that is truly central to well-being of management and staff and in accordance with the process of continual improvement.

Wellness in the Workplace details: 

The new dates for this workshop are as follows:

Date: 22 & 23 October 2015

Venue: I-Fundi

Time: 9h00 to 16h00

Price: R4300 Ex Vat

Seats limited: Last day of booking: 16 October 2015.