BusinessDay
Nigeria's leading finance and market intelligence news report.

Experts advocate improved well-being for employees in driving performance

Experts have expressed concerns on how workplace settings impact employees’ health in both positive and negative ways.

They say for employers, fostering a culture that contributes to the success of employees is as important as creating an environment that makes employees feel valued and heard.

These experts who spoke at BusinessDay’s annual workplace health and well-being conference themed “establishing linkages among health, productivity, and the bottom-line”, said fostering employee well-being has to done by  establishing a holistic approach to well-being and their total health – providing support across mental, physical, financial and social well-being – has been proven to boost productivity, engagement and employee satisfaction, while subsequently resulting in an overall improvement on organizations’ bottom lines.

“When we talk about wellness at workplace it has to do with physical, emotional wellness and mental health. In every organization wellness and health is underrated, employees spend significant of their time at workplace. It is now a silent breeder of depression unknown to the employer said Peter Ogunnubi, Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and Mental Health Specialist, Medbury Medical Services.

According to Ogunubi, an average adult spends one quarter of their life at work. Employer should not be deceived by numbers; there is a lot of absenteeism at work place.

“Poor concentration jeopardise performance productivity, lack of presenteeism, Financial problem, this issues in the work environment has impact on wellness,” He said.

According to the World Health Organization, more than half of the global population (58 per cent) spends one-third of their adult life at work – a number that is often staggering when compared to how much time individuals spend with family and friends.

This is compelling information that demonstrates there is an evident need for organizations to begin looking at the impact of their well-being offering on employees’ view of the company.

To create a place that employees are excited about, employers need to communicate with their workers to see what would be most beneficial to them.

Highlighting the strategic approaches to improving health and wellbeing at work and aligning the corporate culture with the business objectives of an organisation,

“Wellness cannot be an afterthought in any organization, it is not something to be trivialized. As a manufacturing company, we have structured our work environment in a way that it promotes wellness at the workplace,” Sola Akinyosoye, Head, Human Resource, Nestlé Nigeria.

 Also speaking Esther Akinnukwe, chief human resource officer, MTN said that the pillars of wellness are five, which includes physical, emotional, financial, social and environmental initiatives.

 “The performance is clear since we have strategic efforts on wellness. We have put all these in flagship. Wellness is deliberateness and conscious management effort, organisations can start with awareness and education on like nutrition,” She said.

 While it’s always encouraging to see the outstanding initiatives implemented by these organizations to create a healthy environment that supports employee well-being, these believe that there is still significant room for improvement.

 These experts however continue to encourage Nigerian organisation to increase their benefits and well- being program like the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) while also reviewing physical, mental, work and life health policies more holistically to ensure employees are receiving the support they need to continue growing their individual careers.

 “Deliberate about wellness needs to be practical. Employees need to be motivated to be aligned with the wellness practices and programme, Incentivize, Flexibility at work place,” Funke Amobi, Country Head, Human Capital, Stanbic IBTC Plc.

 Amobi added that the emotional part needs to be looked into saying that Employees assistance programme is a big win for our people. “there is a strong correlation in employee engagement and productivity because employee feels committed to the organisation which increases good returns on investment.”

 

ANTHONIA OBOKOH

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