Back to Basics: Promoting Health and Wellness in the workplace | EAPA-SA

The importance of workplace health and wellness
Preserving and promoting a healthy workplace will not only improve the lives of everyone involved, it will benefit an organisation. Healthy employees equal happy employees; and happy employees equal happy customers. It is a win-win situation.

The terms “Health” and “wellness” are terms often used interchangeably. Health is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease” and wellness as “a composite of physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, and social health”.

A healthy workplace encourages the development of a healthy workforce. This can be achieved through:
1. Improving the work organisation and the working environment
2. Promoting active participation, and
3. Encouraging personal development

Improving the work organisation and the working environment
A strong organisational culture helps a business work like a well-oiled machine, where every employee acts in-line with the company’s values. Engaging employees in companies with a good work culture is much easier because they all know what needs to be done, why and how, and they work together to achieve it.1

A poor work environment impacts employees’ mood, drive and performance. If employees work in a dreary office setting with unfriendly workers, they most likely won’t feel motivated or confident to speak up. This is why creating a productive work environment is critical to the overall success of an organisation.2

Promoting active participation
Employee involvement entails creating an environment in which people have an impact on decisions and actions that affect their jobs. Employee involvement in itself is not the goal. Rather, it is a management and leadership value concerning how workers are most enabled to contribute to continuous improvement and the ongoing success of their work organisation.

Organisations that wish to create an empowering workplace will succeed in promoting active participation by involving employees as much as possible in all aspects of work decisions and planning. This involvement increases ownership and commitment with the benefit of employee retention and fostering an environment in which people choose to be motivated.3

Encouraging personal development
Organisations that are invested in helping their employees develop personally and become the best people and employees they can be, reap the reward of retaining employees who are invested in the organisation, who feel secure in their positions and who are more likely to be satisfied with the work they perform.

In addition, with training programs in place and employees who have the skills and expertise required already in the company, an employee will have more opportunities to promote employees from within. This serves to give your employees added incentive to work hard and attend training to further their careers.4


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