Bestmed Medical Scheme hosted its inaugural Workplace Wellness Conference recently, which aims to provide fresh perspectives on employee well-being in the workplace. The conference focuses on the current health conditions of the South African workforce and how employers can address these conditions through the design and implementation of programmes that support a healthy culture.
The conference hosted an audience of approximately 200 guests consisting of industry leaders, key stakeholders, employer groups, financial advisers, senior management and employees from various organisations. The speakers included the likes of Zoleka Limakwe (SA Federation for Mental Health); Dr Gerhard Dippenaar (HaloCare) and; Zella Young (LifeSense) who delved into the impact that chronic conditions have on employees and the importance of creating programmes to assist them.
Izak Mentz, Insight Actuaries, provided an in-depth analysis on how Workplace Wellness programmes should be evaluated, and their success be measured. He also gave an overview of the key findings on a recent evaluation done on the Bestmed Workplace Wellness programme.
Dr Christo du Preez, who designed the Bestmed Workplace Wellness programme protocol – as an offering made available to all its participating corporate clients – emphasised the importance of simplicity and enjoyment as crucial elements in designing a programme. The interventions and activities should be simple to follow and easy to understand. If there is no enjoyment or fun factor incorporated for the participants it will not deliver the outcomes expected, says Du Preez.
Ellenore Melrose, Head of Occupational Health at Sappi, illustrated to the audience how Sappi has successfully implemented the Workplace Wellness programme essentials as provided by Bestmed, but added a few additional elements in order to contribute to overall business targets set by the Sappi Board. The innovative manner in which Melrose and her team have aligned the Bestmed programme to Sappi’s business processes and annual targets, enabled them to be named the winner of the Bestmed Workplace Wellness Award for the period 2018/2019.
According to Jooste, Sappi has proven that in order to have a successful Workplace Wellness programme, you need to have the buy-in of all relevant stakeholders in an organisation, specifically the Senior Management. In addition to this, Sappi has also successfully customised the Bestmed programme and aligned it with their unique working conditions and internal business processes, proving that Workplace Wellness programmes cannot be a one-size-fit-all offering.
Jooste also announced the Bestmed Workplace Wellness Award where the main purpose is to create an opportunity to provide recognition to one of the Scheme’s participating employer groups who has either implemented or developed their own wellness programme – or the Bestmed Wellness programme – during the period as indicated.
The winner of the competition will be awarded with a hundred thousand Rand to donate to community upliftment initiative of their choice.