Given the amount of time employees spend at the office, the work environment needs to offer more personal health, wellness, and lifestyle support than ever. Ruth Wotela, People Wellness Executive at SilverBridge, believes that happy and healthy people are more efficient and productive, a sentiment that SilverBridge has taken to heart.
“Our people form an integral part of our organisation. It is therefore essential that we invest in them. One of the best ways of doing this, is establishing a culture that promotes individual and organisational wellness.”
She says that in addition to providing a safe and healthy environment, the SilverBridge approach to employee wellness is a holistic approach reflective of the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, financial, and occupational needs of every individual at the organisation.
“We recognise that balancing work and personal life is a continuous struggle. As such, we continuously evaluate the way we work; organise ourselves; provide flexibility (for example through our discretionary time off-unlimited leave policy) and have discussions on the issues affecting our people. In this way, we gain insights into the motivations that drive our people while still having fun in the process.”
For SilverBridge, employee wellness is not just an event, but something that permeates every facet of the business. Overall, the company aims to drive the right behaviour that promote sustainable and healthy lifestyles.
“We want to provide our employees with different experiences and opportunities that add to their wellbeing. If we do this, and our employees are happy and healthier, they are likely to bring their best efforts to their work and deliver a great experience to customers.”
“Over the past few years, SilverBridge has run several initiatives that have proven to be invaluable to its employees. People are different and their behaviour is motivated by different things. This is why the variety of our wellness initiatives deliver something for everyone.”
She says that SilverBridge regularly reviews its wellness initiatives. However, driving the right behaviour is also not always easy. For example, getting people to eat healthy is not without its challenges but we encourage and share information on good eating and drinking habits.
“People generally do not like to participate in initiatives that are compulsory or enjoy being told what they should not be doing. Instead, they prefer to be told what they can do and being made aware of the benefits of doing so. In other words, instead of telling them not to consume sugary drinks show them the benefits drinking more water can provide.”
Fortunately, employee wellness is evolving in the country. Companies realise that neglecting these activities can have a significant impact on the business due to reduced productivity, high absenteeism, challenges with coping with day-to-day work duties, increased health and safety issues, and negative work relationships.
Traditionally, most wellness initiatives have focused on the physical and emotional side of things and have been ad hoc events such as a wellness week or day dedicated to activities.
“However, companies have increased their wellness investment as they recognise the benefit this can bring the business. A dedicated focus to employee wellness contributes positively to employee engagement as well as the reputation of a company. Most importantly, it enables an organisation to improve the lives of its people.”
Every organisation is unique and requires wellness initiatives that are tailored to its people.
“As an organisation, we have found value in being open to ideas and receiving feedback from our employees to help us understand them better. After all, without people no organisation can hope to succeed.”