Sun | Apr 21, 2019

Wellness in the workplace - how important is it?

Published:Wednesday | March 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Push Up Challenge in high gear with some of the participants.
Dr Ijah Thompson, MD & wellness programme consultant at Essential Medical Services, presents a basket to Misha Carey-Blake, group HR manager of Imperial Optical Jamaica Ltd, on behalf of the other participants at her table who were identified as the most engaging group at the wellness seminar.

Earlier this month, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) partnered with Essential Medical Services in the staging of the first Wellness & Engagement Seminar at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew.

The theme of the seminar was 'Unleashing your organisation's optimal productivity & profitability potential'. One might ask how exactly this fit into wellness and engagement in the workplace.

Workplace wellness and engagement is a holistic process that looks at the whole person and initiatives that can impact the employee's entire lifestyle, supported through positive behaviour change. If the wellness initiative is not set up in a way where it is relevant to each individual's lifestyle, then it's unlikely to cultivate lasting behaviour change or impact their level of engagement.

Trevor Fearon, chief executive officer of JCC, said the ethos of the chamber is to design and stage events that are beneficial to member firms, and corporate wellness and engagement initiatives are important because much of the research that is available in the marketplace underscores the positive impact of workplace wellness and engagement.

"It improves your bottom line by putting your employees in charge of their health and well-being, thus creating a productive profitable workforce," he noted.




The wellness experts also highlighted the benefits of workplace wellness and engagement and the importance of keeping employees healthy. Beneficial wellness and engagement initiatives produce better health outcomes, which in turn contributes to a more productive and profitable workforce.

Wellness and engagement in the workplace go hand in hand. Statistics from the latest JBDC Employee Engagement Report revealed that when employers provide actionable tools and on-going support for employees through wellness plans, there are positive benefits to retention, recruiting and engagement is boosted, thus impacting employees' levels of productivity, happiness and engagement. This was supported by one of the presenters' synopsis of how well his firm's corporate wellness initiative impacts its productivity and profitability.

Donovan James, general manager of the international shipping, courier, and packaging service DHL, said that DHL's corporate wellness initiative has been in place since 2015 and has proved to be "great for managing the company's healthcare costs as well as helping employees identify health issues they may not have otherwise discovered".

Intuitively, corporate wellness and engagement initiatives show employees that their organisation "cares", and that is never a bad thing!

In sum, healthier employees = happier workforce = more productivity = more profitability.