Having worked on the development of our online Health and Wellness Platform – www.theorangesa.co.za – I have found the wellness of employees and people in general more and more fascinating and cannot believe that companies are not aggressively pursuing the wellness of their employees.
- Approximately R20 billion is lost annually due to sick leave.
- 1 in 4 employees in South Africa suffers from depression.
- 71% of South Africans say financial stress influenced their health.
- Distracted employees cost R89 billion per annum.
I would think employers would be most interested to reduce these costs even if the wellbeing of their employees was not on their agenda.
Statistics reveal that “well” employees are more productive, loyal and honest.
At The Orange we believe that wellness goes beyond health and should incorporate the following elements:
Did you know that worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975.
Unhealthy diets and low physical activity contribute to many chronic diseases and disability; they are responsible for some 2 in 5 deaths worldwide and for about 30% of the global disease burden. In 2016 it was found that the top 5 diet related chronic illnesses cost the USA $1 trillion annually.
Sadly, today people are not only short of money – they are also short of time so junk food becomes the go-to option. It takes very little effort to educate people about good food on a budget and advise them on what they should avoid and how they create a healthy diet with the same amount of time available to them.
Physical activity offers many benefits for the health of individuals and communities. Specifically, getting enough physical activity can prevent
- 1 in 8 cases of breast cancer
- 1 in 8 cases of colorectal cancer
- 1 in 8 cases of type 2 diabetes
- 1 in 12 cases of heart disease
Unfortunately, limited access to safe and affordable places for physical activity makes getting physical activity hard for some people and in the US inadequate physical activity accounts for $117 billion in annual health care costs.
Introducing a physical wellness programme need not be a major challenge or cost and an expert can guide the employees on how to introduce some form of exercise into their daily life – do you find the parking closest to the door of the mall and do you use the elevator as opposed to the stairs?
50% of working days lost can be attributed to stress but only 30% of employees have access to tools to help them cope with stress.
In the UK mental illness costs UK companies GBP 39 billion per annum and accounts for 15 million lost working days per annum.
Many employees are not aware of their own emotional challenges or they are not prepared to disclose or discuss them yet the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that depression will be the second highest cause of morbidity in the world by 2020, employers cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best.
Employee turnover and burnout could be improved by “providing the right support to the right individual when and where it is needed.” Most employees — 64% — reported they feel stressed at work, most of them women and middle-aged workers, but only a third of employees reported their employers offering stress management programs.
Often it does not need to be an elaborate counseling centre that needs to be provided and simple coaching sessions and online exercises can be used to help people to cope better.
More than 60% of employees said they want help from their employer for all facets of health, with financial health being their top priority.
Financial wellness is not about loans to employees, it is about educating employees about financial issues. Many employees live from pay day to pay day without considering life after the current segment in their life.
Simple budgets, wills and financial discussions can be put in place and make a big difference in people’s lives.
At the end of the day employers should be wanting to create a “well” workforce whether it is for their personal gain or the gain of the employees.
At The Orange we offer free and paid for services via the online platform that will definitely add value to your organization.