In the media

4-steps to keep your staff happy and healthy

30 September 2015

Your employees are the most convincing brand ambassadors for your organisation. But can also be your most ruthless critics. As the people who experience your company culture first-hand and ultimately “live your brand”, they are a product of what you stand for. So it makes sound business sense to create a working environment in which people are happy and fulfilled and where they’d prefer to remain.

Companies with high staff turnover can lose valuable insights into the business each time an employee moves on, not forgetting the extra costs of recruitment, induction and necessary training every time a new person joins the company.

The question then is, how do you keep your staff happy enough to remain? Are there particular company perks that hold greater appeal than others or is it all down to career progression and financial reward?

According to AfroCentric Health’s Executive Director: Human Resources, Lee Callakoppen, a genuine passion (focused energy) and interest in your people and recognition of their contribution to the organisation are vital. “Developing people-centric practices and policies that enable an organisation to achieve its strategic objectives is the first step. And a key component of this people-centric focus is the acknowledgement that your staff are not one-dimensional.”

He adds, “We believe that in order to get the best out of our employees, we need to support and encourage their total wellbeing.” This holistic approach is informed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that sets out health in the workplace as following a framework including physical (such as healthy eating habits), mental (such as relationship and stress management), psychosocial (such as clear leadership and expectations) and financial aspects (such as financial and retirement planning).

Callakoppen shares some insights into 4 crucial steps HR professionals need to consider when planning Human Capital solutions:

Be strategic: Remember that your employees are integral to the success of your company. Your HR policy and the philosophy around your people needs to tie in with your wider business objectives. “The core of our value proposition is a passion for people, health and performance – a central theme that permeates all human capital practices,” says Callakoppen.
Consider the many facets that make up each employee: Your employees have a life outside of the office that impacts them in the office. In order to promote health in the workplace, AfroCentric partners with various external service provides to develop an integrated Employee Wellness Programme that caters for the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of its employees. Callakoppen explains, “Our employees have access to face-to-face, telephonic and on-site counseling by trained professionals; we provide on-site physical exercise programmes; and financial assistance is provided in terms of budgeting, debt management, wills and more.”
Have everyone on board: A company culture and leadership drive that encourages employees to be truthful towards themselves and take accountability for their performance is a win-win. If employees can recognise their contribution towards achieving the company vision and the reciprocal benefits for themselves and their families, they are likely more motivated to be empowered to effectively manage their own performance.
Listen and assess: Your practices and policies need to evolve with your people. It’s important to include time and channels for feedback sessions with your staff on how they are experiencing their work life.

Employees face different daily challenges that may or may not originate in the workplace. But the reality is that given the amount of time they spend at work, it’s understandable that these challenges impact their ability to do their jobs. Health problems, co-worker conflict, civil legal issues and stress all play a role in productivity and wellbeing in the workplace.

Callakoppen concludes, “Attracting and retaining the best people is not just about remuneration. Far from it. It’s about creating an environment that is fully supportive of an employee’s development and their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.”

Lee Callakoppen: Executive Director of Human Resources- AfroCentric Health

Source: Finweek


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