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Wellness policy: Its mission and why your business should use it

by , 19 May 2015
A wellness policy helps your employees know that your company sees them as beings, whose personal, mental and physical health are considered important enough to embark on a wellness strategy.

To implement a succesful one in your company, you must implement a policy designed to address and maintain wellness for all our employees in the workplace.

Here's how

Here are the objectives your company's wellness policy should meet

To have a workforce that is educated and motivated  to take care of their personal health and fitness, and to ensure that people come to work each day ready to tackle the day with vigour and gusto.

Structure of a successful wellness policy

Your wellness team or forum should consist of:

• At least one representative from senior managment
• The change champion
• Relevant union reps
• A representative of the HR department
• Representative employees
• Volunteers
• Rehabilitated substance-abusers.

When it comes to structure, note that the first forum will be put together by a task team, made up of management, the union representative, the HR department and one or two line managers. Employees will be asked to nominate representatives. Thereafter, the forum constitution will determine replacement of members, the length of their terms of office and the composition of the forum.

But how do you get your wellness policy off the ground?

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What you need to do when implementing an employee wellness policy

Surveys: Your organisation should conduct regular surveys to canvass the issues that may prevail in the workplace and to allow the forum to implement strategies that are designed to constantly and vigilantly promote employee well-being. Surveys should, from time to time, be supplemented by focus group sessions with such a cross-section of staff as may be agreed to by the forum, to further elicit information from staff.

Education and training: As an organisation, you should conduct regular training and education sessions on employee well-being, international trends, information on the benefits of good nutrition and exercise, the application of this policy and such other programmes as the wellness forum may from time to time suggest.

Additional policies: As part of your employee wellness policy, also implement the following three policies:

#1: Non-smoking policy: In this, state that your organisation strives to create an environment that promotes a smoke-free workforce.

Various strategies will be used to encourage employees to stop smoking. Your organisation must implement a strict policy on when and where employees are allowed to smoke. You can also restrict smoking to lunch-breaks and before and after work hours. Employees who find these constraints difficult will be encouraged to go onto a programme that will help them reduce their dependence on smoking.

#2: Drug and alcohol policy: State that your company wishes to support employees who are substance abusers and indicate a willingness to stop.  Employees who wish to disclose their dependency should contact the wellness forum, who, in conjunction with a designated health practitioner, will assist the employee to be placed on a rehabilitation programme.

#3: Nutrition and exercise policy: Through this policy, make it clear that your organisation strives to uphold and support an environment where nutritional values and a healthy approach to exercise are inculcated in the culture of the organisation.

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