Workplace wellness on the rise

R15-billion: the annual cost to the South African economy from absenteeism. Every day, 15% of the workforce takes sick leave – more than 6 million people. Even though South Africa offers a healthy climate, access to nutritious food and an environment designed for the active lifestyle, empty workstations continue to plague top companies. Now companies are investing back into employees in order to see healthier business performance.

More than 11 000 executives from 124 countries participated in Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends report for 2018, including 354 South African business and human resources leaders. In the context of South Africa, the majority of respondents stated that the top six employee wellness/work-life programmes in place at their organisation include:

  • Wellness counselling
  • In-office wellness services (i.e. health screenings, chair massages, etc.)
  • Employee assistance programmes
  • Mental health counselling
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Group wellness or fitness activities

  • 68% of these respondents felt that employee well-being programmes promote employee productivity or improve bottom line results and 59% felt that well-being programmes support employee retention.

    In May 2018, Top 500 and Bestmed Medical Scheme joined forces to raise more awareness around the benefits of wellness, to both employers and employees, by launching the national Workplace Wellness Award at the annual Top 500 Awards. The trophy was taken by Nestle South Africa.