When it comes to Corporate Wellness or Employee Wellness solutions in South Africa, many businesses still view them as “nice-to-haves” rather than an essential part of of long-term organisation success. However a recent report out of consulting firm PwC suggests that there is a direct link between Corporate Wellness initiatives and organisational success.

The report highlighted that the discussion around the link between organisational success and Corporate Wellness initiatives in South Africa was becoming increasingly clearer and when programs are correctly implemented, they directly contribute to cost savings in businesses.

Barry Vorster, PwC Leader of People & Change, noted in the report:

“In our experience globally, CEOs and other C-suite executives are becoming more aware of the impact of wellness and its benefits on the business as a whole, allowing wellness to become recognised as an increasingly strategic issue. C-suite support for wellness initiatives is essential to their success.”

An interesting note from the report is that traditionally Corporate Wellness solutions in South Africa have been driven through the Human Resource (HR) function but interventions are now being seen through the lens of multiple roles across the organisation wanting to track key metrics.

Technology, gamification and proactive Corporate Wellness interventions

In a previous post, we highlighted that one of the major challenges that many businesses face is that their staff are simply “too busy” to be able to dedicate time to specific Wellness activations / interventions.

The PwC report emphasises that the best healthcare systems are focused on prevention and proactive approaches from organisations rather than trying to get involved when the workforce is already burnt out.

Technology and gamification can play an important role here in breaking the “busy-ness trap”.

The report notes:

“Wearable technology holds significant potential to strengthen the capabilities of employers to change behaviour, as well as provide a means for collecting data which can be used in modelling to determine the priority needs and interventions. A survey of over 2,000 working adults in the UK showed that 44% would be happy to use a piece of wearable technology provided by their employer and allow the employer to collect data from it, but this increases to 60% amongst 18 – 34 year olds. This rises to 56% and 70%, respectively if there are benefits for the individual.”

This is backed up in this recent article from global real-estate group JLL which talks about a variety of different technology solutions including:

  • How mining group Anglo American is applying technology to manage social distancing
  • Tracking of sleep patterns
  • Posture and blood pressure at work
  • The Moodbeam tool for reporting mental health

Corporate Wellness magazine has reported that Audi have started equipping their staff with exoskeletons to help them reduce back-strain and early data suggests 20 – 30% reduction in back-related stress injuries at work through the implementation of this program.

The Bottom Line: Corporate Wellness initiatives contribute to organisational success

While the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many organisations in South Africa have cut back in their investments into Corporate Wellness Solutions – however forward-thinking organisations don’t see these solutions as cost centres.

Instead they are looking at Corporate Wellness and the health and wellness of their staff as a way to contribute directly to their bottom-line by being proactive through the implementation of solutions.

PwC estimates that across the globe, organisation who have implemented Wellness solutions over the last 3 years have already benefited financially to the tune of $60bn – this is serious money and should not be ignored.

If you are a forward-thinking organisation intent on investing in your people as your greatest asset then we would love to connect with you – we offer a variety of Corporate Wellness solutions to South African businesses.

Contact us today.