Eastern Cape manufacturing companies with class-leading worker wellness programmes were recently recognised at a Recognition Awards Function in Nelson Mandela Bay.
CRH, Benteler, Formex, ITD Air conditioning, MW Wheels, Adient Pasdec, Borbet, Federal Mogul Motorparts, Lumotech, Stateline Pressed Metal, and Ebor Automotive received recognition awards.
Companies were evaluated based on a range of criteria, including high workplace participation, numbers of staff trained, management buy-in, innovation, scope and success.
Sister Ivy Appolis and Mrs Malaine Hop Hing received individual awards for pioneering work in the private sector response to wellbeing.
The awards, sponsored by Old Mutual, were hosted by the Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape (AIDCEC), an agency of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation.
AIDC EC wellness manager Arnelle Heynes said the leading wellness programmes were multi-faceted including individual financial, emotional and spiritual wellness, not only physical health.
Heynes said since 2009 the AIDC EC in partnership with Ford SEP, GM, VWSA and the German Development Corporation had reached 8423 workers with health assessments, 6608 with HIV Testing and Counselling and had trained 522 employees in Wellness Management.
Speaking at the function, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Senior Director: Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Andile Tolom said while some companies considered wellness a soft issue, it was in fact central to management strategy.
He said the benefit of wellness was more acutely felt under pressurised economic conditions:
"When the economy or cost pressures in business are challenging, the resilience of the workforce comes into full focus and this resilience and productivity is a factor of a wellness programme over time, not an isolated intervention."
"Individual health has a profound impact on business,'' he said.
Heynes said absenteeism alone cost the SA economy over R16bn in 2016.
With respect to holistic health, Tebogo Mabogoane, Head of Financial Wellbeing Programme at Old Mutual said it was clear that workers who were oppressed with financial troubles, debt and concern, could not be fully productive at work.
She said an additional benefit of economic wellness as part of the Wellness programme was a "radical reduction in garnishing orders of employees at participating companies.''
Stateline Pressed Metal HR Manager Vuyo Skweyiya said since joining the AIDC EC wellness management programme, the impact had been significant . "SPM has halved the hours lost to sick leave over a period of 5 months, but more than that employee morale improvement has made SPM a different organisation altogether.''
Issued by: AIDC