Employers Urged to Incorporate Wellness Programmes in Their Operations


Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Errol Morrison, has urged employers to incorporate wellness programmes into their operations as a means of enhancing the productivity of their employees.
Professor Morrison, who was speaking at a recent Friday Policy Forum at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), said there was a connection between the prosperity of corporate entities and the health of their employees. “Where we fail to recognise those [health] issues, which retain that fibre for vibrancy, development, enterprise and success. the demise of that entity is predictable,” he stated.
The professor, who spoke on the topic: ‘Balancing Health and Work the Right Way,’ noted that elements of the work environment such as unsuitable ergonomics, constant meeting of deadlines, and the use of computers, often led to fatigue, tension, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and stress.
Stating that, “stress is something that we underestimate,” Professor Morrison said that stress-related conditions were the reason for 75 per cent of doctor visits, and predisposed persons to chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks, as well as acid stomach, skin rashes, menstrual irregularities, among other debilitating conditions.
Among his recommended interventions to promote wellness were counselling and behavioural adjustment programmes; fellowship time for employees; time for exercise classes; flexi work time; relaxation rooms, work breaks, “relaxercise”; and available balanced meals at work.
He further advised that employers “foster individual responsibility for health among staff members, as well as encourage family participation in wellness programmes.
Professor Morrison pointed out that when these strategies were implemented, employers stood to gain from “improved productivity and performance; decreased absenteeism; enhanced employee morale and job satisfaction; development of high quality staff; and reduced rate of employee turnover, sick days and burnout”.
He pointed out that similar strategies were applied in far eastern countries such as Japan, Korea and Singapore, resulting in high levels of productivity.
Stating that “a sick population can’t work,” Prof. Morrison said that, “where there is no health, there is no wealth.”

JIS Social