Employee wellness at work
We understand that wellness extends far beyond physical
wellness or health. Our employees’ wellness covers
a broad spectrum of aspects ranging from financial,
emotional, spiritual, physical, social and occupational
Our 24/7 helpline for staff extends to dependants and
families whereby an employee or family member can call
the helpline 365/7days a year any hour of the day.
Telecounselling is the first intervention which then
extends to face-to-face counselling by a registered
psychologist or clinical social worker that can be
arranged at a location convenient to the family – either
closer to work or home.
This free service includes:
- Emotional counselling
- Legal help
- Financial counselling
- Access to HIV testing at any time
Ninety percent of the users are employees and 10% are
family members or dependants. The service is so entrenched
at Metropolitan that 96% of users had referred themselves
and 4% were management referrals.
Eye screening, blood donations, Pap smear tests, prostate
screening tests and other screening tests are regularly
conducted at Parc du Cap. Statistics from the clinic
indicate strong uptake of the clinic services amongst
CLINIC STATISTICS 2008
BY SISTERS AT THE CLINIC
at the clinic
Assistance Programme) referrals
BY OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS
of blood donated
Since April 2008, 60 peer educators have been trained.
Their training covered all the dimensions of wellness
and not only HIV as was previously the case. The calibre,
level of commitment and enthusiasm of the peer educators
Peer educators operate independently but with the support
of the employee wellness division and the EAP help line.
They organise educational and commemorative events for
their regions, eg Candlelight Memorial Day, World AIDS
Day, Wellness Day, etc successfully.
We have reintroduced a programme in 2008 to assist people
who want to stop smoking. The service provider, SmokeEnders,
gives awareness talks about the benefits of not smoking,
and interested people enrol for a 7-week journey to
quit smoking. This programme is run from our Parc du
2008 has been a financially difficult year, both for
businesses and individuals. This was no exception for
our staff. Financial stress is one of the greatest
factors impacting on employee wellness and productivity.
July 2008 was dubbed Savings Month and the wellness
centre focused on the financial wellness dimension
of employee health as well as the standard physical
wellness programme. As part of this, a two-day campaign
focusing on financial education and assistance was
hosted at Parc du Cap.
The following topics were covered:
- Basic financial understanding, including budgeting
- Advanced financial planning
- Current economic situation and the impact on individuals
- Understanding credit, garnishee orders, how to get
out of the credit trap, etc
- Investments – savings, equities, properties, stocks, etc
- Tax – understanding individual tax, the implications
for retirement, investments, etc
- Drawing up a will
- Retirement planning
- Issuing of credit reports
The seminar was accompanied by efforts from the employee
wellness programme to educate staff on the credit situation,
how it could affect them as individuals, and the available
steps to proactively manage their financial situation.
The participation in these sessions exceeded our expectations.
The financial wellness seminar also served to introduce
an independent, confidential financial wellbeing service
offering to assist employees to understand and manage
their personal budget, save money and ultimately improve
their personal financial position. The service provider
provides financial counselling, debt management, and
financial planning services to mainly low to middle income
Articles were placed in the Today magazine, in administrator
emails and on the employee wellness intranet site.
The third factor in employee wellness is that of spiritual
wellness. Metropolitan subscribes to and promotes a
culture of diversity and non-discrimination within
Other wellness initiatives (at Metropolitan Health Group)
are as follows:
Harmonisation is the process of implementing strategies
that will support and contribute to our current environment
of rapid growth, culture change and transformation.
Our approach is to accelerate skills development, employment
equity, and employee support services. This process
is also closely aligned with the ethics processes.
Ethics office: www.ethicsa.org
We launched the ethics office in 2007 to support the
highest standards of ethics within the business. An
ethics committee whose membership includes members
from across the business was established. In terms
of this strategy, the revised ethical business conduct
policy was launched in the business at the beginning
of March 2008.
There are a number of mediums by which staff members
can seek guidance on ethical matters. Examples of these
are the ethics mailbox and anonymous KPMG hotline.