Friday May 30 2014

Prioritising staff wellness

By Isaiah Kitimbo

Nassiwa is an amazing employer. She is tough on work targets but gentle on health concerns of her staff.

She procured counselling services to help her staff cope with various situations. Providing psychosocial support and welfare to staff and their immediate families has helped her to realise smart results.

She too has a medical insurance cover in place that takes care of the sick employees. Nassiwa is an example of many employers who care about their staff’s health.

Health and safety remain crucial in today’s production process for quality goods and services; employees work better when they are healthy and happy. On the other hand, a sickly workforce is costly to a company.

Therefore, employers ought to prioritise the health and safety of their teams and adopt it as a factor of production. Besides being a requirement, occupational health and safety motivates employees to work even harder.

For instance, instead of spending more hours away from the workstation nursing or looking for money to clear hospital bills, an insured employee will better spend quality time at work.

With this, come a settled mind and less stress, which lead to better performance because of high concentration levels.

A health insurance scheme helps employers to plan for their staff’s lives to enable them lower the cost of treatment through such services as wellness, and stress management.

This can be organised at the workplace through a health talk by a medical practitioner or counsellor. Also, screening for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions and cancer can be arranged for staff.

An ideal medical insurance package should cover outpatient and referral services, basic surgeries, dental and ophthalmology. It is advisable that HR managers safeguard the scheme against abuse by some insured employees, and fraud by health care providers.

Such malpractices ultimately lead to hiking the premiums, which narrows the benefits.

The writer is a human resources expert and a journalist.