Wellness at Work
While building a business, is there merit in creating a balanced environment for your staff? Experts believe so, and say it’ll be felt by your organisations bottom line, when you allow for wellness at work.
“Yes, it does cost some money as far as setting up the structure of a healthy workplace goes, but you get your return because your employees are happier and healthier. “ says Nelao Nengola, Workplace Wellness Coach and Founder of Power Poise Wellness, who explains that in the Namibian context, most companies see wellness as a once a year activity limited to basic blood testing and other generic markers of wellness. This is not however, the wellness that delivers returns.
“Wellness isn’t just the health of your body. Things like having a day care on site, that’s wellness, the way that your office is set up that, that’s wellness.” Says Nelao. “Wellness is taking care of your person as a whole, addressing all seven dimensions of wellness.”
“What’s happening in your social space is also affecting your wellness and what’s happening in your finances is also affecting your wellness.”
The seven dimensions of wellness include Social wellness, Emotional wellness, Environmental wellness, Intellectual wellness, Spiritual wellness, Occupational wellness and Physical wellness. It is said that to achieve wellness is to integrate these seven, and hope to work within balance between them. Nelao explains, “What’s happening in your social space is also affecting your wellness and what’s happening in your finances is also affecting your wellness.”
Talking from her personal experience, Nelao shares how the understanding of all the elements of wellness assisted her. “When I first got into fitness, I was doing it because I’d gained a bunch of weight. So I was only eating healthy and exercising to get skinny. I was torturing myself just to reach a certain number. I lost the weight, I reached that number that I was going for, but guess what? I was unhappy. I was still super stressed. My life was a mess. It wasn’t until I started addressing those seven elements of wellness, that it clicked.” This true understanding of wellness is not only empowering but also sustainable according to Nelao. “It’s more sustainable, you are more understanding with yourself and you not only balance all of it, but you learn to prioritise. And if you can handle yourself, you can go out into the world and then you can accomplish those goals that you set for yourself.”
“There may be hidden costs that you don’t realise by not taking care of your staff.”
The responsibility of the company when talking wellness comes in the knowledge that your employees are your greatest assets. “There may be hidden costs that you don’t realise by not taking care of your staff.” Says Nelao who highlights areas such as work place injuries, stress related illnesses and mental wellness, all of which can incur costs to the company.
Considering how much of our lives are spent at our place of work, creating for a space that allows employees health and wellness room, has logical positive benefits. Power Poise has seen results for their clients through addressing a variety of health expects. “It’s rewarding because when working with people there’s always a click. You can see on their faces when it lights up.” Nelao adds that in working in wellness in Namibia, “the roadblock we have, is that companies will hire us for a onetime event and we are trying to change mindsets, it’s more than a onetime event.”
Despite the fact that the company benefits when it’s employees are well and balanced, Nelao notes that wellness is still an individual’s responsibility. “I have to put the responsibility on the individual, only because their work is just an aspect of their life. But there’s a benefit to the company to get involved in wellness.”
“Listen to your employees, and figure out what they need to be better employees, because it’s a benefit to both of you. If your employees have what they need, they produce better for you. So listen to them.”
Power Poise, offer tailor-made solutions and according to owner, Nelao, “We pride ourselves for addressing wellness from a holistic stance point.” Talking advice for getting started with an approach to work that is wellness orientated, Nelao notes to “just start with something small. It doesn’t have to be this big thing, it could be a group walk on a lunch break every Thursday, just something. Just start somewhere.” Read the MYD Smart article Why You Should Do A Walking Meeting here
“Also listen to your employees, and figure out what they need to be better employees, because it’s a benefit to both of you. If your employees have what they need, they produce better for you. So listen to them. Sometimes the company might call us in and say we want you to do like a fitness session but really, what they need is a stress, breathing and communication workshop. Just listen to what your people need and want.”
Written by Kirsty Watermeyer