Employee wellness and well-being are not emphasized enough in Kenya, despite their
importance. A recent survey published by a local newspaper revealed that a majority of Kenyan employees suffer from burnout. 41% cited unfair compensation, 32% due to unreasonable workload and another 32% was due to long working hours. Kenyan
corporates continually ignore the correlation between employee wellness and profitability.
Media mogul and founder of Thrive Global-a corporate wellness solutions platform-, Arianna Huffington, created a tool that automatically deletes employees’ emails while they are on vacation. Her intention is to allow employees to completely disconnect from work as well as avoid the resulting anxiety of piling emails while on vacation.
Automobile manufacture Fiat Chrysler has also been recognized for its intense wellness programs spanning thirty decades. The company includes health assessments, biometric screening, workshops and health coaching, a fitness centre, walking trails, bike racks, on-site medical facility a CVS pharmacy, guest chefs and a farmer’s market just to mention a few. Dickens Olela, a fitness trainer at Weight Watchers Kenya, emphasizes that a company should first evaluate the employees’ wellness needs before putting any program in place. This sentiment is reiterated by Japheth Amimo, the proprietor of Wellness Solutions
Kenya. “Companies need to have employee health assessment before putting any program in place. This way, you’re guaranteed that the program is of benefit and not just a
Where Should a Company Start?
According to Japheth, a holistic wellness program should include identification of the target group of employees, health assessments as well as the cost implications of the treatment
of certain health conditions. Thereafter, they can choose an appropriate wellness or wellbeing program that will mitigate the treatment costs. A wellness coordinator will then be assigned to continually assess the progress of the program as well as encourage adherence.
Wellness is not a One-Size-Fits-All
The adamancy of Kenyan companies has seen them stuck at holding employee wellness days or putting up an in-house gym. Japheth strongly advises against these general wellness programs, “Imagine a scenario where an employee wants to use the gym only to find the CEO working out in the same gym. Most employees would feel uncomfortable, especially in cases where they know they have pending work.”
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