Parliamentarian and Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports and National Service, Emma Kantema-Gaomas, says creating a dynamic wellness program for employees at Offices, Ministries and Agencies could increase positivity and performance in the working environment.
She said this in support of a motion tabled in Parliament by the Health and Social Services Deputy Minister, Ester Munjangue on wellness programs for government employees.
Kantema-Gaomas said wellness programs for employees that are responsive to their needs, encourage positive behaviour and outcomes, which she said is the best strategy to ensure long time success.
“A wellness program can provide targeted health education, promote behavioural change, and motivate employees to live healthier which results in improved productivity and less absenteeism as a result of numerous health-related factors. These programs do not only increase productivity but also lead to increased engagement, improved employee morale and retention, and reduced health risks,” she said.
Kantema-Gaomas indicated that there is a positive connection between employee wellness and the performance of a task.
“Debating a motion that speaks to the wellness of staff members is timely at the point where we demand an improved service delivery,” she said.
Kantema-Gaomas further said wellness programs reduce stress, improve teamwork and attract new talent.
She noted that it is worth it to have good policies and a budget but that it requires human resources to realise the government’s goals.
“It is then incumbent upon the employer to provide fertile ground for a high-performance culture. The review of the wellness programs is necessary, and compliments existing health programs”, she said.
She also called for wellness activities to be encouraged in the private sector especially large companies, citing the tragic incident at Shoprite in Walvis Bay where a lady committed suicide due to pressure from work.
“It is therefore important to record that, wellness programs evolve to ensure employees who spend hours at work, are well taken of,” she emphasised.
She believes that at present, the wellness of employees is an ad hoc situation, and needs to be mainstreamed as an activity for each of the OMAs.
“The enhancement of wellness programs would, without doubt, contribute to staff productivity, Kantema-Gaomas reiterated.
She has since urged the government to invest in the wellness of staff in order to reap the benefit of a productive workforce,
“Through this, we can observe the reinvigoration of efforts on the government’s part to increase the burden on management for conducting effective wellness programs,” she concluded.