Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Mboweni, has called on business organizations to boost their sustainability and resilience by integrating effective employee wellness programmes into their business strategies.
Speaking at a business breakfast organized by the Swedish Workplace HIV/AIDS Programme (SWHAP), in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Business Council on Wellness in Harare yesterday, Mboweni said employee wellness must be integrated into the business strategy for it to be measurable and effective.
“Organizations must develop wellness KPIs (key performance indicators) and integrate them into the business performance score card”, he said, adding that when wellness is part of the organization’s performance objectives, it gets management’s attention and buy-in.
“Wellness must be built into the organization’s business case, so that the board, management and all stakeholders can buy into the importance of wellness to the organization” he said.
Mboweni, who is CEO of the country’s largest mobile telecommunications and technology business, said when wellness is properly integrated into the business’ sustainability strategy, the programme’s benefits should be clear to all staff and to the business.
“Everyone in the organization should be able to clearly see that when employees are well and healthy, it reduces staff medical costs and absenteeism, and this in turn increases productivity and improves employee morale, and therefore results in higher returns on investment” he said.
Mboweni stressed that to succeed, employee wellness programmes must be collaborative and driven from the top.
“At Econet, I have ensured that employee wellness is driven from the top – right from my office – so that I have full visibility and accountability for its success and effectiveness”.
He said Econet, which also invests in community wellness interventions through Higherlife Foundation – a Non Profit Organization founded by the Econet Group’s founder Strive Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi – took a 360-degree view of wellness as being about the complete freedom of the employee from all conditions that compromise their total wellbeing as a person.
These, he said, included good health and the absence of disease, physical fitness, social awareness and adjustment, spiritual grounding and wellbeing, intellectual development and growth, a balanced family life and sound reproductive health, emotional stability (psychological and mental health), occupational health and safety, as well as financial stability.
Mboweni said Econet has, for nearly 15 years now, been running an integrated wellness programme that incorporated staff spouses and families.
‘We have ensured that we create an open and supportive family culture within our organization because we know that our staff’s family lives are inextricably linked to their wellbeing and to the business’ performance”.