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Wellness: a healthy workplace benefits all

Ouma MooketsiOuma MooketsiEmployees’ quality of life is key to enhancing productivity. With this in mind, the IDC has a multi-pronged health strategy for staff that is in line with Top Employer Best Practices.

The workplace is becoming increasingly demanding and changes in this environment continue to pose challenges; the IDC is not spared this trend, says Ouma Mooketsi, the corporation’s wellness expert.

“The emphasis on healthy living, well-being, striving to strike a balance between life at work and private life is a general challenge not only affecting the IDC. Most organisations experience similar challenges,” she says. “The biological side-effects of stress and lack of healthy diet, fitness and exercise contribute to lifestyle diseases, which have a crippling impact in most instances.”

Yet the health and well-being of staff is critical to the optimum functioning of any corporation, which is the thinking behind the IDC’s Employee Wellness Strategy. And in line with modern trends, it includes employees’ immediate family members.

Physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being as well as financial fitness, are all part of the strategy, which focuses on employees’ quality of life as a key benefit in enhancing productivity. There are various components to the corporation’s wellness programme:

  • Wellness initiatives that drive a wellness culture;
  • In-house wellness specialist counselling and support;
  • Full-time wellness support for employees and their immediate family members;
  • Bereavement support;
  • Annual medical assessments; and,
  • Internal stakeholders awareness, support and engagement

“The IDC’s employee wellness portfolio is manifested in a set of organisational and business drivers that promote prevention, health improvement, support and care management to ensure that employees have a high level of health care, as well as a working environment that is not harmful to their well-being,” explains Mooketsi.

In keeping up with Top Employer Best Practices, the IDC has various on-site offerings specifically designed to enhance health and wellness. Among them are a fitness facility, a crèche, healthy food options in the cafeteria, a smoking area to prevent the dangers of secondary smoke inhalation, and annual flu vaccinations. The IDC Sporting Association keeps people fit and active, and helps to build team spirit and boost staff morale.

Early detection of potential risks, screening and disease management are key pillars, but behaviour change is at the heart of the programme. To do this, there is a high degree of personal support for employees, who are encouraged and enabled to make choices for healthier lifestyles.

“At the IDC, every employee is encouraged to take self-responsibility and ownership for their health and wellness. In addition, the wellness strategy facilitates the provision and access to appropriate health and wellness services for all employees,” Mooketsi says.

Partnerships with service providers give employees access to:

  • Primary health screenings and potential early identification and risk management of health and wellness issues;
  • Psychological consultation and counselling;
  • Managerial support and consultation;
  • Financial, legal and other social related advice;
  • Medical management assessments; and,
  • Information, preventative and awareness campaigns.

“The wellness services and the uptake of these are driven through health promotion programmes and initiatives, focusing mainly on developing the holistic well-being of employees. The buy-in and leadership direction of the executive management on wellness matters contribute to proactive employee participation on wellness interventions, impacting positively on our programmes’ uptake and utilisation.”

A healthy workplace benefits us all – the IDC places a high value on the health and well-being of its employees, and to this end holds regular wellness days with physical activities and health screenings.

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