In today's world of work, change can be seen as a given. For companies to not only survive but to thrive, they need resilient and healthy employees. Healthy employees can deal more effectively with stress, which result from increases in work overloads, work pressure and job insecurity. They are more productive, deliver higher work output, and cope better with higher work demands. Studies show that people, who maintain a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and healthy eating, have much fewer weight-related medical expenses, and are thus generally in better health. Poor health, on the other hand, results in higher absence from work, lower productivity and lower morale. This has a snowball effect in organisations, because the absence of unhealthy employees exacerbates the stress and work overload of those employees who are present at work and, in turn, negatively impact their morale. The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of a physical wellness programme (referred to as a Corporate Wellness Programme or CWP) on employee absenteeism and motivation within a specific company. The evaluation was conducted using a mixed method approach. It was performed on the pilot study of the CWP. Hundred and thirteen people participated on a voluntary basis. The programme ran over six months (December 2008 to May 2009). A health risk assessment (HRA) includes glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol tests and a body mass index (BMI) and was conducted on all the participants before they embarked on the programme, as well as after completing the programme. The pre- and post-tests of the health risk assessment were statistically compared to evaluate whether participation in the programme affected the physical health of the participants. After the programme, focus group discussions were held with a sample of 36 of the 113 participants to assess their experience of the programme. Absenteeism data were used as an indirect measure to determine the impact of the programme on absenteeism. The results from the health risk assessments indicated that the systolic blood pressure and cholesterol levels were significantly lower after the programme. From the focus group discussions it appeared that participants reported less absenteeism from work due to illness. They further reported an improvement in their mood, attitude toward work, sleeping patterns, eating habits and sense of overall wellbeing during participation in the programme. Based on the results of health risk assessments, it seems if the CWP had some positive impact on employee state of wellness. Copyright 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. Please cite as follows: Du Preez, H 2010, The impact of a Corporate Wellness Programme on employee wellness, motivation and absenteeism, MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02222012-115232 / > C12/4/191/gm
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2010.