The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services says that the health and well-being of employees are concerning, hence the need to create platforms to discuss strategies on how to improve their well-being.
Dr. Utjiua Muinjangue was speaking at the Employee Wellness Indaba Conference held in Windhoek.
Dr. Muinjangue says a recent survey revealed that over 70% of employees in Namibia suffer from work stress or chronic health conditions.
This causes a 35% productivity loss for Namibian companies.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic disease accounts for 75% of total healthcare costs.
"With an employer-sponsored wellness programme, you can provide targeted health education and resources needed by your employees and put health at the forefront of their priority list. As I move towards the conclusion, let me remind organisations that as much as we want to make a profit, it is equally important to educate and incentivize employees to live healthier lives."
The Employee Wellness Indaba 2023 aims to focus on robust and inclusive topics that explore the wellness dimensions that might affect employees' well-being and performance.
"After we experienced the COVID pandemic, we realised that a lot of employees needed support. Having to work with various companies, we realised that we need a platform where employees can come together, especially those in HR or wellness officers, to actually have this platform to share ideas, network, and forge a way forward as to how we are going to develop employee wellness cultures within our organisations," said Ceaseria Matiti, a psychotherapist at Eureka Psychological Services.
She says there is also a need to transform workplaces into forward-thinking organisational strategies that empower the individual employee's well-being.
"A lot of our Namibian employees are unwell. Looking at the mental aspects, which are invisible, and the consequence of this, requires us to actually raise awareness and advocacy. Just to emphasise that a healthy employee is key and vital for the employer."