APHRC Interview, SME Employer Workplace Health Awards Winner 2022
APHRC, Awards Winner Interview
What does it mean to you to be the first African employer to win a Global Healthy Workplace Award?
It was very exciting to be recognized as the first African employer to win the award in any category. Africa is often seen as “the place to support”, but this award demonstrates that good things do come from Africa.
What do you think are the particular strengths of your program?
We have strong buy-in from the top leadership about the importance of a healthy workplace, exemplified in our Executive Director-led culture shift on work-life balance; a dedicated health and safety committee that advises the leadership on health and safety issues within the workplace; and a committed human resources team that continually seeks to improve workplace safety and sense of belonging through the ‘buddy system’ when onboarding new staff. Employees involvement in designing the program makes them strong.
Where do you see the main challenges of creating a healthy workplace coming out of a global pandemic?
The shift to remote working is one of the main challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring that staff health and wellbeing is prioritized when they are working remotely can be a challenge. We have had to develop innovative ways to stay connected as employees and provided access to virtual programs like the employee assistance program and hangouts that help create a sense of belonging in a space that allows employees to check in on other things other than work.
What advice would you give to other SMEs in Africa thinking of starting a healthy workplace program?
It is the little things that we do to enhance staff health and wellbeing that contribute to a healthy workplace. It is a joint team effort involving every employee in the organization and management. They should have a vision of what healthy workplace they want to create for the organization and work towards it. It doesn’t have to be costly.
What did you take away from the 2022 Global Healthy Workplace Summit?
There is still room for improvement. Learning from other organizations highlighted other areas in which we can make improvements, such as looking at the length of our workday. There was a lot to learn from the 2022 Global Healthy Workplace Summit, but the main takeaway was that it is important for employers to take a proactive approach to creating a healthy workplace. This means creating policies and practices that promote physical and mental health, establishing an open and inclusive work culture, and providing employees with the resources they need to help them stay healthy. Employers should also be aware of the potential health risks associated with the job and take steps to mitigate them. Finally, employers should focus on creating a safe and supportive environment and ensure that all employees feel valued and respected.
View APHRC’s profile and Awards presentation: https://www.globalhealthyworkplace.org/profile/aphrc-sme-employer-awards-finalist-2022/
Learn more about the 2022 Summit: https://www.globalhealthyworkplace.org/event/10th-global-healthy-workplace-summit-virtual-2022/
Learn more about the Awards: https://www.globalhealthyworkplace.org/awards/application/
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