16 April 2017
DUBAI — A growing number of companies in the UAE are giving their staff a wellness boost to promote health and wellbeing as well as encourage better employee engagement.
A recent MEED survey of 136 companies showed 66% of respondents are now implementing wellness programmes in the office, up from just 45% since 2014.
The study was conducted ahead of the 2017 launch of the Daman Corporate Health Awards, which has become an important benchmark of corporate health and wellness across businesses in the UAE.
“This is a great improvement from just a year ago, an encouraging sign that bodes well for not just the individual welfare of employees, but also the overall wellbeing of the company,” says Dr. Michael Bitzer, CEO at National Health Insurance Company – Daman, headline sponsor of the Daman Corporate Health Awards, organized by MEED which recognizes workplace wellness initiatives in the UAE.
Past winners of the annual awards programme have experienced major improvements in employees’ health and wellbeing as well as improved efficiencies and productivity in the workplace.
For instance, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, last year’s winner of the the Daman Award for Corporate Health and Wellness Initiative, reported a 10% increase in employee health and wellbeing as a result of their wellness initiatives and a reduction in employee absenteeism by 56%.
In addition, 20% of the workforce who participated in Sehati, the in-house wellness program of Dubai Chamber, have developed healthy habits that they can now maintain over time. According to Dr. Bitzer, recognizing these initiatives helps increase awareness about the growing importance of wellness programs in the workplace and encourages companies in both the public and private sectors to develop and implement similar programs.
Corporate wellness programs are also critical to addressing stress levels at work. According to the survey, majority of the companies said their employees have difficulty managing their workload and maintaining a work-life balance. But 52% said they have initiatives in place to combat stress among their employees.
Companies and organizations with wellness programs are encouraged to submit their entries to the 2017 edition of the Daman Corporate Health Awards through the following website www.corporatehealthawards.meed.com. The deadline is April 27, 2017.
© The Saudi Gazette 2017