By Alungile Boqwana
In collaboration with Company Wellness Solutions (CWS), Rhodes University hosted a two-day staff event last week, followed by a fun outing on Friday. The main objective of the event was to educate employees about the RUWELL Employee Wellness App and how they can benefit from it.
Schalke van der Merwe, Director of Learning and Development at Rhodes University, said health-related challenges among Rhodes University employees not only affect employee well-being but also productivity. The partnership with CWS seeks to provide a health application for employees and the eight designated beneficiaries to help them address these challenges.
Carrisa Naidoo, Director of Customer Success at CWS gave a presentation focused on informing the public about the services offered by the CWS app. CWS specializes in employee assistance programs such as fitness, health, and team building to help employees improve their overall health and well-being. Naidoo said they have assisted more than 250 customers and assisted over 200,000 employees with daily challenges; Their goal is to “increase productivity and reduce absenteeism while ensuring customers feel valued and appreciated.”
An employee wellness program includes support to improve physical, social, emotional, financial, and spiritual health. It offers a wide range of services, such as trauma counseling, legal counseling, debt counseling, online health support from dietitians and personal trainers, and much more. It offers it in many added values, ranging from live instant chats to a unique status tracker.
The Debt Assistance Service offers many financial solutions to help employees with their finances. It includes personal debt counseling sessions from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is worth noting that this is not only for debtors but also for those interested in learning more about how to improve the budget. Naidoo emphasized that advisors do not provide investment advice.
Counseling is provided to employees who deal with legal issues such as criminal offenses, property matters, contracts and divorce. Consultants provide unlimited legal advice and documentation to clients, reducing the stress associated with legal disputes.
Additional services include fitness and nutrition advice for employees who want to achieve their physical goals through calorie counting and customized exercise routines.
Access to a type of meditation known as “directed energy” can help users better deal with the challenges of their daily work.
Journals are another feature that can be accessed via the app, and it encourages employees to write down their feelings. These entries may be referred to a counselor to help employees better understand their feelings. All services are available in multiple languages and suit all population groups. All advisors are registered with HPCSA.
Besides downloading the app or using the web platform, employees can access the services using the USSD function by dialing *134*1449#. This service is available on all mobile phones that support SMS. Employees can ask an expert to call them back by entering their phone numbers and selecting the category they need help with. The toll-free number is also available.
Van der Merwe concluded, “The stresses associated with work and health care are increasing, and the importance of organizational wellness cannot be overstated.”
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