Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WellnessLabourHealth Medical

The 2017 Employee Health and Wellness Conference featured a common thread; the need to approach health and wellness in a new way.

    Issued by Perfect Word Consulting (Pty) Ltd

    The 2017 Employee Health and Wellness Conference was held in Sunninghill end February, and a common thread resonated through the proceedings. The need to approach health and wellness in a new way.

    “Over the years, organisations have come up with Employee Health Wellness Programmes as a compliance measure and not as part of organisational strategy. This is seen in the fact that a lot programmes seem to appear as demand rather than as a resource, and lack authentic buy in from senior management,” confirmed event organisers, Amabhubesi. “Unless strategically planned as an organisational initiative, health and wellness programmes will continue to run the risk of being marginalised and side-lined organisationally.”

    Liane McGowan, happiness guru, founder of Happy Monday CC and speaker at the event, offered a unique perspective on employee health and wellness for the 21st century. McGowan explored the physical and emotional work environments, considering how these concepts interplay to either improve or destroy productivity – and the importance of incorporating both aspects to create an effective health and wellness strategy. With a focus on changing corporate culture with the science of happiness, McGowan shared key tips on mental wellbeing and happiness in the corporate space.

    “Richard Branson once said ‘There is no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated’. This concept is so simple, yet in practice it can be incredibly complex; especially when it comes to staff interaction in this day and age,” said McGowan.

    She added that part of the challenge in creating happiness at work is that, to date, there is no universally known or fully agreed upon definition of an employee wellness campaign. “In the United States for example, research can be found on the benefits of employee wellness campaigns spanning many years, whereas in developing countries (including South Africa), it is one that is under researched and very unknown. This despite the fact that these campaigns are not a new concept, or a passing phenomenon.”

    McGowan believes that, when campaigns are poorly attended, your employees are trying to tell you something. They see no value in what is being offered. “To address this, we must strive to target the emotional aspect of employees’ lives, giving them added benefits that encourage laughter, fun and happiness within their workspace, developing good communication and social skills.”

    However, the approach cannot be that of a ‘copy and paste’ campaign. “This should rather be unique to each company and group of people, depending on the current state of their company culture,” concludes McGowan. “The science of happiness is changing the way we work, think and live – but if employees are not exposed to it, they cannot benefit from it. A comprehensive campaign is the only effective way forward for Corporate South Africa.”

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    Happy Monday CC offers the first South African wellness campaign that focusses on mental health and happiness at work, delivering employee wellness campaigns that make the difference! For more information please visit or contact Liane McGowan at

    Liane McGowan Biography:  

    Happy Monday CC was founded by happiness guru, Liane McGowan. She obtained a degree in Psychology through UNISA in 2012. Liane has worked as an operations manager with Currin’t Events for over 12 years, working directly with medium and large corporates in South Africa. During these years, Liane identified a need for a mental wellbeing focus and began researching the topic of happiness within the corporate space. Liane conducted her honours research report in 2010 on the prerequisites for successful retirement for adults over the age of 60; where she found that happiness in retirement was linked to happiness in the workplace.