Sanlam takes wellness seriously. Within the balance pillar of our Employee Value Proposition our investment in the multi-faceted Sanlam wellness programme – which includes Employee Assistance (EAP), online programme, health screening, targeted communications and special interventions – has increased in recent years. Pleasingly the investment is starting to show some return in the form of excellent participation levels and signs of positive behaviour change.

Sanlam wellness grew in 2015, and now includes all Sanlam advisors as well as MiWay. Over 17 500 people are now enrolled. Close to 5100 people have now completed a wellness assessment (online or at a wellness day or at a pharmacy). During the second quarter of 2015 health days were held at 21 sites and 1650 people were assessed for health risks – we partnered with our medical schemes in this initiative with some 600 Topmed, 400 Discovery, and 400 Bestmed members being screened.

2015 saw the Be Active campaigns, initially pioneered by Sanlam Employee Benefits and later offered across the group. This initiative saw an additional 400+ people completing wellness assessments within Employee Benefits and this same group became much more physically active (60% sedentary to 30% sedentary). More than 1100 activity monitors were handed out, prizes were awarded for performance and 4 lucky-draw winners were sent to the Cape Town marathon, all expenses paid. Overall, the campaign generated a great deal of enthusiasm and action so we will be rolling out an extended version in 2016.

Santam and MiWay are leading the way in the establishment of workplace primary health clinics, which offer medical care, family planning and health screening services. These deliver real value and convenience to employees. In addition, these clinics save everyone valuable time and early indicators suggest real business return here.

It’s one thing to see engagement & participation but what about actual impact? Are Sanlamers getting more well? Excitingly, it looks that way! For example, in a sample group of over 3300 people (where we have data from 2014 and 2015) we can see a huge improvement in exercise habits (46% active increasing to 77% active in a year with Group Office showing the best results) and the percentage of employees with high blood pressure dropped by 16%. Both of these are associated with productivity improvements of up to 5% (sounds small but it is real and meaningful).

In 2016 we will continue to deliver best-of-breed wellness programmes. Our confidential EAP counselling service will continue to offer professional support for a range of personal issues. The convenient pharmacy-based screening service will continue and there will also be wellness days at work. The very popular online service will continue to deliver valuable weekly emails and the best online programme available today. You will see a range of campaigns on topics and issues that we know are important to you, including Be Active 2016. We will introduce even more proactive interventions, targeting the biggest wellness concerns here at Sanlam, and aiming to help us all become better versions of ourselves.

There is still a great deal to be done and it remains true that we are really not as well as we could be. At least though, it is clear we want to be more well, most of us are doing something about it, and some real positive results can be seen.

We urge you to get well, or get more well!