Tomblin urges health and wellness support for workers

Tomblin urges health and wellness support for workers

Sunday, May 11, 2014

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PRESIDENT and CEO of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), Kelly Tomblin, has urged local business leaders to pay more attention to the health and wellness of their employees.

"When you put the human element back into human resources management, you are acknowledging the needs of the employees, so that they can perform better," Tomblin told guests at the recent 10th annual Environmental Health Foundation (EHF) Wellness and Lifestyle Awards Ceremony and Dinner, at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in Kingston.

"When employees feel recognised as more than just a number on a monthly report, they tend to give you more discretionary effort, or what's called 'citizenship behaviour', where they are supportive of other employees and of the organisation, as a whole,"
she said.

She said that as an added benefit, when the employees become more supportive of their managers, the managers' work becomes less stressful.

"Ultimately, the sooner you recognize all the drivers and the drainers that impact people and manage them, the sooner you will be able to create a high performing team," the JPS CEO said.

She added that by creating an integrated plan of action, leaders can strategically cultivate and leverage on-site resources to generate a healthier workforce and culture, as well as an improved financial bottom line.

She said that having recognised that its employees are constantly on a 24-hour, seven days a week call, which involves working in an hostile environment and dealing with issues outside of their control, the company has sought to improve the work climate and increase their desire to continue serving the company.

She said that the company has sought to improve their capability to deal with the challenges they are facing, by instituting a number of initiatives, including: establishing a health and wellness committee; providing free blood pressure and cholestoral check-ups; support gym membership; and is currently looking at introducing a blood pressure and stroke awareness programme.

These initiatives, she said, have helped to improve the morale of the staff and contributed to a much improved approach to their duties as well as the customers they interact with.

Several distinguished Jamaican companies and individuals received awards, including the prestigious Wellness & Lifestyle Awards which went to:

Deika Morrison in the "Educational Wellness" category, specifically for her role in early childhood development, through the establishment and implementation of Crayons Count, which benefits some 2,600 institutions and 130,000 children annually through much-needed, age-appropriate educational resources;

Spartan Health Club and Wellness Centre in the "Physical Wellness" category, for their work in promoting wellness, healthy lifestyles and physical fitness in Jamaica for almost 40 years;

And, Source Farm Foundation and Ecovillage in the "Environmental Wellness", for their efforts at preserving wildlife and botanical habitat, creating a lifestyle that regenerates, rather than diminishes, the integrity of the environment, and also for educating persons about organic farming, renewable energy technologies, and sustainable building.

Tomblin, who was the guest speaker at the function held last Wednesday, was presented with the special designation of EHF Wellness Ambassador 2014, the first such designation bestowed by the foundation.

EHF's project manager, Latoya Aquart-Foster, said that the JPS boss "exudes holistic wellness in all areas of her life, and that this was evidenced in "her social wellness and in her transformational leadership skills, which she uses to change lives, whether in her corporate or personal environment".

EHF wrapped up its 10th annual Wellness & Lifestyle promotion, under the theme "Wellness Redeveloped: From the inside out", on Saturday, May 2.

EHF is a private NGO dedicated to enhancing the quality of life through social outreach projects and programmes.

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