Corporate wellness programmes are becoming the norm as more and more companies recognise the advantages of having healthy employees. But in small businesses where budgets are tighter, these programmes often aren’t a priority. The irony is that in these start-up environments, employee burnout can happen even quicker than in large corporates – which makes a wellness programme even more important.
Ignoring your physical and mental health in favour of working yourself to the ground is something large corporates are realising is detrimental to productivity. But if you’re an entrepreneur who owns a small business, you most likely have a tight budget and resource constraints, which means you may find it harder to incorporate wellness into your company’s ethos.
It’s well worth doing though. Why? Absenteeism costs South Africa a whopping R16 billion per year*. In fact, 15%** of employees are absent from work on any given day!
So as a small business owner, how do you avoid these figures, and ensure happy healthy employees who are also productive?
The first step is not to think of corporate wellness as expensive – after all, we know not everyone can afford a company gym or personal trainers for every employee. However, there are other smaller measures that you can implement as an entrepreneur that will give you happier employees, lower staff turnover, increased productivity and fewer sick days.
Here are our suggestions:
1. Wellness Days
Many health problems can be prevented simply by education and providing awareness. Wellness Days at work are extremely convenient, as employees can have their BMI measurements taken and have tests for cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose without having to leave the workplace.
Any potential risks can then be identified and feedback given to them by an expert including any lifestyle changes they need to make.
2. Sitting is a Sin
We’re not designed to sit at a desk eight hours of the day; in fact, there’s even a new saying that “sitting is the new smoking”! 50-80% of people suffer from lower back issues and it is second only to headaches when it comes to painful disorders affecting humans.
Look at standing desks for some employees or invite a professional in to review the ergonomics or your staff members’ desks and chairs.
Related: 8 Awesome, And Strange, Offices
3. Get Active
South Africa ranks amongst the most obese nations in the world, with 60% of people not doing any form of exercise.
There are many ways to encourage your employees to get more physically active:
- Buy everyone a pedometer and create a weekly competition where the person who walks the most steps receives a small prize or cash incentive.
- Encourage exercise during work time: start a running club during your lunch hour or encourage people to cycle to work.
- Enter races as a group and sponsor every km run as a company – funds raised can go towards a good cause.
4. Give them their weekends back
As much as there are occasional emergencies, make it company policy that people should not send work emails after certain hours and definitely not on a Saturday or Sunday.
If there are urgent things to attend to, insist on phone calls or SMS as a way of communicating. This way you and your employees can spend your weekends relaxing and recharging for the week ahead. In the same way, encourage employees to take annual leave, and don’t give them the option to cash the days in.
5. Healthy Eating and Drinking Options
If you do have canteen facilities, ensure that there are healthy meal options available such as salads, wraps and fruit rather than only burgers, chips or fried foods. Get a water fountain or cooler so that filtered cold water is available and employees have other options rather than only coffee and tea to drink.
Running a growing business makes each and every staff member integral to your success, so nurturing their quality of life will only impact positively on enhancing their professional output.
The New Rules Of Customer Experience
Intelligent Experience Economy will change the rules of customer experience.
A PwC report identifies five rules organisations can follow to reimagine the customer experience in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. These rules are the action that organisations need to take if they want to be successful in this new era:
1. Make the customer journey your new chain
Most executives understand the importance of CX and have some form of customer strategy to address it. However, the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’ calls for significant action. Organisations will need to develop an enterprise-wide customer journey. Creating a common language and taxonomy around the customer that is universally adopted will spur CX transformation at scale and embed the customer in the core of the organisational culture.
2. Embed AI in the Customer Experience
Our research confirms that businesses understand the critical and still growing importance of ‘big data’ and analytics. However, having an analytics function. AI will be the dominant capability enabling companies to reimagine the CX in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. Embedding AI in the CX is a great opportunity for organisations. It can enable easier communication with customers, speed up transaction times, personalise customer experiences and significantly reduce customer service costs. Furthermore, organisations that have embedded AI will have unique access to customer data.
3. Connect Customer Experience to real value
Customer metrics are now commonplace in businesses. Although the metric is important, too many businesses see it as the end point instead of the starting point. CCOs assessing their CX transformation efforts must take into account how mature their organisation’s CX measurement maturity is.
For many, CX measurement is still immature – actively listening to customers and collecting feedback, but not taking action with CX initiatives. Organisations should develop real-time customer metrics.
4. Let the COO drive Customer Experience Change
The role of the COO needs to evolve if organisations are to execute on their ambitious goals for their CX visions in the next few years. The role of the COO will need to shift from ‘measuring the CX’ to being directive on the priorities to drive CX change. In order to be more directive, end-to-end capabilities will be needed within the organisations, framed around journey stages.
5. Ignite the core
To create real CX transformation – the COO cannot be successful alone. The challenge is about ‘igniting the core’ around CX. To ‘ignite the core’ organisations need to spread the CX vision with all leaders, managers, frontline employees and back office employees alike. Furthermore, organisations will have to establish partnerships across the value chain – including UX/CX experts, data analysis, AI architects, app developers, as well as project delivery partners.
How can organisations execute the customer experience?
Quinton Pienaar, PwC South Africa Customer engagement & Salesforce leader says, in order to be a leading customer experience organisation, companies will need to execute the customer experience at scale across the organisation. Customer strategy execution is transformational in nature and requires new capabilities, new ways of working and an entire organisation to be fully behind the new vision.
How To Immigrate With Your Family By Starting A Business In The UK
The simple way to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true in the UK.
Many people, especially those with families, are reluctant to up sticks and move to the UK. These would-be movers are often worried that they will not be able to secure employment in the hugely competitive UK job market. This source of stress alone is enough to discourage some from pursuing their dreams of living in the UK. But, there is an innovative and accessible solution.
The UK has several visa classes aimed at individuals who wish to invest in the country. These give an individual the right to live and work in the UK with their families, if they make a defined investment. A visa that interests South Africans is the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. We have developed our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme to help South Africans looking to immigrate to the UK alone, or with their families.
The basics of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
To be awarded a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you will need to invest at least R3,5 million (£200,000) in an existing UK business or one you start up. There are certain other requirements, but these are not particularly onerous, and most investors will qualify if they submit their application correctly.
The entrepreneur visa allows you to live and work in the UK, and take dependant family members with you, defined as your partner and your child under 18. If you have the capital, or are willing to liquidate your assets in South Africa to raise it, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is a great way to relocate your entire family to the UK.
Do note: You will need to make specific applications for each dependant, so it is vital you consult with an immigration expert before beginning the application process.
You’re not just immigrating, you’re investing in the UK
By starting or investing in a UK business as part of our programme, you will be granted the right to live and work in the UK, and earn an income from that business.
The business you invest in will want you to play an active role, not just contribute seed capital. If you want to invest in a business without being an active director you will be allowed to do so, but you may not be eligible for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.
Another restriction is that you cannot hold this visa and work for a business other than the one you are invested in. But, your partner will be allowed to work in whatever field he or she pleases.
How do you choose the right business to invest in?
There is always an element of risk when investing in a foreign business, particularly when you’re thirteen thousand kilometres away from the country you’re investing in. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re investing in before you take the plunge.
That’s why our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme is hugely beneficial. It matches your investment capital with a pre-approved investee business. We’ll make sure that your skills are matched with an appropriate venture so you can be an active director of that business.
We’ll also handle your visa applications, providing you with a comprehensive immigration and investment solution. Our partner’s list of investee businesses is over 200 strong, giving you an array of choices in various industries. This allows us to pair you with the business that best suits your investment goals and skills.
But what if you have a successful business in South Africa?
It’s no secret — emigrating from South Africa is difficult for many families who have deep roots and thriving operations. There’s no reason why you can’t keep your business in South Africa as well as relocate to the UK.
Nothing restricts a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holder from owning and overseeing businesses in other countries while they are on this visa. Many clients choose to relocate to the UK while ensuring that their original business continues to operate. In this way, you will be supplementing the income from your UK investment with revenue generated by your South African business.
You can hold British and South African passports if you apply for your British citizenship in the correct manner. You must obtain permission from Home Affairs in South Africa to avoid having your citizenship revoked. Retaining your South African citizenship will make it much easier for you to continue running a business here.
Talk to us today
There are compelling reasons to move to the UK — a brighter future for your children and a more stable country in which to retire. Our comprehensive solution will ensure you get the most out of your relocation.
If you’re thinking of immigrating to the UK or investing offshore — either or both — we can help.
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