- SLK ME
Better Health Among Middle Eastern Employees Can Start with Awareness
Countries in the Middle East and around the globe are increasingly embracing a modern definition of health that encompasses not just the absence of physical illness but an all-encompassing state of equilibrium between a person’s internal and external environments.
Some targeted actions by GCC countries point to growing recognition of the importance of promoting employee health and well-being. For example, the UAE has been an early adopter in integrating employee health and well-being into its governmental agenda by setting up the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing.
Further opportunities exist, on a systematic basis, for employers and governments across the region.
Actions, both preventive and reactive, taken by employers at three levels—organizational, team, and individual—could help to improve employee health and well-being in the GCC region.
Governments also play an important role in fostering health and well-being and in creating an environment for society to flourish and organizations to act. They could consider measures to prevent overall damage to individuals and the system, while having the infrastructure to react if symptoms have already materialized, such as:
ensure health and well-being is on their agendas at every level, clarify their aspirations, and craft action plans to drive innovation and impact.
boost awareness with an inspirational narrative (for example, a campaign reinforcing the importance of employee health) and foster dialogue to reduce stigma.
define regulatory standards for psychological health and safety in the workplace (for example, possible penalties for organizations that fail to comply)
The role of happiness
UAE has developed clear positioning and ambitions regarding 90 initiatives supporting its National Wellbeing Strategy. Among those are a Happiness and Wellbeing Policy Bundle, which sets guidelines and requirements for all groups in society; the Network of Happiness and Wellbeing chief officers working on developing programs promoting health and well-being at the workplace, where participants must achieve a Happiness and Wellbeing diploma; and the Global Dialogue for Happiness and Wellbeing raising overall awareness and fostering alignment among governments and organizations.