The next question you should ask yourself is: Should I be doing something about it? The answer should be YES!
Organisations focus on wellness, and depend on HR to deliver on employee well-being programmes and initiatives. This is part of the organisation success and healthy employees. But sometimes the employees of the organisation, especially those who suffer from severe illnesses like cancer need more support from their organisations.
According to research done by Macmillan about 750 000 people, of the 2 million currently diagnosed with cancer, are of legal working age. This makes the “cancer” issue a business sensitive one. It is important as an HR professional to be educated on this topic and how this leads to excessive cost for the organisation. You should also understand the connection between employee health, productivity and absenteeism.
Addi’s campaign, FOREVER CHANGED, clearly articulated about:
In this training session Addi spoke about her personal experience with cancer, what she has learned in this time, her reflection of her life after being diagnosed and how she decided to use this knowledge as a foundation to build her campaign on.
This session included a 50 minute documentary of cancer “warriors”, and the story of their care takers , who told us more about life after diagnoses and how they have dealt with this life changing news. David Salomon, Addi’s partner and co-founder of the FOREVER CHANGED GLOBAL AWARENESS campaign, explained the importance of nutrition and the decisions we make about our diets that can prevent cancer.
They also explained the importance of taking self responsibility for your body and what you consume, and to rather be proactive in the prevention of cancer than only treating it after you’ve been diagnosed.
The SABPP supports David, Addi and the FOREVER CHANGED campaign because we believe that as HR professionals, we should be concerned about our employees overall well-being, including their health. Cancer is one of the most common illnesses in South Africa and it’s effects on South African organisations cannot be ignored.
Says Marius Meyer, CEO of SABPP: “We fully support the Forever Changed Campaign in raising awareness and educating people about the imperative of dealing with cancer in a more holistic and integrated manner. People have options, and they need to be informed of all the options available to them. In particular, I invite HR and Wellness Managers to become involved in this initiative. For SABPP this initiative is a great opportunity for organisations in support of their efforts to apply the national HR standard on employee wellness. In fact, this issue is so important, it is a matter of life and death.”
As the professional body responsible for HR professional practice, SABPP wants to emphasise, to all HR professionals, that being aware of this illness is not enough. As an HR professional you have to really understand this illness and what it does to your employee physically as well as emotionally. You should also be aware of ways to prevent as well as ways to alleviate the impact of cancer and then educate your employees on this.
HR Managers interested in joining the campaign to support their staff and family members, can contact the SABPP on firstname.lastname@example.org The SABPP Cancer in the Workplace Programme in partnership with the Foreverchanged Campaign will be formally launched on 22 August in Johannesburg.
Lathasha Subban is Head of Knowledge & Innovation at SABPP and Chrisna Minnaar is an HR student at the University of Pretoria.