Sanlam pioneers digital employee wellness through its Umbrella Fund
Gary Allen, CEO of Sanlam Health Solutions and Nzwa Shoniwa, Managing Executive: Sanlam Umbrella Fund
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked innovation in many industries, including the retirement and employee benefits sector. Sanlam Umbrella Solutions and Sanlam Health Solutions have collaborated to become one of the first financial services companies to add a basket of health and wellness benefits for umbrella fund members.
Gary Allen, CEO of Sanlam Health Solutions says since the onset of the pandemic, the correlation between worker well-being and productivity has become a lot clearer. “With absenteeism costing the South African economy an estimated R15-billion, and 15% of the workforce taking sick leave daily, companies are investing more in their employees’ health than ever before to achieve better business results.
“This has opened up the opportunity to extend existing employee benefit offerings to include new or enhanced health and wellness offerings. An effective programme can improve employee engagement and wellbeing, decrease high employee turnover and absenteeism, decrease healthcare costs and enhance customer service levels,” says Allen.
As leaders in the Umbrella Fund Space, Sanlam provides companies with the means for their employees’ to save for retirement in a cost-efficient way. Nzwa Shoniwa, managing executive: Sanlam Umbrella Fund, says the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a system of specialised services aimed at empowering employees to make positive lifestyle changes, and enhance their physical and mental wellbeing and productivity, while assisting them through possible difficult situations.
“The offering is closely aligned with Sanlam’s goal of providing innovation with purpose. It delivers a high quality and cost-effective platform to provide support via professional 24/7 counselling services through multiple channels, engage with clients through data-driven programme management and provide personal growth opportunities through continuous proactive clinical tools.
“Additional benefits of the programme include face-to-face individual counselling as well as group trauma interventions where needed.”