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Employee well-being: key to performance and productivity

Employee well-being: key to performance and productivity

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, chronic stress affects our mood, memory, emotional processing and ability to focus – all of which in turn impacts our relationships and work productivity.

Supporting the mental well-being of your employees and helping them manage stress and anxiety is essential for a happy, productive workforce (and, as a result, a more successful business).

This case study reminds us that we’re often unaware of what’s going on in the lives of our employees, and can’t always know the emotional and mental distress they may be facing. Having counselling services in place for them to turn to confidentially can literally save lives.


An employee contacted the Life Health Solutions Employee Wellness Programme in 2020, reporting elevated stress levels and requesting face-to-face counselling. It came to light in their sessions with a well-being practitioner that they had recently been through a divorce, and that the nature of the marital relationship had damaged their self-esteem. The divorce also led to family tension and strained relationships. They felt unable to deal with their feelings, to the point of considering suicide as a means of escape.

Approach and findings

Early in the employee’s counselling journey, it became evident that they were experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, including disturbed eating and sleeping patterns, irritability, low mood, racing thoughts and a lack of enjoyment of activities they’d once engaged in happily. Health concerns, conflict with a new partner and single parenting all added to their emotional distress.

It was clear that the employee’s personal problems were impacting their ability to function in the workplace, too. They shared that they were struggling to focus on work tasks, felt demotivated and were not performing at their best.

The employee was referred to a specialist for medication and monitoring of depressive symptoms while continuing with face-to-face counselling. In total, they attended four sessions that focused on building:

  • Effective coping skills
  • Self-esteem
  • Stress management skills
  • Communication skills.


Upon completion of the counselling sessions, the well-being practitioner assigned to the case reported that the employee was better able to manage their life stressors. The employee reported feeling ‘like a changed person’ following the counselling and medical treatment. Unsurprisingly, their performance at work and their ability to complete day-to-day tasks had improved too.

To find out about Life Health Solutions integrated well-being services and our Employee Wellness Programme, get in touch on or 011 219 0000.


(2022). Retrieved 10 June 2022, from