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04 March 2021 | Story Leonie Bolleurs

Organisational Development and Employee Well-being in the Department of Human Resources at the University of the Free State will again present the successful ‘I Am’ employee wellness short-learning programme.

The programme is also supported by well-known South Africans, including Miss South Africa and Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, and the survivor and motivational speaker, Alison Botha. It has been developed to help improve the well-being of employees in all seven areas of wellness (physical, psychological, spiritual, environmental, emotional, social, and financial).  

You have control over your wellness

Strauss says it is important to look after your mental wellness in order to maintain balance and productivity at home and at work. According to her, employees who are thriving, happy and productive, set the table for a thriving organisation. 

Botha, who survived a horrendous crime in 1994, says we cannot always control what happens to us, but we always get to choose how to respond in these circumstances. The lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic is a good example; we cannot control the lockdown, but we can control our wellness during the lockdown. She recommends the ‘I Am’ employee wellness short-learning programme. “By choosing to take part in the programme, you can show yourself how much you value and care for yourself and for your wellness,” she says.

Carmine Nieman, industrial psychologist and counsellor from Organisational Development and Employee Well-being, says that, through various activities and methods, they aim to empower employees to increase their own personal and work-related well-being. She believes that this programme will further encourage employees to reach their full potential in both their work and personal lives.  
The central theme of this short-learning programme is: ‘I am … a great person with great potential’.  

Practical programme will motivate and inspire

According to Nieman, this is a registered eight-week short-learning programme that will require about two hours per week to complete one unit. “This programme will motivate and inspire employees to improve their well-being by participating in weekly sessions consisting of various activities developed to facilitate an improved understanding of well-being and to build skills in well-being.”

Completion of this registered programme will empower employees to not just increase their well-being in the present but will also equip them to increase their well-being in the future. – Carmine Nieman

This practical programme (where you complete certain activities to learn skills in well-being, e.g. coping, anger management, dealing with depression, dealing with anxiety, identifying strengths, self-care techniques, sleeping techniques, and EQ) will be presented online and will take approximately two hours of your time per week. The programme is very flexible, with no specific scheduled contact sessions, allowing you to complete it in your own time and space.

“Completion of this registered programme will empower employees to not just increase their well-being in the present but will also equip them to increase their well-being in the future,” she says. 

It is presented free of charge for employees of the UFS. 

Persons who are not UFS employees and who are interested in doing the programme, are also welcome. Although the programme opened for registration today (3 March 2021) and will start on 5 April 2021, companies from outside the university are welcome to negotiate their own specific dates that will suit the needs of their teams. Please contact Nieman to enquire about the cost. 

As it is a registered short-learning programme, all employees (both UFS and external employees) who participate in the programme will receive a certificate as well as credits upon completion of the course. 

For more information, please email: You are also welcome to direct questions to Nieman on 

See also graphic for more information.

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