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Boosting employee wellbeing growth and engagement

Caring for staff wellbeing: Cipla Foundation partners with Free To Grow

The CIPLA Foundation envisions an equitable world, built on the foundation of ‘Caring for Life’. They strive to make a tangible difference in people’s lives – through initiatives in health, education and disaster response.

The opportunity

The Sha’p Left initiative, launched by the Cipla Foundation, supports the National Department of Health’s Dablapmeds programme by providing infrastructure for a dignified and convenient medication collection experience. Sha’p Left operators, fondly nicknamed Sha’pies, operate from innovative containerized units in various communities, enabling stable patients to collect medication quickly and easily without missing work or losing income.

Inga Hendrickse, HR Business Partner at the Cipla Foundation, recognises the importance of staff wellbeing and resilience in everyday life and in the context of the project.

“We value our team immensely and care about their health and happiness. Our aim is to look after our Sha’pies, by focusing on their physical and mental health and equipping them with tools to adapt to change and cope with challenges.”

This led the Cipla Foundation to collaborate with Free To Grow (FTG), specialists in employee

wellbeing, engagement and growth, to rollout Staying Strong, a programme that promotes

wellbeing and resilience.

Staying Strong, a gift of care

In late 2022, Free To Grow partnered with Cipla South Africa to equip their leaders with the

tools and skills to demonstrate their care and positively impact the wellbeing of their teams.

During this initiative, Free To Grow’s CEO and Founder, Alinda Nortje, was introduced to

Inga Hendrickse, HR Business Partner at the Cipla Foundation. To support the Foundation’s

meaningful work, Free To Grow sponsored its Staying Strong programme, offering it free of

charge to employees working at the Sha’p Left initiative. Eight workshops were held in Gauteng

and KwaZulu Natal for 120 pick-up point operators.

Giving back to a cause that aligns with Free To Grow’s values is a great privilege and

an opportunity to touch more lives and communities.

The feedback

“If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s the need for resilience in every aspect of

our lives,” says Inga. “As part of Cipla’s ethos of ‘Caring for Life’, we recognise the need for

wellness initiatives and learning interventions that focus on wellbeing and engagement. So,

we embraced the opportunity to roll out the robust and thought-provoking Staying Strong

programme created by industry leader Free To Grow.”

Feedback from the Sha’pies has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants noting the

value of learning important life skills and gaining practical tools to deal with stress.

Here’s how participants rated their experience of Staying Strong:

“I found the Staying Strong programme to be an incredibly riveting experience. It helped me regain focus, and structure and brought about the perfect balance between career, company and family. By applying the tools, I can tackle issues in the workforce with re-energized creativity and a problem-solving mentality.”

Marileen Moonsamy, Data Quality Assistant (DQA), Durban

"The workshop impacted me a lot, helping me identify problems as well as achievements. It has improved my life, to the point where I can see the challenges I am going through and how I have overcome them. I feel happier after this course and have learned to keep on pushing through challenges. The programme has helped to significantly reduce stress and better understand the skills to utilize to solve problems.”

Siphiwe Chauke, Pick-up Point Operator, Tembisa Main, Gauteng

“It’s been very beneficial. Providing us with a toolkit of skills that we can use to analyse situations, identify obstacles and opportunities, and improve interactions with people, has helped to boost confidence in our abilities. We were also equipped with the knowledge to face our fears and given practical tips on how to live a healthier life. I am truly grateful and inspired to know that we have an organisation that contributes to our wellbeing.”

Yolene Pillay, Pick-up Point Operator, Arena Park, Durban

Reflecting on the impact of the programme, Inga shared the following:

“Where do I begin? Our employees absolutely loved the experience. The FTG facilitators were excellent and delivered an outstanding programme, with deep, meaningful conversations and high engagement. We believe our employees are better equipped to handle any challenges and setbacks. We are seeing our teams grow from strength to strength, together. Employees are learning how to better support each other through challenging times, improving their overall well-being, collaboration and performance at work.
It has been a pleasure partnering with Free To Grow on these important topics and building skills that support our employees. We are grateful. Thank you!”


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