By Palm River Hotel on 6 September 2023

Pioneering Staff Wellness

The hospitality industry is known for its fast pace and irregular hours. The hard work and dedication required from staff to maintain this rigour can take its toll, both physically and mentally. As employers, we’ve asked ourselves: What are our reciprocal responsibilities towards our invaluable staff members to ensure that work is a place that facilitates growth and prioritises their wellbeing?

In answer to this question, the Palm Hospitality Group (PHG) has launched a brand new comprehensive staff wellness strategy, putting policy into practice and championing employee health. The programme is already underway, with staff at both of our properties, Palm River Hotel and Ilala Lodge Hotel, enjoying regular access to health checks, dietary guidance, exercise programmes and coaching around general well-being.

The goal is simple: Healthy, happy staff equates to an excellent working environment which, in turn, directly improves service delivered to our guests!

Here’s how it works…

Health Checks Lay The Groundwork

The starting point for the PHG wellness push is a monthly health check-in conducted by the hotel’s medical aid healthcare provider. The checks measure key health metrics in staff like heart rate, BMI, blood pressure, etc. These results help to inform nutrition and exercise plans tailored to each staff member’s needs.

Regular check-ups also enable staff to monitor their personal progress and improve fitness levels in tandem with the exercise classes we provide.

Diet & Nutrition Changes To Fuel Body & Mind

Providing balanced, nutritious meals are a core component of the new staff wellness initiative.

Chefs at Ilala Lodge Hotel and Palm River Hotel are swapping out refined carbs, like white rice and bread, for energising whole grains, like brown rice and high-fibre breads. The hotels are also adding more vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats to staff menus.

Sweet pastries at teatime are being reduced and replaced with fresh fruit options, giving an energy boost without the sugar crash. However, regular treats will still feature; it’s about balance, after all. Along with healthier food options, staff are also provided with nutritional guidance to make informed meal choices outside of work hours.

Exercise Classes Build Camaraderie & Fitness

Staff are invited to participate in exercise programmes that take place twice a week, bringing together staff from all departments to build strength, cardio health, flexibility and general fitness.

Led by trained instructors, the sessions feature a rotating schedule of aerobics, Zumba, cardio exercises, stretching and other activities.

Staff look forward to each week’s classes, which offer a mental break, a rush of endorphins, and a chance to bond with co-workers, all the while working towards improving their personal health.

(Plus, it’s really fun.)

Reporting Positive Results

Since launching the wellness initiative, our hotels have received excellent feedback. Staff report having more energy to tackle shifts, along with better focus and concentration. Some members of the team also report a change in their physique and muscular tone as a direct result of the programme.

Fitness levels are improving across the board thanks to healthy eating and regular exercise – and an added bonus of the initiative identifies that the group exercises have boosted morale, camaraderie and connections between staff members. The programme fully embodies the wise saying, “Healthy body, healthy mind.” We firmly believe that when our staff members are feeling their best, they’re able to provide the highest quality of service to our valued guests.

Our team is now firing on all cylinders, with improved health fuelling their dedication to delivering a truly exceptional guest experience. We’re thrilled to support our staff’s wellbeing and see it translate into positive outcomes for both employees and hotel guests.

You can read about more thoughtful initiatives at Palm River Hotel here.

Stay With Us

Come experience exceptional, bespoke service at The Palm River Hotel on the edge of the Zambezi River. Browse our accommodation options and get in touch with our friendly reservations team at

Alternatively, make use of our online booking platform and get a jump start on your vacation to Zimbabwe.

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