WorkWell is a multidisciplinary research unit and graduate school of the North-West University, founded in 1998. In WorkWell, the emphasis is on research and postgraduate education in the field of the economic and management challenges facing South Africa in particular, and Africa in general. The focus is on identification and development of policies, measures and decision-support methodology to ultimately optimise utilisation of organisational resources such as information, people, finances and management, while maintaining a focus on issues of diversity and a developing economy. The research Unit draws on the expertise of researchers from all schools within the Faculty (Accounting Sciences, Business Management, Economics and Human Resource Sciences and the Potchefstroom Business School).
Part of the mission of WorkWell is to provide interesting and rigorous research aimed at a broader scientific understanding of the world of people's work. The focus falls on the study of work as it relates to the people performing it, work as it relates to the economic success of the country and continent, how business should be managed and developed to ensure such success, and lastly how finances can be managed to achieve these aims. Specific expertise exists regarding employee wellness and the application of economic decision-support models.
Through research activities, WorkWell contributes to a variety of spheres in the economy in terms of sharing expertise and research results. Staff members serve on advisory panels to private industry and directorial boards and enjoy recognition by serving on the editorial boards of various subject journals, and by acting as reviewers for a variety of national and international journals. Researchers also enjoy formal recognition in the form of ratings by the National Research Foundation, or informally by being involved in evaluation panels. Both academic and business-oriented workshops are a regular feature of our academic programme.
Owing to the increase in demand for the commercial application of WorkWell's intellectual property and cutting-edge research results in terms of employee wellness, it has proceeded with the creation of a private sector company, known as Afriforté (Pty) Ltd (www.afriforte.co.za). The latter is a dynamic empowerment company in which WorkWell retains shareholding. The purpose of Afriforte is to convert work wellness research into practical management tools that are culturally sensitive (equivalent and unbiased) and context-specific in order to promote and sustain economic growth in South Africa, and ultimately Africa, by creating work environments that promote productivity, safety and service excellence.