The First Global Healthy Workplace Awards Program

April 10-12, 2013 in London (


I am proud to be involved in the first truly global awards program in our field. Even more so, as it is closely aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Workplace Model for Action. As you may know, the model features four key „avenues of influence“ (see model below)




Go to for more information on the model.

Some of you may wonder, why another awards program? While a number of national awards programs exist (albeit mostly in developed countries) a global awards program with a focus on healthy workplaces does not exist. The recently unveiled WHO model provides a unique opportunity for our field to promote an approach to workplace health, which is comprehensive (see above) and follows a continuous improvement process. The latter is essential as too many programs unfortunately are not based on a systematic needs analysis and are not evaluated. According to the 2012 Global Survey on Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies only 36% of surveyed employers indicate they have measured specific outcomes from their health promotion programs.

Another key aspect of the Global Healthy Workplace Awards (GHWA) is to reach out to small and medium-sized employers (SMEs), also in line with WHO goals, therefore a dedicated category for SMEs has been created. And in order to not set the bar too high, a third category was created for „specialized programs“, meaning if an employer wasn’t able to cover all four components (or avenues of influence), but has been running an exemplary occupational health (i.e. physical work environment) or wellness program (i.e. personal health resources). These are encouraged to apply!

Furthermore, a key differentiating factor compared with other „one-off“ awards ceremonies is the development of a global platform and database, which will feature ongoing profiling of the Award winners to enable others to learn from, replicate and where appropriate support them, much in line with the mission of the Global Knowledge Exchange Network on Health (one of the hosts).

This background and the defined goals have led to strong support from leading global organizations and associations:

  • International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
  • International Association for Worksite Health Promotion (IAWHP)
  • International Institute for Health Promotion (IIHP) at American University in Washington, DC
  • International Union for Health Promotion & Education (IUHPE)
  • Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO)
  • Cigna Foundation

Lastly, our efforts continue to focus on making this awards program as global as possible (while being aware of the limitations given the varying levels of development in countries). This is visible with our judges panel, which represents five different continents, and this will guide our promotional efforts to make the Awards known across the globe. We count on your assistance and participation to achieve this ambitious global diversity goal.

If you are an employer and you feel you have a good healthy workplace program please apply for one of the awards. You may win and have the chance to come to London in the spring and meet with colleagues from around the world!


For more info go to