The FINANCIAL -- This spring,
London will host the first Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit to
find the world’s healthiest workplaces – those using the most
innovative programs and practices to make the biggest impact on the
health and well-being of employees and their surrounding communities.
Sponsored by the Cigna Foundation, The Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit will be held April 10-12 in London at the Waldorf Hotel. As WebWire said, this is the only awards program dedicated solely to the recognition of practices and programs in the global workplace, and the first to use the World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Workplace guidelines. Workplace health program submissions from around the world are being solicited and reviewed by an international panel of judges from the health promotion, health policy, and occupational health and associated disciplines. Entries are being reviewed as judges select the best programs and practices for worldwide dissemination and replication.
The entire project to find the world’s healthiest workplaces is underwritten through a grant from the Cigna Foundation, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary year of giving by focusing on global health.
“Communities and workplaces around the world are facing rising chronic disease and escalating health care costs. Cigna is convening global experts to shine a light on best practices that will make workplaces more productive and competitive and in doing so, will improve the state of global health,” said Dave Guilmette, president of Cigna’s Global Employer Segment.
The Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit is being managed by the Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) in association with two international organizations with extensive health experience, International Health Consulting and i-genius. GKEN represents a global network of business and government executives focused on exchanging knowledge about better health systems practices. International Health Consulting provides specialist advice on workplace health with a focus on multi-national employers. With members in more than 200 countries, i-genius is a world community of social entrepreneurs.
The basis for the awards criteria is the WHO Healthy Workplace Framework, which is specifically targeted to employers worldwide and intended to create greater awareness of workplace health and encourage workplaces to implement programs following the WHO model. The WHO model covers four main avenues of influence: physical work environment, psychosocial work environment, personal health resources and enterprise-community involvement. Awards will be given in three categories: large employers, small and medium-sized enterprises and organizations that excel in one of the four areas of the Healthy Workplace model.
The two-day summit will include the identification of emerging and better practices. The finalists will have an opportunity to share ideas with the summit’s attendees. The second day will be devoted to presentations and dialogue related to workplace and community health among global business and health leaders.
The recognition of the importance of workplace health promotion programs has evolved over the past half century and today is recognized as essential to improving the health and well-being of workers and communities around the world. Improving the health of the workforce not only improves the health of the community, but raises productivity and reduces cost to the organizations that employ such programs. Today, successful workplace programs have been recognized as an integral part of addressing the growing worldwide epidemics of diabetes, hypertension, smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise that threaten the global population today as much as hunger did in previous centuries.