Monash University named world’s healthiest workplace

Monash wins health programs award

Monash University has won the 2016 Global Healthy Workplace Award in recognition of its healthy workplace programs, and contribution to workplace health, in the large employer category.

Now in its fourth year, it is the only international awards program dedicated solely to the recognition of healthy practices and programs in the workplace.

Speaking after the awards ceremony in Washington DC, Monash University’s Occupational Health Physician, Dr Vicki Ashton, said the award adds to the University’s national and international reputation as an employer of choice.

“We are delighted and honoured by the Global Healthy Workplace Award. It is tremendous recognition for Monash as a university that knows a healthy workplace directly contributes to an engaged, productive and healthy workforce,” Dr Ashton said.

Hosted by Washington DC’s American University, the 2016 Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit brings together leaders in global health and wellbeing from around the world to highlight the importance of employer health programs, establish best practice, discover emerging innovations in workplace wellbeing, and identify opportunities to replicate these initiatives in workplaces around the world.

As the capstone to the summit, the awards recognise those workplaces that have made the biggest impact on the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Monash University was shortlisted as one of three finalists in the large employer category. In good company, these finalists included Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil and Johnson & Johnson, Brazil.

Dr Ashton said that Monash is uniquely positioned to be proactive on important public health issues through its engagement with thousands of students, staff, alumni and the wider Monash community.

“The University values, supports and promotes programs and policies that improve the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of its employees and allocates the essential funds to support participation,” she said.

Following a formal written award submission, finalists were invited to present to an international judging panel in the US capital. These judges represent five continents and a combination of expertise in health promotion, health policy, occupational health and associated disciplines.

Applications were reviewed against the World Health Organisation (WHO) healthy workplace framework and model for action.

“The breadth and diversity of our Wellbeing at Monash programs, which cover the four pillars of physical health, mental health, nutrition and general health, was recognised by the panel as world leading,” Dr Ashton said.

The Wellbeing at Monash program is delivered across each of the University’s campuses, and is underpinned by a range of programs, services, policies and procedures. The core of the program is focused on equipping, facilitating and supporting employees to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing for the long term.

Major successes under the Wellbeing at Monash program include: the 10,000 Steps Challenge; targeted Staff Wellbeing Activity Programs (SWAP) that provide tailored physical activity classes; health risk reduction programs for cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, nutrition and stress; education programs for mental health and mindfulness; and the introduction of a smoke-free University in 2016, with fully funded quit support programs for both staff and students.

For more information, visit the Wellbeing at Monash website.