Workplace Wellbeing Initiative Resources

Workplace Wellbeing & Mental Health Real Talk Series, 2023

The Workplace Wellbeing Real Talk Series, 2022

The Workplace Wellbeing Real Talk series was developed in order to foster an authentic dialogue around sensitive workplace issues – and help organizations understand the real stories behind the statistics we see in various workplace-related reports. In short, we created this series to humanize workplace wellbeing.

Burnout at the Leadership Level

What it looks and feels like, the sources of it, how to overcome it, and what organizations can do to prevent it from happening to their employees.

The Reality of the Chief Wellbeing Officer

In this Global Wellness Institute Workplace Wellbeing Initiative webinar, Nuz Chagan, Head of Wellbeing Strategy at Govox Wellbeing and leader of Let’s Improve Workplace Wellbeing CIC, interviews Hannah Pearsall, Head of Wellbeing at Hays, and Talya Landau, Global Wellbeing Lead from Wix.

They discuss what the role of Chief Wellbeing Officer in today’s climate entails, the characteristics, qualities and experience that need to be focused on to recruit a successful CWO, what the demands and remit of a CWO are, and the impact of having a CWO. The CWO role may go by other titles such as Head of Workplace Wellbeing, Head of Employee Wellbeing Strategy, among others.

From Disconnected to Connected: Bringing Spirit into the Workplace

Never have organizations been faced with the unprecedented challenges of burnout, employee disengagement with their work, and voluntary quit rates. Never have employees reported such low levels of happiness, dissatisfaction with their work, and feelings of loneliness and isolation. In this Real Talk, global wellbeing experts from the Workplace Wellbeing Initiative discuss how to enliven the spirit of our work lives and workplaces by sharing practical ways to foster higher levels of connection with ourselves, our coworkers, our work, and the world at large.

Workplace Wellbeing Infographic

Where is wellness at work today? Where has it been?
And where it is going?

This infographic tells the story in a snapshot.
We hope you find it useful as you explore wellness approaches for your organization.



Chief Wellbeing Officer Job Template

Building and maintaining a culture of wellbeing in the workplace where employees thrive is more critical than ever. It’s no longer enough for companies to have narrow “wellness programs” – instead, they must develop robust, long-term culture strategies. And “wellbeing” must be a whole-person approach – encompassing employees’ mental, emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing.

In addition, the responsibilities outlined in this role deserve full focus and we invite organisations to be open minded and innovative when deciding how and where this role should reside within the organisation. The autonomy, attention and responsibility will make a difference when it comes to execution and delivery of strategy.

This template was developed in order to provide employers with a template for an executive level role designated to employee wellbeing. This can be modified in order to fit the needs of your organisation. It’s important that this role remains as a senior or executive level position to ensure a role in organisational decision-making. In addition, we’ve included an exhaustive list of bullet points to provide the organisation with options.

Click here to download the template.

Workplace Wellbeing Standards

The Workplace Wellbeing Initiative has launched a series of Workplace Wellbeing Standards that address specific topics that are top of mind for most organizations. You can think of these standards as a checklist for your organization. Workplace Wellbeing is complex, and so these standards have been developed with the intention of clarifying what workplace wellbeing means, the various elements that contribute to a “well workplace” and the actions that organizations can take to improve it. And in addition to the standards that are laid out, each document also includes a list of suggested reading and resources to help expand your understanding of each particular topic.

Access all SIX standards here.

  1. Return to Work Standards: The purpose of the Return to Work (RTW) standards is to help organizations take a strategic and well-thought-out approach to the transition back to the office that takes into account the ways in which the fundamental “nature of work” has changed. While it was an upheaval for us all to embrace remote work in early 2020, there have been some unanticipated ‘quality of life’ benefits from the flexibility that came from remote work that has contributed to employees’ well-being – and these benefits should be retained. It is our intention that these standards be seen as guidelines that can be fluid and adaptable for the optimum RTW policies and procedures that suit each organization based on their space, employee needs, work requirements, environment, and bottom line.
  2. Work-Life Integrity Standards: One of the definitions of integrity is… the state of being whole and undivided. We use the term work-life integrity because employees deserve more than just balance. Balance is a component of work-life integrity but doesn’t speak to the fundamental desire of human beings to feel “whole.” When someone has work-life integrity, it means that they feel empowered in all areas of their life and that they are able to give the time and attention they desire to each of those areas. We aim to encourage all organizations to implement these standards in order to fully respect employees’ lives in their entirety and to encourage employees to become fully personally responsible for how they manage their lives.
  3. Physical Wellbeing Standards: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) defines physical wellness as nourishing a healthy body through exercise, nutrition, stress management and sleep, which also improves mental wellbeing as a result. The purpose of this physical wellness standard is to support businesses and leaders with a strategic and holistic approach to enhance the physical wellbeing of its employees with a consistent and proactive approach that allows all individuals the opportunity to thrive at work and at home.  Whilst physical wellness has sometimes been considered the responsibility of the employee, forward thinking businesses are now looking for opportunities in policy, communication, leadership, culture and education to support the physical wellbeing of their people, as it is not only the moral thing to do but it is good for business.
  4. Learning and Development StandardsGallup research has proven that one of the primary drivers of employee retention is having opportunities to learn and grow. This standard focuses specifically on that element of a thriving workplace. Employees, even at the levels of leadership, need to have ways to grow their skills, expertise, and feel that they are moving closer to their career aspirations and life goals. In this document, we outline a variety of elements of training, development and broader education that ensure employees are feeling fulfilled and energized to do their very best work.
  5. Financial Wellbeing Standards: Poor Financial Wellbeing costs the UK economy in excess of £4bn a year. 1 in 4 employees have one month’s savings – this impacts financial resilience.  With 44% not feeling secure in their job, the impact of stress, anxiety and depression related to the possibility of losing one’s job is having an impact: 3 in 4 rank pensions as the most valuable employee benefit; 2 in 5 do not feel in control of their financial future. This standard relates to investing in the financial wellbeing of employees so they can thrive.
  6. Built Environment StandardsThe Global Wellness Institute (GWI) defines the built environment to include all physical and internal environments and structures where people work and thrive. Long before the pandemic, research on the determinants of health indicates that external and environmental factors may be responsible for 80–90% of our disease risks and health outcomes. A wellness-focused built environment can benefit our health and wellbeing in many ways. These standards will continue to align with Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) metrics and provide a path to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are aimed to bring a global perspective to pursuing sustainable ways of where and how we work and be context driven with an awareness of adaptation. We look forward to updating this document as new categories emerge from markets and reporting requirements progress around infrastructure and the interconnections with human capital. They are intertwined with many of the other standards produced by the Workplace Wellbeing

Email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or feedback.

Workplace Wellbeing Expert Directory

Part of our goal as an initiative is to make Workplace Wellbeing more understandable AND accessible for companies. As a result, our team is constantly looking for people who are experts in wellbeing who provide services to organizations. In this directory you’ll find a continuously growing database with information about the individuals, their services, their expertise and their contact information.

Click here to gain access.

Workplace Wellbeing Events

November 10–13, 2020 – The virtual Global Workplace Wellness Summit 2020, is a chance to engage in rich dialogues on workplace wellness with a global perspective. The summit will host two roundtables exploring the wellness mindset at work and the other exploring the adoption of the wellness competencies at work. Plus, the summit will offer six additional tracks this year, including: 1. personal wellness & resilience, 2. emotional & mental health, 3. diversity inclusion & interpersonal relations, 4. designing wellness system, 5. the neuroscience of wellness, and 6. leadership strategies for working well. Learn more and register at: Global Workplace Wellness Summit

January 30, 2019 – International Association for Worksite Health Promotion (IAWHP) Free Webinar: “Engaging the Middle Manager in Safety to Achieve Well-Being Presenter: Joel Spoonheim, Director of Health Promotion, HealthPartners
No matter the incentive, gadget or program, it’s a person’s supervisor who sets the tone for safety, productivity, and wellness. Taking lessons from mature safety and management systems, we’ll explore their application from creating sustainable well-being programs that measurably improve results. Engaged middle managers create the culture and environment that nurture high-performing, healthy employees.

March 6, 2019 – Global Women for Wellbeing (GW4W) in London – In honor of International Women’s Day
We have speakers from a wide variety of industries coming together to celebrate and inspire.  It is a night of sharing what we’ve accomplished and some of the barriers we need to address. We’ll touch on the superwoman syndrome and sharing ways to be more intentional inclusive for women and men from all backgrounds.

March 21, 2019 – Call for Peer Presentation / Poster Submissions – Research or Case Study
Abstracts for the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion Preconference on Worksite Health Promotion on March 21, 2019. Poster presentations will showcase research, innovative ideas and best practices in worksite health promotion. Students and professionals are encouraged to submit. Submission Deadline – Friday, February 15, 2019.

March 28, 2019 – Global Women for Wellbeing (GW4W) in Philadelphia
For true gender equity in the workplace, we need to recognize how our mental health and wellbeing is connected to our ability to lead and how those issues impact how we are seen as leaders. That includes how bad stress and other barriers unique to women disproportionately impact the overall mental health of the workplace and it’s impact on getting more women into leadership.

May 15, 2019 – MDA’s Wellness Fair
MDA’s wellness fair is being held May 15th from 9:30 – 2:30.  At this annual event we invite speakers on various wellness topics for our staff.  MDA has a long history of leadership in the workplace wellness arena.  We value the tangible and intangible benefits that a healthy workplace can offer.

Workplace Wellbeing Articles & Reports

2020 – Creating a Culture of Health: This link from the Consumer Goods Forum shares insights from global reports and businesses leading the way in employee health, including: new research on what employees really think of their employers’ efforts; case studies for how leading companies are transforming workforce wellbeing; and, a definition for “culture of health” along with a step-by-step guide to creating it.

2020 – COVID-19, Business Group Health: This link from the Business Group on Health provides fact-based resources for employers for effectively navigating the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 – Wellness in the Workplace: Supporting Multiple Generational Needs in Canada
This article provides an overview of practices to support health and wellness programs that effectively resonate with employees across all generations in Canada.

2019 – Mental Health, Global Issue, World Economic Forum Strategic Intelligence publication: The global cost of mental health conditions (and related consequences) is projected a rise to $6 trillion by 2030, from $2.5 trillion as of 2010, according to a study published by the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health. That would make the cost of poor mental health greater than that of cancer, diabetes, and respiratory ailments combined. While mental health-related issues continue to have a serious impact on productivity and economic well-being, opportunities to improve awareness, analysis, and treatment abound.

2019 – Burnout is an official medical diagnosis, World Health Organization says
Extreme work stress has long been embedded in the cultural lexicon; it might now be codified in your medical records as well. Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis, according to the International Classification of Diseases, or the ICD-11, the World Health Organization’s handbook that guides medical providers in diagnosing diseases. By CNN.

2019 – 11 Ways to Cultivate an Organization in Which People Truly Thrive.
Mental well-being is everyone’s responsibility—but as a leader, it should be at the top of your agenda. By Renee Moorefield, PhD, CEO of Wisdom Works Group Inc. & Chair of the Wellness at Work Initiative for the Global Wellness Institute. 14 May 2019.

2019 – The 2019 Global Happiness and Well-Being Policy Report
The 2019 Global Happiness and Well-Being Policy Report is produced by the Global Happiness Council (GHC) and contains papers by expert working groups on happiness for good governance. This report provides evidence and policy recommendations on best practices to promote happiness and well-being. Governments that support wellbeing create a healthier environment for organizations and people.

2019 – What Works Wellbeing Centre’s Searchable Wellbeing Database
The independent collaborative, What Works Wellbeing Centre, completed 16 systematic reviews on wellbeing, including its links to culture, sport, work, learning, and community. This ‘knowledge bank’ is the Centre’s very early step to bring all the main findings, the evidence statements and gaps from these reviews together into one searchable excel spreadsheet.

2019 – You Snooze, You Win: Why Organizations Should Prioritize Having a Well-Rested Workforce
Organizations often devote significant resources to upskill their workforce, through internal and external training opportunities. They also spend quite a lot of time, attention, and money trying to identify sources of competitive advantage. However, these organizations may be overlooking a powerful way to potentially upskill and gain competitive advantage, which could be accessed much more readily, and at far less expense, than broad-scale training and innovation initiatives: having a well-rested workforce.

2019 – Mental Health at Work
Mental Health at Work is a website resource for employers, small and large, operating in the United Kingdom. At this site, you’ll find documents, guides, tips, videos, courses, podcasts, templates and information from key organisations across the UK, all aimed at helping you get to grips with workplace mental health.

2019 – Building a Culture of Health at Merck
There is increasing evidence that a healthy and safe workforce can provide a competitive business advantage. This article shares the efforts and experience of a large global employer as it builds on existing corporate wellness and safety programs to develop a corporate culture of health and well-being. Starting with a comprehensive review of the current state of employee health and culture, a small team established the business case, aligned strategic partners, created an implementation plan, and engaged the C-Suite. The aim of this article is to provide a case study that others might use to design their blueprint, to gain awareness and to build a culture of health and well-being within their organization

2018 – Does the World Really Need Another Health App?
In this commentary, the Canadian authors explore both the unique benefits and challenges of health app technologies, examine the qualities of successful health behaviour change programs and make the argument that positive, long-term health behaviour change is best supported by comprehensive programs that take a more integrated approach and are personalized to the needs of their participants.

2018 – HERO Scorecard Progress Report
2018 HERO Scorecard Progress Report, featuring a compilation of quarterly insights from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in collaboration with Mercer.

2018 – Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association holds 2nd Industrial Women congress
Eva Velez

2018 – Public Health and the workplace: a new era dawns
Public health research into workplace-related health has now entered a new era. Establishing reliable evidence about what works to advance health, and perhaps more importantly what does not, offers the prospect for transformational change. The aim now will be to persuade employers that the health of their employees is an investment not a cost.

2018 – Digital Therapeutics: The Future of Behavioral Health
A CEO’s Perspective on Enterprise-Wide Agility to Achieve Organizational Excellence
By Les C. Meyer, MBA

Health Enhancement Resource Organization ‘HERO Health

2018 – Happiness Council
The Global Happiness Policy Report is produced by the Global Happiness Council (GHC) and contains papers by expert working groups on happiness for good governance. This report provides evidence and policy recommendations on best practices to promote happiness and well-being.

2018 Handbook of Well-Being
Noba Scholar

2017 – The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science
There are few things more moving than an act of compassion and few things more necessary than compassion in today’s world—and in the world of work. Fortunately, the science of compassion has emerged as a robust field of study. The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science is the first academic handbook on the science of compassion to date. Edited by esteemed professionals Emma M. Seppälä, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Stephanie L. Brown, Monica C. Worline, C. Daryl Cameron, and James R. Doty, this Handbook brings together well-established scholars and rising stars in the field—thereby bridging a wide variety of diverse perspectives, research methodologies, and theory. Together, these expert voices illustrate the mechanisms behind one of the most profound of human experiences: helping another human being out of suffering, even at one’s own cost.

2017 – Workplace Wellness Goes Beyond ROI
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

2017 – A Compelling Case for Working A lot Less

2017 – The Art of Health Promotion, Linking Research to Practice
American Journal of Health Promotion

2016 – Building the Case for Mindfulness in the Workplace
While there is still much research to be done, mindfulness is already a promising innovation in the workplace context with an early but rapidly evolving evidence base. The Mindfulness Initiative in the United Kingdom shares their insights in this 2016 report.

April 25, 2016 – <The Personal & Organizational Costs of Lack of Sleep
By Anna Bjurstam, Vice President of Spas & Wellness, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas & Partner, Raison d’Etre & Operating Advicor, Pegasus, Sweden

April 5, 2016 – Driving Cultural Transformation With Wellbeing Innovation: Wisdom from Visionary Tracy Gaudet, M.D.
By Renee Moorefield, CEO, Wisdom Works,Global Wellness Institute Chair, Wellness at Work & CoChair, Wellness and Government

March 29, 2016 – What’s In A Name? New Titles Emerging In Business Leadership
By Renee Moorefield, CEO, Wisdom Works,Global Wellness Institute Chair, Wellness at Work & CoChair, Wellness and Government

March 8, 2016 – Ready to Boost Effectiveness And Wisdom Of Your Leaders? Try Mindfulness!
By Renee Moorefield, CEO, Wisdom Works,Global Wellness Institute Chair, Wellness at Work & CoChair, Wellness and Government

February 2016 – Corporate Health and Wellness and the Financial Bottom Line
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

February 2, 2016 – 8 Predictions About The Future Of Wellness And Work: Are Your Leaders Ready?
By Renee Moorefield, CEO, Wisdom Works, Global Wellness Institute Chair, Wellness at Work & CoChair, Wellness and Government

February 2016 – The Future of Wellness at Work Research Report
By Global Wellness Institute

2015 – The Mindful UK Report
The Mindful UK Report, the first policy document of its kind, seeks to address mental health concerns in the areas of education, health, the workplace and the criminal justice system through the application of mindfulness interventions.

November 13, 2015 – Wellness at Work Research Report, 2015
Presented at the Global Wellness Summit 2015, Mexico City by Katherine Johnston, Senior Research Fellow, GWI; Senior Economist, SRI International, U.S. and Ophelia Yeung, Senior Research Fellow, GWI; Senior Consultant, SRI International, U.S.

November 6, 2015 – Workplace Wellness: What do Employees Really Want?
Mary Ellen Rose, PhD, Founder, Chief Science Officer at Institute for Healthy Destination Accreditation

October 6, 2015 – Workplace Wellness: What Is Its Future?
By Renee Moorefield, CEO, Wisdom Works, Global Wellness Institute Chair, Wellness at Work & CoChair, Wellness and Government

September 2013 – The Link Between Workforce Health and Safety and the Health of the Bottom Line: Tracking Market Performance of Companies That Nurture a “Culture of Health”
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine


Wellness at Work Initiative Collaboration: Leading in the Next Normal: Setting the Agenda to Thrive
Part 1: A Conversation about Leadership with VP’s at The Coca-Cola Company & Barilla

Every organization has been touched by the global pandemic and the deep unrest emerging in its wake. To help navigate our way through these uncertain times, the GWI’s Wellness at Work Initiative is hosting a three-part series on “Leading in the Next Normal: Creating the Agenda to Thrive.” These insightful forums discuss how wellness leaders can be positive change-makers in their organizations and communities.

In the first webinar, Renee Moorefield, chair of the Wellness at Work Initiative and CEO at Wisdom Works, interviewed Joan Prats, vice president of corporate affairs of Coca-Cola Mexico and Dondeena Bradley, global vice president, nutrition and wellbeing at Barilla Group. These special guests shared the insights their global organizations have gained during this challenging time, along with plans to lead wellbeing for their workforce, consumers, communities and citizens worldwide and forge a healthy, sustainable future. We learned how the anxieties we are seeing globally have shaped Joan’s and Dondeena’s commitment to personal wellbeing.



Wellness at Work Initiative Collaboration: Leading in the Next Normal: Setting the Agenda to Thrive
Part 2: Connecting Gender / Diversity & Inclusion and Workplace Wellbeing

In the second webinar, Mim Senft, co-founder & CEO of GW4W and president & CEO of Motivity Partnerships and Joel Hershfield, CFO & healthy workplace advisor of Materials Distribution Agency co-facilitated a conversation with Karlyn Percil, CEO of KDPM Consulting; Gina Diez Barroso, president & CEO of Grupo Diarq and GWI board member; and Rene Bujard, HR director of Galderma and former global HR director for Oxfam. These diverse leaders bring a global prospective to this important topic.

The speakers shared personal workplace experiences, insights and data regarding barriers faced and actions that organizations can take. They also addressed questions that registered attendees could answer in advance on the RSVP page.


Wellness at Work Initiative: Leading in the Next Normal
Part 3: Paradigm Shift–Understanding Wellness as a Culture, Not a Program

Recent world events, from the COVID-19 pandemic to environmental disasters, demonstrate the staggering cost of poor personal health. Today, more than ever, wellness leaders need to embrace strategies that build robust health and immunity–and workplaces are at the center of this urgent shift. In this session we shared perspectives and strategies to create workplaces that nurture long-term health with highly productive wellness cultures.

Tammy Gutierrez, MD, board certified family medicine doctor and functional medicine practitioner; Grant Gamble, business leader and author of “The Affinity Principal;” Gloria Treister, HHP, founder Wellness Evolution and author of “Wellness 101: A Guide to Healthy Living;” and John Toomey, CEO, Wide Awake Wellness and vice chair GWI Wellness at Work Initiative at Global Wellness Institute, will discussed effective wellness programs of the future and address questions.

Ten Shifts Driving a New ‘Thrive’ Revolution at Work
Prepared by Renee Moorefield, CEO of Wisdom Works Group and Chair of the Wellness at Work Initiative
Ten crucial shifts that are fueling the new focus on thriving in the workplace have been identified– from a movement away from narrow “wellness programs” to the complete reinvention of work itself to a much more powerful focus on mental wellbeing, women-friendly workplaces and nature-infused biophilic work environments.

Culture of Well-Being and Care Questionnaire
Are you ready to build a culture of well-being and care at work? Here are 15 questions to help you get started.

The Global Wellness Institute serves as an umbrella organization for numerous Initiatives, that are independently chaired and run. The resources, editorial, research and opinions presented by the Initiatives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Global Wellness Institute.