Taking the initiative for a healthy workplace

Today’s guest blog comes from Dr. Gerd Kraeh, Director Government Affairs, Lilly Germany.

How can companies support their employees in staying healthy? How can people living with chronic conditions be included in the working environment in the best possible way? And how can the working world become the initial point for the prevention and diagnosis of chronic diseases like diabetes? These are the central questions we are answering with the Initiative Diabetes@Work.

Since 2013, Lilly Germany is proud to be a partner of this great programme. Under the slogan “Taking the initiative for a healthy workplace!” we joined forces with the labor union IG BCE Hesse-Thuringia, the umbrella organisation of corporate health funds and the association of company physicians. Together we address the challenge of diabetes in the German working environment and aim to raise public and political awareness of the risks of chronic diseases.

In 2017, building on the results achieved so far, Diabetes@Work continues the political dialogue. This year, the partners of the project and members of the German parliament are visiting firms throughout Germany to see what companies of different sizes and from different sectors offer to promote the health of their employees. On-site, we discuss how policy-makers can support companies in implementing health promotion and highlight concrete recommendations for political action.

Most recently, I joined Martina Stamm-Fibich and Andreas Schwarz, both Members of the German Parliament, and other partners for a visit to Siemens Healthineers, one of the global leaders in medical technologies. It was quite impressive to see what companies like Siemens Healthineers offer to protect and actively promote the health of their employees. But it also became clear that companies need more political support to achieve this. This holds especially true for small and medium-sized enterprises.

During the visit, MP Martina Stamm-Fibich highlighted the engagement of Diabetes@Work: “The involvement and interaction of various actors helps politics to address the increase of diabetes in our society. Diabetes@Work is a great example of how multi-stakeholder cooperation can give valuable impulses to political deciders.”

Over the past 4 years, Diabetes@Work has also hosted several political events throughout Germany jointly with leading German companies like Siemens and Continental. Together with health experts and policy makers, we discussed best practices of corporate health promotion and the best possible care for employees living with chronic diseases. In November 2016, Diabetes@Work presented the first results and best practices to a broad audience at a political event in Berlin. The attendance of key political decision-makers in the field of health policy proved that the great importance of this topic has been recognized.

Up next is a visit at the cafeteria operator Eurest Germany. With its healthy food concepts, the company helps employees throughout Germany to stay healthy.

Throughout 2017, in the context of Diabetes@Work, Lilly is looking forward to continue working with policy-makers, companies and health experts to raise public awareness on issues surrounding chronic diseases in the working environment and discuss specific policy actions to successfully implement prevention and early detection of diabetes in the working environment.

Heraeus Leikert Katja Dr Diabetes at Work Diabetes@Work Picture 2