Eric Bürki, Member of the Executive Board of Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz, Head of Occupational Health Management
elipslife echo: Mr Bürki, the Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz Foundation is supported by the cantons and the insurers. Each person pays 40 centimes per month via health insurance premiums. What do we all get in return?
Eric Bürki: As a public health organisation with 50 full-time employees, we initiate and coordinate measures in the areas of exercise, healthy eating and mental health for the benefit of the general public. You normally “only” see us appear in the footnotes, because cantons, associations and NGOs actually implement the measures. I myself am in charge of Work and Health, where we work with the private sector to encourage companies to develop robust health management processes for their employees. To this end, we provide tools and refer specialists to support the companies in their efforts.
What offers do you have and how can interested companies gain access to them?
We have recently started placing a special emphasis on offers for SMEs, as not only do most people work in these companies, but there is also a significant need for action. There is a lack of both time and money in this area, and companies are quickly overwhelmed when it comes to more challenging topics such as mental health issues. We created two new offers in 2023: the Leadership Kit is aimed at managers wishing to do something for themselves and their team in terms of health, while the HR Toolbox is for people wishing to improve the promotion of health for their company as a whole. Our offers are intended to be as simple as possible and to facilitate small-scale immediate interventions.
Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz awards the “Friendly Work Space” label. What does it mean for a company to receive these labels?
The label is awarded to companies that have a robust health management approach in place – with the corresponding processes, responsibilities and sustainable implementation of the measures taken. The basis is always an analysis, because at companies the wrong thing is often done right, with actions that are well-intentioned but not based on what is actually needed. A good health management approach assesses exactly where the need lies and adopts targeted measures in these areas. It also checks whether the measures taken have the desired effect.
Is this award having an impact on the market, for example in terms of finding skilled workers?
“Friendly Work Space” is the only health label in Switzerland. It is very well known in HR circles, while a relatively high 34% of the general public are aware of the label. For some years now, we have been targeting job-seekers with campaigns that mention the label in connection with companies that provide good working conditions. We also receive feedback from companies that actively communicate with the label in job advertisements, confirming that the award has a major and credible impact.