Our strategy

Minimum standards

Minimum Health Standards at Bertelsmann

In March 2015, the Bertelsmann Executive Board and the Group Works Councils of all divisions agreed on an important basis for a systematic health management at Bertelsmann: Four health standards that apply to all Germany-based Bertelsmann companies with the obligation to be met in at least the area of corporate health. Developed jointly by the Bertelsmann Health Community, the mandatory standards are supported equally by all divisions. The implementation of the minimum standards is regularly assessed on the basis of internal evaluation.

Minimum health standard 1

Minimum Health Standard 1


Health competency is a necessary part of all national leadership qualifications.


As the initiator and multiplier of healthy organizations, managers have a key function regarding health. By developing health competencies, leaders increase their awareness of the influence their behavior has on employee health, optimized working conditions design, as well as their role model function. Learn more here.

Minimum Health Standard 2

Minimum Health Standard 2

A permanent Working Group on Health is established in every group company with representation from management, work councils, employees with disabilities representatives, and HR.

The introduction of a health working group supports the creation of healthy work framework conditions and processes. It serves to identify areas in need of action and introduces targeted local health measures.

Minimum Health Standard 3

Minimum Health Standard 3

All Group companies ensure employees informational access to in-house health and preventative service offers.

To anchor the topic of health in the awareness of employees, it is essential that all relevant information will be made available to them. In doing so, individuals obtain information on the most current topics and remain updated on company plans regarding health. Ultimately, this will lead to greater awareness of available services and resources and greater acceptance of the overall topic.


Minimum Health Standard 4

Minimum Health Standard 4

Every employee has access to in-house social counseling.

Given today’s demands and pressures, social and psychological aspects of health are increasingly in focus in addition to physical aspects. In-house social counseling is intended to ensure early, easy and anonymous access to professional counseling and support services for all employees, groups and organizations.


Quality criteria and toolbox

For the implementation of national minimum standards, essential quality criteria were defined for each standard at the beginning of 2018 specifying the form and those responsible for supporting realization.

The aim is uniform implementation in the companies nationwide. What should the format be for leadership training? What content should be the focus of the health working groups? What are the appropriate communication channels? What should be included in the social counseling service portfolio? 

To further support implementation of the minimum standards, a digital toolbox was developed with support materials such as checklists for healthy leadership, procedural guidelines for working groups, a communication materials overview and references to additional instruments. 

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