Become a better leader by understanding Total Worker Health

New Skillsoft course from CU Anschutz faculty helps create safe, healthy workplaces

Employee well-being and workplace culture continue to grow in importance for managers and employees alike, in the face of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and a constantly shifting workplace. In response, CU Anschutz Medical Campus faculty have released a new Skillsoft course dedicated to creating healthy workplaces.

The Colorado School of Public Health's Center for Health, Work & Environment faculty developed the Total Worker Health Leadership 101 course to help you assess your current leadership strategy and build a framework for evaluating Total Worker Health in your team and organization.

The Total Worker Health (TWH) approach to workplace culture and leadership is built on the understanding that employee health, safety and well-being are intertwined.

Trademarked by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the TWH framework recognizes that an individual worker’s physical health affects how safe they are on the job, and it affects their well-being (most often related to their mental health). In turn, a worker’s mental health affects their physical health and how safe they are at work.

Understanding the relationships between employee health, safety and well-being, and learning how to better promote each facet in your employees’ experiences, is essential for effective leadership.

The Total Worker Health Leadership 101 course is recommended for managers and supervisors interested in learning how to become leaders who can drive organizational change to achieve TWH.

Now available at no cost for CU faculty and staff, this 50-minute training can be completed online, at your own pace. At the end of this course, you will be able to identify:

  • The five practices of TWH leadership and your role in defining organizational culture
  • The business case for TWH
  • What makes a healthy and safe workplace
  • The employee perspective of a healthy and safe workplace
  • Ways to enhance and support your personal well-being

Leaders who implement a TWH approach in their management style and workplace will find this holistic framework ensures employees remain safe, healthy and well.

Christine Gillen, associate dean administration and finance at the ColoradoSPH and co-chair of the ColoradoSPH Total Health Committee, attended a version of this course in April 2020 along with other managers from the school.

“Our grassroots initiatives within the school have blossomed using the research-based practices from this course,” Gillen said. “This course reinforced the value of understanding the employee perspective. At ColoradoSPH, we listen to concerns, ask for opinions, take risks and try new things to maximize the employee experience.”

Take the free Total Worker Health Leadership 101 Skillsoft course. For questions, reach out to Madison Crepeau at