In the present paper the secondary emission and work function of W covered with different thickness Ba layers are compared. The secondary emission and work function were measured by Work Function Spectroscopy (WFS). It is clearly pointed out that the thin Ba coating causes the the enhancement of electron induced secondary electron emission. In high pressure discharge lamps high secondary emission and high thermionic current are required for reliable operating conditions, i.e., for reaching the nominal burning voltage and current etc. The results prove that the Ba spreading on the W surface from an alkali earth tungstate material is advantageous for lowering the work function and, simultaneously, for increasing the secondary emission yield.