P&G launches new mental wellbeing initiatives — Happy Minds 2.0

The Company wishes to shift its focus from mental health to mental wellness


P&G has announced new mental wellbeing initiatives for its employees under its recently launched programme called Happy Minds 2.0. By this initiative, the Company will shift its focus from mental health to mental wellbeing, which will include counselling services at the workplace, preventive mental health check-ups, enhanced awareness among leadership to identify mental well-being impact indicators within workgroups, and increased flexible working arrangements for employees.

In India, being open about mental wellbeing is taboo and many people are not comfortable discussing mental-health issues at the workplace. The Company has been running initiatives to create a culture where people can come forward to seek assistance in case they are going through a mental health problem. In fact, P&G had launched another programme last year called Mental Health First Aiders, which has further paved the way for Happy Minds 2.0.

According to Srinivas PM, head – HR, P&G India & Subcontinent, “Our approach has been comprehensive and holistic, wherein we are treating mental well-being as a critical part of the overall health and wellness of our employees. With Happy Minds 2.0, we are pivoting from mental health to mental well-being, in a more positive, proactive and holistic approach with equal focus on the overall happiness quotient of our employees. As they say, prevention is better than cure”.

We believe our employees are our most valuable asset and we truly care for them and their families. We have undertaken deliberate efforts to prioritise their health and well-being, which is yielding visible results.,” shares Srinivas P.M, head-HR, P&G India & Sub-continent.

He further adds, “We believe that only when our people feel happy and healthy at their core, can they bring their full selves to work. As part of this, we are creating an environment which encourages our people to feel free and confident in talking about the subject, without any apprehensions. We are continuing to support our employees through various initiatives, which together are aimed at helping fuel their personal, mental and professional growth.”

Another key aspect of Happy Minds 2.0 is the ‘one size does not fit all’ approach. The mental wellbeing programmes are designed in a holistic manner to cater to a diverse set of workforce the Company has in India. Some other key highlights of Happy Minds 2.0 are:

Proactive interventions: The Company continues to support its employees through various means including flexible policies, a bi-annual ‘pause & recharge week’ to help them destress, and dedicated ‘no meeting zones to help them get more time for their personal needs, be it capability-building or personal needs. Additionally, the Company is also inviting experts to support employees on topics that they are most concerned or stressed about such as physical health, nutrition, financial management, parenting and relationships. P&G India is also empowering its employees to personalise their schedules by offering location and time flexibility.

Creating safe spaces: P&G India is creating a holistic environment where employees feel comfortable to speak up and share. The Company has launched the ‘We Care Helpdesk’, which is dedicated to addressing the mental well-being needs of employees as and when needed. Further, the Company also includes mental well-being check-up as part of the annual preventive health check-up available to all employees. Over 80% of the employees have availed of this facility giving impetus to the philosophy of prevention is better than cure that the Company follows.

Manager capability to tackle bias: The Company is driving awareness among the managers through the empanelled specialist counsellor, to enable them to identify mental well-being indicators within their workgroups, by spotting early signs. Further, leaders are also encouraged to conduct regular check-ins with their teams, to understand and help address anything that is on their minds. The leaders are equipped with a specialised toolkit which acts as a ready reckoner in case of any mental well-being concerns within their workgroups, as well as training to view the situation devoid of any biases. Additionally, senior leaders are engaging with their workgroups and sharing personal stories and experiences around mental health in order to address biases

Mental well-Being enablers: The Company is comprehensively assisting employees by providing one-to-one counselling sessions for every team member. For this, the Company has empanelled a counsellor who will be available for tele-consultations as well as in-person consultations at the workplace. This is in addition to the existing 24×7 Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) service available for all P&G employees and their family members. The Mental-Health First-Aiders task force continues to be the first line of response to signs of distress. There is also a wellness allowance that reimburses employees for expenditure on mental health.

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