Janssen takes a holistic approach to supporting employees’ mental wellbeing


As a healthcare organisation, Janssen is committed to helping its employees improve their mental and physical health.

The research-based pharmaceutical organisation, which is part of the the Johnson and Johnson group, takes a proactive approach to employee wellbeing. Charlie Hamlin, organisation effectiveness manager, says: “Prevention, and health and wellbeing, is very central to our business strategy. So it is not seen as separate but is very much integrated. Our global CEO [chief executive officer] wants us to be one of the healthiest [organisations] in the world and is very much prepared to invest in that aspiration.”

Janssen, which employs around 550 people in the UK, offers employees a number of initiatives to look after their wellbeing. In 2014, it introduced a two-day programme, Energy for Performance in Life, which looks at physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of life. The holistic programme talks about health and wellbeing in very positive terms.

“We recognise that the Energy for Performance in Life programme is a very useful tool to help us to encourage employees to take better control of their workload, to create a culture where it’s okay to say no, that legitimises being able to push back, to best manage their workload so that they can achieve a better work-life balance,” says Hamlin.

As part of its overall health and wellbeing approach, Janssen provides an employee assistance programme (EAP), free fruit for employees, an on-site gym, and has also participated in a global step challenge.

The organisation places a strong focus on performance and talent management. Hamlin says: “[It’s] about getting the right person in the right job at the right time, and being able to support them to progress. All of the things that are essential to effective human functioning are the foundations of mental wellbeing, and health and wellbeing generally.”

Janssen has taken part in The Sunday Times’ 100 Best companies to work for survey since 2012, but results in 2014 showed that, although it was in the top 20, it was almost at the bottom when it came to wellbeing, and highlighted a problem around work-life balance. Janssen worked with communications agency Like Minds to create a communications campaign that promoted the health and wellbeing initiatives available to employees in 2015.

“We’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and money in supporting the health and wellbeing of our employees and we do not have [a] highly sophisticated set of metrics to see what the payback has been on business, because we know it’s the right thing to do, not only from a business point of view but from an ethical point of view,” says Hamlin.