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J&J: Towards the 2020 vision of having the healthiest workforce in the world

Speaking at the fourth edition of Employee Healthcare Interactive 2018, Singapore, Sarah McKensey and Daisylyn Edades gave a combined perspective of how the firm ensures a holistic approach to wellness.

Back in 2015, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) defined a five-year plan to address its top three workforce health risks, i.e. unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and stress.

At the fourth edition of Employee Healthcare Interactive 2018, Singapore held at Novotel Clarke Quay on 12 October 2018, Sarah McKensey, APAC diversity and inclusion leader, and Daisylyn Edades, head of global health services APAC, Johnson & Johnson, gave a unique combined perspective of the company’s progress towards its 2020 vision of having the healthiest workforce in the world.

In the keynote, Edades noted that with the complexity of the world of work, today and moving forward, comes the responsibility to help employees cope with it.

“Our vision at J&J is to have the healthiest workforce, to enable longer, healthier and happier lives. Our mission is to empower J&J employees everywhere to achieve their personal best.”

The first step was to train employees in the principles of Energy for Performance®, a training program developed by the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. The program teaches people to be more spiritually nourished, physically focused and direct their energy towards what is purposeful in life.

There are various forms of the programme, Edades revealed. “We have a two-day version of the programme, that’s really the gold standard. But we also have a one-day programme as well as an online version for remote employees.”

Sharing a personal anecdote, she said: “In my 20 years at J&J, I feel that it is the best programme that I have experienced, because it is something that I can use not just at work, but also at home. That's the holistic wellness that we want to build. We don't just want to help employees at a 9-5 job, we want to be able to help them everywhere.”

Adding to that, McKensey noted that during the programme, a lot of time was spent focusing on purpose.

She said: “It is quite an amazing concept for an organisation to go out and invest in helping employees identify their unique purpose – even if this means their purpose is not aligned to working with our company- because fundamentally we know when our purpose is aligned to what we do, from the intentional, emotional, mental, and physical point of view, then we can really bring our best self.

“Truly, J&J's focus was connecting mental health to physical health, as we believe you can’t have one without the other.”

J&J continues to look at health holistically, where the three pillars of its five-year plan - healthy eating, healthy movement, and healthy mind - come together with driving different conversations around the aspect of mental health.

With that thought, in conjunction with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, leaders from various functions at J&J came together to launch Mental Health Diplomats in Asia Pacific - part of an employee resource group (ERG) which is focused on breaking down stigma associated with mental illness.

“What was wonderful was that we were able to align the global and local messaging,” McKensey said, explaining that the messages were coordinated in terms of the tone from the top, starting with a video message from the global head of HR, Peter Fasolo.

That said, understanding what works in APAC is different from what works in the United States, the team went the extra mile to create a video for the APAC launch containing locally relevant messages, and stories from regional employees. The video reinforced some of J&J’s important focus on diversity and inclusion where all employees, including those experiencing challenges related to mental health had the right to feel a deep sense of belonging at J&J

Sharing some results, McKensey said: “We saw over 2,300 employees help raise awareness around stigma associated with mental illness in China by breaking the Guinness World Book of Records by watching this video called ‘Schizophrenia and Me’ using virtual reality glasses.

“Groups came together in Japan, Korea, and India; while in Singapore we had an extremely impactful panel discussion with leaders from all across J&J attended by over 130 employees. We also had diverse, self initiated events including a group of our male employees riding bikes to raise money and raise awareness about mental health. We believe the conversation, since, has really shifted. Our employees are being our brand ambassadors, talking not only about mental health, but also the importance of an inclusive community.”

McKensey concluded the session by highlighting the importance of ERGs: “These are incredible resources for you to leverage, to hear the voice of your employees, to allow them to drive culture change, and the power of their collaboration with  your D&I partners, or other functions can truly help you shift your organisations,” she said.

This knowledge was shared at the Human Resources’ conference, Employee Healthcare Interactive 2018, Singapore. To know more and attend more such events, please visit: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/events/.

In addition to Sarah McKensey and Daisylyn Edades, presenters, table hosts and moderators, at Employee Healthcare Interactive 2018, Singapore included:

  • Amanda Leong, director, human resources, APAC, CEVA Logistics Singapore
  • Amitabh Deka, regional consultant, benefits and wellness advisory, Willis Towers Watson
  • Anastasia Shamgunova, HR director, APAC, Kaspersky Lab
  • Dr Daniel Chan, co-founder, deputy group CEO, Fullerton Health
  • Dr Ng Wee Tong, senior consultant, occupational and aviation medicine, medical director (IWSH), ST Healthcare
  • Eddy Neo, head of HR, APAC, National Instruments
  • Gopa Das, human resources business partner, NatWest Markets
  • Jade Camps-Douglas, head of wellbeing, Rolls-Royce
  • Lynda Ong, talent director, APAC, Wunderman
  • Lyndie Tang, Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at Fullerton Healthcare Group
  • Madhumita Banerjee, senior vice-president, human resources, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Singapore
  • Mausami Arora, senior HR business partner, British American Tobacco Singapore
  • Phan Yoke Fei, senior director, human resources and corporate administration, Gardens by the Bay
  • Roshni Mahesh, principal consultant, Mercer Marsh Benefits
  • Sean Ho, managing director, MBMS, Fullerton Health
  • Tina Sharma, senior vice-president and head, human resource, State Bank of India
  • Urvi Jobalia, head of human resources, Singapore and Brunei, Ericsson
  • Vanessa Muk, human resources business partner, APAC, Grass Valley

Human Resources would like to thank our sponsors and partners for making this event a reality:

Platinum sponsor

  • FullertonHealth

Gold sponsors

  • Mercer Marsh Benefits
  • ST Healthcare

Silver sponsor

  • Willis Towers Watson


  • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Asia
  • Make Health Connect
  • Pacific Prime
  • Prudential

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