Depression affects 280 million people worldwide1, and one in every eight people struggles with mental health issues2. Globally, 35% of people admit to being stressed3. The numbers won't change until we do something about it.
Even today, it can be challenging for people to admit that they have mental health issues. Most people prefer to sweep discussions about mental health under the rug for fear of being criticised. Awareness about mental health has increased, but it is vital to promote the acceptance of mental health issues.
In recent times, organisations have come to realise the value of holistic well-being. It plays a positive role in enhancing organisational performance, improving presence and engagement, lowering healthcare costs, and fostering a healthy company culture. At HUL, through our various initiatives and programs, we strive to promote holistic employee well-being and create a positive impact on the lives of our people.
Healthy body - The key to a healthy mind
Our flagship program, Healthier-U, encourages employees to make healthy lifestyle choices, which benefit their mental health too. With the help of our leaders and dedicated employees, we have created a culture that normalises talking about mental health concerns and seeking medical help as much as we do for physical health. We help our employees identify their well-being quotient (WQ) and combat stress and anxiety.
We also track ‘Team Energy’ which helps line leaders and teams better understand the energy/motivations of the team. It also helps to identify ‘energy givers’ and avoid ‘energy drainers’ across various dimensions of energy (physical, emotional, mental, purposeful, and team cohesion). This exercise generates a personalised summary of individual and team insights, equipping teams to embark on a journey to optimally manage energies and be more productive.
Show you care
Through our unique initiative, the Unilever Mental Health Champion (MHC) Program, we have been able to foster a strong culture of open dialogue and peer-to-peer support on mental health. Taking this conversation beyond our offices to frontline teams, we now have more than 1300 trained MHCs across India, including over 700 shop-floor colleagues, who are available to listen and assign peers to appropriate resources.
Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) extends beyond our HUL employees and can be availed by the family members of our employees as well. In this pursuit, we also included the people who spoke in vernacular/regional languages. We will continue to provide free counselling in local languages.
Our new initiatives
We recently launched the Mental Health Champions Connect app, which is our network of trained colleagues who can provide confidential and non-judgemental mental health support. Our mindfulness champions also offer 20 to 30-minute mindfulness sessions to help employees stay focused and be the best versions of them.
Driving social change
We are always looking for innovative ways to touch people's lives and show them how much we care. Being one of the world’s largest FMCG brands, we believe that our voice makes a difference. We want the conversations to convey our commitment to well-being. Here are some of our recent brand campaigns, Dove's #StopTheBeautyTest campaign and Taj Mahal Tea’s Fursat Walli Chai.