A Safe Space: How P&G’s Culture and Benefits Support Employee Mental Wellbeing

Mental Wellbeing Month logo

Breaking the stigma during Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond.

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With the help of managers and a robust suite of benefits, P&G team members are maintaining wellbeing and finding the mental health support and resources they need, when they need them the most.

Prioritizing wellbeing isn’t always easy. Taking time to focus on yourself is difficult when the demands of home and work are constant. And how do you know when you’re just overwhelmed or when you may have a more serious mental health issue?

At P&G, a variety of resources such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), paid time off (PTO), flexible work arrangements and sabbaticals support employee mental wellbeing.

Three of our colleagues — all experiencing different circumstances — share how the Company’s benefits and supportive culture championed their wellbeing at critical times in their lives so they could be at their best for their families and the Company.

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The more we talk about mental health, the more we make it commonplace instead of stigmatizing people who have mental health issues.

— Marek, Finance Director at P&G – Mental Health Advocate

Advocating for the Wellbeing of Others

Marek’s interest in mental wellbeing is rooted in his family’s background in medicine and psychiatry, as well as his own experience with mental health issues. But it wasn’t until he witnessed his team members’ struggles with mental health that his passion for the topic turned to advocacy.

As a manager of others, Marek, has seen his team members’ wellbeing suffer in different ways. In one instance, an employee with deteriorating performance was struggling with an undiagnosed mental health condition.

He talked to the employee and suggested they take some time off to see a doctor. He shared P&G’s mental wellbeing resources, which include an on-site doctor, access to outside psychiatric professionals and EAP. The employee was diagnosed and took time off to get the help they needed.

The experience underscores the vital role managers play in helping others. “It’s not enough to just create trust. It’s also guiding people and helping them read the signs they may have,” said Marek.

LEARN MORE: Cultivating a Culture of Wellbeing at P&G

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Finding Support and Psychological Safety

When Yuvakshi graduated from college in India in 2021, she landed her “dream job” with P&G. An IT engineer with a Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management, she became the first female line leader of her department at one of the India grooming sites, managing about 50 people.

But as a new hire in the male-dominated manufacturing environment — without the direct manufacturing experience of those she led — she struggled.

“I felt a lot of pressure,” she said. “I felt bogged down with stress, and it was a very challenging.”

Over the coming months, the negativity spiraled out of control in her personal and professional life. Her manager expressed disappointment in her performance, and she thought about leaving the Company.

“I couldn’t sleep or eat well,” she said. “I didn’t tell my parents or boss what was happening. I was afraid to talk about how I was feeling for fear of judgment.”

Yuvakshi sought counseling through the Company’s Employee Assistance Program.

“I thought I should try therapy, and that helped a lot,” she said.

At the same time, she started opening up about her challenges with her colleagues over a daily cup of coffee and informal connects. She was surprised to find out she wasn’t alone.

One senior leader in particular offered his help and guidance, creating psychological safety and helping her grow as a leader. With her newfound support system and the counseling, Yuvakshi came out of the negative spirals and found a new of sense of belonging, ultimately becoming an effective line leader and earning a promotion to Operations Leader.

Yuvakshi also became a trained Mental Health First Aider to help others who are struggling the way she did. She now talks openly about her vulnerabilities and shares her story to reduce the stigma around mental wellbeing.

“I really love the Company,” she said. “Because I have gone through challenges, now I always try to help new hires. If I had talked about it sooner, I wouldn’t have gone through it alone.”

LEARN MORE: P&G India Launches ‘Lead with Care’ Program

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Finding Resources and Flexibility When You Need Them Most

Thibaud, a Global Purchasing Director, didn’t know he needed support until he found himself in the middle of a mental health crisis with a relative. “I simply called my management and told them what was happening. They said, ‘Go. There is nothing else you have to do. Be there for your family.’”

That call was the beginning of a journey for Thibaud and his family, one with many ups and downs. Thibaud’s manager encouraged him to take all the time he needed, but working provided him with a sense of normalcy and purpose. P&G’s flexible working arrangements allowed him to be present for his family, while also maintaining his own wellbeing.

“My management has just been completely fantastic,” Thibaud said. “The flexibility the Company allows, where you can work and adapt to your life stage is a fabulous support. I could not have asked for much more.”

Through this difficult time, Thibaud has learned that things like having an exercise routine in place and having a strong relationship with his wife have been critical to his own mental health. He equates it to the airplane analogy,

“You have to put the mask on yourself before helping anyone else. Treat yourself well because if you want to help others, you need to be ok first.”

LEARN MORE: P&G + Me = Mutual Success: Delivering a Superior Employee Value Equation

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