Wellbeing that Works: Promoting Physical and Mental Health at JMA

Wellbeing that Works: Promoting Physical and Mental Health at JMA

10 Oct 23 3mins Sarah Beauerle


Since JMA was founded, Care has always been one of our core values. To ensure our aspiration for a caring work environment becomes a reality, over the past few months we’ve thought long and hard about how we can help our team thrive by doing everything we can to promote their wellbeing. 

From examining the rationale behind prioritizing wellbeing, to reflecting on past experiences, to defining what elements our JMA’s wellbeing program should contain, it’s been great to borrow some of our clients’ very best wellbeing offerings, and also come up with some ideas of our own that are meaningful to our team.


Wellbeing in the workplace is physical and mental. A balanced diet, quality sleep, and regular exercise are the three biggest contributors not only to physical wellbeing, but also to managing stress and anxiety, and maintaining emotional equilibrium.

However, a recent CIPD survey in the UK across almost 1,000 businesses staffed by 6.5m employees highlighted that workplace absences caused by sickness are at their highest in more than a decade. A McKinsey & Company survey across 15 countries, meanwhile, reported that “around 60 percent of employees have experienced at least one mental health challenge at some point in their lives.”

With the workforce’s physical and mental health under threat, we believe the importance of fostering employee wellbeing is two-fold: 

  1. Out of genuine, human concern: by developing a culture that genuinely values its employees’ wellbeing, an organization recognizes the value and worth of its team. 
  1. A desire for performance enhancement: high-performing organizations understand that the productivity and creativity of their employees are directly linked to their wellbeing. When employees are physically and mentally well, they are better equipped to resiliently and effectively contribute to their organization’s goals. 

Insights from Experience 

Reflecting on my own experiences as a Partner at JMA and, before that, an HR leader in a large hospitality organization, work-related stress is extremely common. Many people also face stressors outside of work, which reinforces the need for a comprehensive approach to wellbeing.  

For leaders who aren’t trained mental health professionals, it can be difficult to confront others’ mental health challenges, and employees are rarely comfortable sharing their toughest challenges, largely because of the perceived social stigma around mental health.  

Remote and flexible work, while offering numerous benefits, poses a very real challenge to being able to detect signs of stress among colleagues. No matter how committed an organization is to employee wellbeing, many people hide their emotional state, for fear of embarrassment or judgment. 

Actionable Steps 

To address these challenges and promote wellbeing, at JMA we have implemented the following strategies and approaches: 

  • Destigmatizing In a Harvard Business Review article, Kelly Greenwood, CEO of Mind Share Partners, suggests that by sharing their own stories leaders can “destigmatize and normalize the ups and downs of being human, especially as a high-performing professional.”  
  • Developing a Supportive Culture Promoting open dialogue and encouraging an environment in which employees feel comfortable sharing their emotions is another of our focus areas. 
  • Regular Communication We’ll continue to demonstrate our concern for employee wellbeing through regular surveys, 1:1 meetings, and open forums. 
  • Practical Interventions Giving our team practical advice on stress management, discussing self-care techniques and providing two re-charge days a year are all designed to help deal with stressors. 
  • Social Interaction We hope that increasing social interactions among our team and organizing regular group activities will foster a sense of belonging and build team cohesion. 
  • Financial Support: To proactively support wellness, we reimburse our employees for a gym membership and/or counseling. 
  • Professional Resources: Partnering with mental health experts to provide counseling services, both virtually and in-person, are a further commitment to our wellbeing support. 
  • Skills Development Offering access to virtual training courses, such as those provided by Mind in the UK and Mental Health America, gives our employees practical tools to manage their mental health effectively. 

It’s never been more important to confront the many, very real challenges our employees face, and acknowledge the link between employee wellbeing and organizational success. Through genuine concern for their overall health, by encouraging open dialogue, and by implementing comprehensive support mechanisms, we hope we can continue a workplace that is both caring and high-performing as ever.