Inside Ogilvy’s employee wellness program

The ‘100% You’ program goes beyond mental health to address four pillars of wellness: money, movement, minds and meals.

The past 13 months have been tough on everyone’s mental health. 

As 9.7 million people in the U.S. remain unemployed, and those working from home struggle with burnout from their screens, the overall well being of Americans dropped sharply last year. 

As a result, employee wellness programs took on new meaning. 

To rise to the occasion, Ogilvy launched a new program, called 100% You, that aims to address a fuller picture of wellness for employees, said James Kinney, chief people officer in North America and global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Ogilvy.

“We've invested in buildings and in technology,” he said, “but it was time to invest in our [employees] —100% of [them].” 

The program, which launched shortly after Kinney joined the company in January, includes  weekly Zoom seminars around four pillars:  money, movement, minds and meals — to address financial, physical, mental and dietary wellness. U.S. employees are given a time code to attend sessions, which are held during the work day.

The seminar aims to address all of the things employees most need to bring their whole selves to work, Kinney said. 

“We often talk about wellness as moving your body, or some sort of app, but few people realize the importance of financial wellness,” he said. “If we invest in our people and we teach them how to create [wellness] for themselves, it’s [reflected] in the work.”

Each month, sessions are led by one of four coaches: professional softball player and TV host with DraftKings, A.J. Andrews;CEO and founder of finance coaching platform The Financial GymShannon McLay; Morrocan chef Yasmina Ksikes; and certified health coach and yoga teacher Yvette Rose. 

Diversity was also top of mind when developing the program, Kinney said, adding that he was intentional about choosing four women — and three women of color — to coach.

“When we're talking about 100% You and total wellness, [representation] is part of that,” he said.

While the program is U.S.-based for now, Ogilvy plans to expand the program to Europe and APAC and create branding around the program when offices reopen. 

“Whether you're in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or Denver, we will have dedicated spaces for coaches to come in and create this experience on a weekly basis,” Kinney said. 

He added: “I don't think there's anything more important than this investment in bringing people together. To me that's where creativity begins: through community.”

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