The craziness that is often synonymous with Advertising makes for great afterwork stories, for interesting films and TV programming. But it’s a spectre whose damage can be all too real. In response to the increasing amount of news and discussions about work-related stress in the industry, IdeasXMachina earlier this year initiated what it calls its Mental Strength Benefits program.
Just as its pioneering Love Life Benefits helps take care of interpersonal bonds with parents and significant others, IXM’s Mental Strength Benefits help reinforce personal well-being. The program includes features like fully-subsidised weekly one-on-one chats with licensed psychologists, and a twice a month PetMalu Day that allows employees to bring their pets to the office for pet food and treats and to share overall good vibes.
Discussing what went into developing the Mental Strength Benefits program, IXM CEO Third Domingo says “As a company we believe in giving benefits that are truly beneficial to our people- not just things that are convenient or expected. The Mental Strength Benefits program is perfectly in line with our goal of aligning the things we offer our people with what they truly need.”
“Much has been said about the stress inherent in the business of advertising and communications. We’re proud to be one of the first in the country to take concrete and sustainable action to promote Mental Strength. The way we see it, we have to go beyond just talk. And that’s what we’re doing” shares Lawin Bulatao, Chief Creative Officer of IXM.
“As an Ad Agency, our single most important asset is our people. If they’re not ok, if they’re not at their mental best, our work suffers. This program is us taking responsibility for that. We want to create an atmosphere, an environment, a culture that listens, that’s supportive, and inclusive. We understand that in the pursuit of corporate goals, individuals sometimes feel left out or left behind. This program helps make sure that doesn’t happen,” adds IXM Head of Human Resources Lee Sepe.
Since its start, the Mental Strength Benefits program has received a lot of positive response across the company. Some welcome it as a venue to vent. Some embrace it as a safe space to sort out stuff. Others take it as a way to learn more about themselves. It’s also been seen to have generated an overall feeling of lightness in the office. “The way I figure it, when you can let off steam, pressure can’t get to you as easily” concludes Domingo.