Booz Allen’s “Emotional Wellness Revolution” Gains National Attention
Do I feel comfortable here? Can I bring my whole self to work? If I need help, will I get it?
Booz Allen created its PowerUP wellness program in 2016 to help employees answer questions like these. Now over three years later, the firm’s commitment to mental and emotional wellbeing is making an impact nationwide, cited in Ethisphere Magazine as “a model for leaders and companies seeking to transform their own culture.”
Championing difficult conversations
The article, “Culture Champions,” details PowerUP’s evolution from an initiative initially focused on physical wellness into a program with a more holistic approach. This includes Booz Allen Executive Vice President Andrea Inserra’s efforts to champion the addition of a mental wellness component.
“Emotional wellness was and is a more difficult conversation to have,” Inserra said in the Ethisphere article.
Programs such as Booz Allen’s Emotional Wellness Symposium and the internal advocacy work of Joe Sifer, the leader of the firm’s Defense and Military Intelligence business, helped facilitate this evolution. Sifer shared his journey with post-traumatic stress disorder through in-person speaking engagements and firmwide videos, helping people feel more comfortable about talking openly about their own struggles.
Creating a cultural transformation
Today PowerUP features a fully integrated mental and emotional wellness program, including an internal network of “first responders” trained to spot warning signs of emotional suffering and help those in need access mental health resources. In addition, all firm leaders take part in mental health and emotional wellness training as part of their annual ethics and compliance training.
In 2019, Mental Health America recognized Booz Allen’s commitment with its first-ever Mental Health Corporate Excellence Award.
“[Booz Allen] has gone all-in on transforming its culture around mental and emotional wellness, in part because a handful of leaders at the company made it a priority,” said Ethisphere writer Tyler Lawrence.