Caring for the world, one person at a time, inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). We embrace research and science—bringing innovative ideas, products, and services to advance the health and wellbeing of people. Our approximately 128,300 employees at more than 275 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of more than a billion people, every day, throughout the world.

Johnson & Johnson Strategies for Improving Health and Health Care in the U.S.


The Johnson & Johnson Credo, written in 1943, stems from General Robert Wood Johnson’s philosophy about the responsibilities of business, and serves as a guide for how Johnson & Johnson (J&J) operates, outlining responsibilities to: the patients and consumers it serves, its employees, the communities in which its employees live and work, and to its shareholders.

Abiding by the deeply rooted principles defined by the Credo, J&J cares about its employees, their families, and the communities in which they work and live. Comprised of 250 Operating Companies and with operations in 60 countries, J&J believes its role is to provide an environment that emulates well-being and fosters healthy choices. It wants its 127,000 employees to achieve their personal best in body, mind and spirit, igniting full engagement at work, at home, and in their communities.

Caring about its employees is a legacy value that extends from J&J’s earliest history to today. In the 1800s the company provided recreation and sport leagues for employees. In the early 1900s they had access to outdoor tennis courts and a swimming pool. Female employees were offered dancing and callisthenic classes and male employees formed the Johnson & Johnson Athletic Association. This commitment continued on through the 1970s with the inception of the Live for Life™ program which aspired for all employees to (1) be educated about their health risks and (2) have access to risk-reduction programs. These goals remain as relevant today as they were then—as J&J continues to work to sustain and improve upon a work environment and culture that cultivates health for all.

Johnson & Johnson Strategies for Improving Health and Wellness of Individuals

It is no secret that J&J strives to have the world’s healthiest workforce, as often stated by CEOs both past and present. This commitment, from the highest level, allows for an upfront investment to support this vision. J&J’s evolving strategy is to use its health programs to embed health into the culture, all the while emphasizing leadership commitment, health education, and an environment that supports healthy choices and local initiatives. J&J also integrates key aspects of occupational health, wellness, fitness, personal energy management, employee assistance (mental well-being), and work life effectiveness.

Today, J&J’s employee health programs strive to:

  • Educate employees about healthy work practices, disease prevention, personal health and energy management, as well as resiliency and work life balance strategies.
  • Engage employees with a variety of resources and programs (both onsite and virtual), to enable better performance at work, at home and in their community.
  • Facilitate behavior change by making the environment conducive to health, through leadership support and employee input, providing healthy meeting practices, healthy food offerings, and active facility designs, allowing for movement and collaboration.
  • Provide support from integrated professional teams. Employees have access to employe assistance programs (EAP), wellness and occupational health professionals, as well as round-the-clock mental health/well-being counseling.
  • Evaluate and improve programs based on employee input and measurable outcomes.

J&J does this via 12 core culture of health programs established over the past several years, which are now available to more than 90 percent of employees worldwide. These programs are:

  1. Tobacco-Free – tobacco free campuses/grounds and support for those who want to quit
  2. HIV/AIDS – providing a nondiscriminatory work environment in regards to HIV/AIDS status, with access to confidential testing and treatment
  3. Health Profile – voluntary, confidential, and complementary biometric collection and health risk assessment (incentivized in many regions to encourage early awareness of key personal health indicators)
  4. Medical Surveillance – medical reviews to ensure protection while on the job (when working in certain manufacturing and research environments)
  5. Physical Activity – on and offsite opportunities to promote physical activities (including onsite fitness centers and training)
  6. Healthy Eating – ensuring appropriate choices, education and support for healthy nutrition
  7. Health Promotion – purposeful planning of opportunities to educate our employees on health
  8. Cancer Awareness – creating an understanding of preventative causes (including appropriate screenings)
  9. Employee Assistance Program/ Mental Wellbeing – employee and family access to confidential, professional mental health counselors
  10. Travel Health – providing health services and care for the business traveler
  11. Modified Duty – assisting employees to return to work/wellness after an illness or injury
  12. Stress & Energy Management – providing training and an ongoing culture that supports a positive means to cope with life’s demands.

In addition to these, and as part of our evolving path forward, J&J offers the Energy for Performance® program. This initiative stems from the Corporate Athlete® program (developed by the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute®). The program is unique in that it sees health as multidimensional (spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical) and explores how each of these dimensions interact and impact personal energy levels. It then aligns the change process to an individual core mission or purpose. In 2010, only a few senior leaders had attended the course, however, recognizing the personal impact it made, which in turn had positive effects for the business, an aspirational goal was set to reach (via keynote or training) more than 50 percent of the entire employee population. By 2015, J&J surpassed this goal by reaching more than 60,000 employees with the principles of Energy for Performance®. The training has been delivered in ten languages, and at more than 1,700 events. And it has made a difference—participants have reported healthier eating, increased movement, and enhanced energy/focus.

These programs cannot exist without an environment that fosters and supports healthy choices. For example, at many facilities, J&J encourages routine movement and energy breaks via active furnishing and open spaces, with designated “walking trails”, inside and out. J&J enables exercise through onsite fitness centers, fitness rooms, energy spaces, and community events. The organization provides resources for leaders to plan and lead onsite and offsite meetings that include movement breaks and healthy foods that keep participants energized, engaged, and at their best performance.

Benefits and Impact

J&J’s global approach has been successful in engaging employees around health and personal well-being.

In 2010 J&J set Healthy Future Employees Health goals. Today, those goals have been exceeded, resulting in:

  • Over 90 percent of employees have access to all 12 Culture of Health programs;
  • Over 95 percent of employees completed a personal health risk assessment, and know their numbers—giving them the necessary information to make the right choices so they can improve their health;
  • Over 50 percent of employees have been reached with the principles of the Energy for Performance® program.

These health and wellness programs have been in place in the U.S. for a long period of time. A retrospective published review of the programs showed:1

  • They delivered a positive return on investment of approximately $1.88 – $3.92 for every dollar spent;
  • They yielded an average savings of $565 per employee per year (based on insurance claims data); and
  • They resulted in a 3.7 percent below average growth in medical and pharmaceutical costs each year compared to benchmark.

J&J’s commitments to supporting the workforce have been recognized and acknowledged by others, including:

  • CEO Roundtable on Cancer: Johnson & Johnson is one of the first two global Gold Standard accredited companies in acknowledgement of building a culture of health and wellness, particularly in the area of cancer prevention and risk reduction
  • Great Britain Healthiest Workforce and Healthiest Company (2015)
  • American Heart Association “Healthiest Workplace” for sites including Vistakon in Jacksonville, FL and Janssen in La Jolla, CA (2015)
  • Brazil: Best Company in Quality of Life Award (2015)
  • Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® Platinum & Gold Distinction Awards (2015).

Next Steps

Looking toward 2020 with its Citizenship & Sustainability 2020 Goal to ‘empower and engage at least 100,000 employees toward a ’personal best’ in health and well-being,’ J&J sees exciting changes afoot with digital health tools. One example of this is the Healthy & Me™ app – a dynamic mobile platform that conveniently connects J&J employees, spouses and domestic partners to their everyday health and well-being information. Healthy & Me™ has customizable and confidential features, and it easily connects to wearables, allowing for connectivity to health apps people may already use, rewarding them with prizes for participation.

Healthy & Me™ includes resources designed to help employees manage their personal wellness journeys, with unique J&J-developed offerings (like the annual Health Assessment, The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout®, and The Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Wellness for Expecting and New Moms™ app). Digital coaching programs (also created by J&J) confidentially address key behavioral health issues like nutrition, fitness, sleep, and weight management. The app also lets users connect with colleagues around the globe through in-app social networking and company-wide challenges. It’s a new way for people to connect to their health goals – with lots of encouragement, rewards and fun along the way.

J&J also continues to integrate the Energy for Performance® program’s principles with the goal to train 100,000 of our global employees by 2020. Along the way, J&J reflects on ways to embrace a healthy culture, specifically regarding healthy movement and healthy eating. These will be a key focus for the organization as it looks to cultivate a balanced and flourishing workforce.

Lessons Learned

The most valuable lesson to be gleaned from employee wellness programming is the need to constantly monitor and target major employee health risks, to keep the workforce healthy and engaged in the vision. More specifically:

  • Work with Sites to Customize Offerings. Programs vary based on the unique needs of the population and the location, and are scalable to different sized groups and types of employees. For example, educational programs need to be effective both in an onsite seminar as well as online.
  • Assess Company Readiness before Expanding a Program. Initiative leaders should conduct a formal, site-specific cultural readiness assessment before expanding to a new business unit.
  • Ensure Alignment. Ensure all levels of business leaders, from C-Suite to Middle Managers, are aligned with the health goals and the direct link between employee health and business performance.

Key Take-aways for Employers

J&J’s successful outcomes strengthen its future conviction to promote health. The following concepts can be applied company wellness programs at all companies:

  • Engage Senior Leaders. The program requires leader support at both the corporate and operating-company level. Companies should appoint regional champions to communicate the programs’ importance and keep health on the business agenda.
  • Develop a Health Strategy Linked to the Business Strategy. A company’s strategy for health should be explicitly linked to its business strategy. J&J’s CEO made this link over 30 years ago and it continues today, with health and wellness being an integral part of our corporate culture and business operations. Without such a link, health and wellness risk being subject to wavering commitment.
  • Set Goals in Collaboration with Business Metrics. Employee health program access and success is tied to business success and therefore leadership should be aligned and accountable for reaching employee health goals. Management should set goals, and provide metrics to report and measure progress.
  • Develop Guiding Policies and Principles. Corporate-level policies and principles should guide program execution. For example, as a rule, tobacco-free facilities are required at every site worldwide.
  • Take a Holistic Approach. Program leaders should strategically integrate EAP, wellness and health promotion, performance and energy management, and occupational health. This is especially important for programs related to mental and physical health.
  • Consider Financial Incentives. Positive financial incentives can drive participation.
  • Set up Measurement Systems that Evaluate Impact Broadly. Develop systems to collect, analyze, and report data for programs and services.
  • Develop and Demonstrate Systems to Maintain Confidentiality. To maximize participation, employees must feel confident that their information will remain private.

Devoting resources to employee health and well-being is obviously the right thing to do. What’s more, companies that invest in their employees’ health are also investing in the health of the business. A culture of health not only drives proven returns—it also enhances employee attraction and retention.

A company’s employees are its most precious resource, and health and wellness programs are a proven way to cultivate the workforce of the future.

1 Rachel M. Henke et al. “Recent Experience In Health Promotion At Johnson & Johnson: Lower Health Spending, Strong Return On Investment,” Health Affairs, 2011. 30, no. 3, doi: 10.1377.


The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Credo serves as a guide for how J&J tries to operate its business every day, outlining responsibilities to: the patients and consumers it serves, its employees, the communities in which its employees live and work, and to its shareholders. Johnson & Johnson is committed to advancing the health of communities, and this work begins at home in its world headquarters community of New Brunswick, New Jersey, where the company was founded 130 years ago. It has more than 9,000 employees who live and work in the state.

Johnson & Johnson Strategies for Improving the Health of Communities

The intent of the company’s strategic philanthropy in New Jersey is to strengthen the health and vitality of local communities, with a focus on collaborative community networks addressing priority issues where many of its employees live and work. Johnson & Johnson works with more than 50 partners delivering 75 programs to impact the health of community residents in the state. The programs fall within three strategic pillars: preventing disease in vulnerable populations, preparing students for college and career, and addressing community livability.

The company’s signature initiative in its headquarters city is Healthier New Brunswick (HNB), a collective impact effort that works with academia, local hospitals and clinics, the city, and nonprofit organizations to scale up community-based services, improve infrastructure, and measurably impact population health. The mission of HNB is to improve the health and health care of New Brunswick through community-based partnerships. The initiative includes a common agenda, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and shared measurement, all supported by a backbone organization that plays a leadership and convening role. HNB strives to:

  • Initiate collaboration among stakeholders to identify, develop, and implement initiatives impacting health;
  • Facilitate workgroups and coalitions to address health needs recognized by community health data and broader agendas, and improve communication to create awareness of community health improvement efforts;
  • Assess progress and guide stakeholder decision-making through evaluation processes, which also serve to minimize the duplication of efforts around community health services; and
  • Engage the community to promote city-wide initiatives targeting resident needs, and provide a forum for exchange and coordination.

HNB leverages a variety of public sources to assess community needs, including local health data, demographic data, state and national initiatives, perception surveys, and community forums.

HNB’s approach to shared measurement includes the development of core indicators and leveraging community input and evaluation activities. Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in collaboration with each of the other partners and support from Johnson & Johnson, developed a report in 2015, Measurement to Promote a Healthier New Brunswick, that reviewed indicators HNB currently collects and identified indicators that may be collected in the future. The report includes recommendations of key health indicators for improving health outcomes and provides guidance on how best to collect future data sets for those indicators.

A few examples of HNB initiatives include:

  • New Brunswick Community Farmers’ Market. This partnership between Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson and the City of New Brunswick provides residents with access to affordable and nutritious fresh produce that contributes to healthy eating behaviors to prevent obesity and its consequential diseases. During the growing season, the market is open three times a week in two to three locations.
  • New Brunswick Ciclovia. This open streets initiative was launched in 2013 by New Brunswick Tomorrow in partnership with Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson, and the City of New Brunswick. During Ciclovia, the largest in New Jersey, city streets become vehicle-free for five hours for families to run, walk, skate, ride bikes, and enjoy active events. Ciclovia is designed to be part of a community change project program to improve the health and wellness of residents, build stronger community vitality through the sustainability and vibrancy of the community, and increase social integration.
  • Chandler Health Center Oral Health Program. This partnership between Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Eric B. Chandler Health Center, and Johnson & Johnson works to improve access to primary care and preventive dental services for the city’s underserved residents.

Benefits and Impact

Benefits and impact for the example HNB programs noted above include:

  • New Brunswick Community Farmers’ Market. In the past year, the market served more than 3,000 customers and, importantly, the number of residents using public assistance vouchers has consistently increased over time and served several thousand residents in the most recent season. More than 650 residents participated in educational programming and nearly 200 volunteers helped to support the market.
  • New Brunswick Ciclovia. After a successful launch in 2013, Ciclovia expanded to deliver additional open streets events the following year with 8,000 participants. A robust evaluation program was established as part of the strategic planning process to highlight best practices, document its impact in the community, and create a model for potential replication by other New Jersey communities.
  • Chandler Health Center Oral Health Program. In 2015, more than 4,600 patients in New Brunswick were served, with more than 13,500 total patient encounters. Language interpreter services were offered to all patients. Additionally, the center expanded evening hours to accommodate the growing needs of the population.

Lessons Learned

To maximize collective impact approaches, collaboration among diverse groups of community stakeholders is vital. For many years, Johnson & Johnson has worked with local leadership and organizations to ensure connectivity to the community to better understand needs, identify opportunities, and strengthen relationships.

The voice of the community needs to be heard. Ongoing efforts in New Brunswick are informed by the longest-running community survey in the U.S. Conducted by the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers in partnership with New Brunswick Tomorrow and Johnson & Johnson, the survey captures perceptions of the quality of life in New Brunswick, as well as reactions to the changes and developments that have occurred as a result of revitalization over the past three-and-a half decades.

Each survey provides valuable data that guides actions, and data collection at regular intervals over time allows monitoring of progress toward the mission of improving the quality of life in New Brunswick. Johnson & Johnson uses the survey to understand issues, identify trends and provide insights that can impact other health initiatives it supports to effectively meet the needs of New Brunswick residents.

Key Take-aways for Employers

Improving the health and vitality of a community requires buy-in on a common agenda and long-term strategic commitments from a mix of community-based organizations, health care facilities, academic institutions, government, and the private sector. Each entity brings important perspectives, leadership, and resources to the community and has a vital role to play in decision making and delivering on an agreed-upon blueprint for health. Strong market research and voices of community residents are essential inputs for authentic program development and execution, and solid program metrics and evaluation upfront are a must to monitor short- and long-term impacts.

Johnson & Johnson has just recently joined the CEO Council and has not yet had an opportunity to detail the company’s work in this area.  Please check back shortly for information on the company’s commitment to employee and community health since its founding more than 125 years ago.

We believe true wellness means an integration of physical, mental and emotional health. This is not only an important commitment to our people, but is now and always has been, a true business advantage for our Company.

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