Household and personal care manufacturer Procter & Gamble has launched an initiative to give its staff a helping hand through the economic downturn.

The company behind brands including Pampers, Lenor and Duracell is offering staff life coaching and mentoring, as well as advice on managing personal finances, childcare, volunteer work and improving diet and health.

The personal development opportunities are being rolled out at the company's 'All About Me' event at its Weybridge, Newcastle, Harrogate and Dublin sites over the next few weeks.

At the event, senior managers will stress the importance of investing in staff.

Employees were P&G's greatest asset, P&G's HR director Madalyn Brooks told The Grocer. If they were at their best, they could help the company be at the top of its game, she added. "We want everyone to feel valued and included, and to be performing at their peak.

"In tough times, it is all too easy to concentrate only on the business and forget about your people. P&G has always focused on the long-term growth of its employees, but now, more than ever, it is important to invest in their personal development."

Tough times demanded a balanced perspective, and it was vital that the company reconciled the focus on its business with a focus on employees, added Irwin Lee, vice president and managing director of P&G UK and Ireland.