Two months ago, we talked with Michael Susi, the Director of LinkedIn’s Global Wellness Program. We spoke about how LinkedIn has been caring for its employees by centering initiatives and outreach around the pillars of wellness: thought, breathing, hydration, nutrition, movement, and rest.
Some of the wellness services LinkedIn provides to support employees include:
Michael explains how there is a big push to inform managers of ways that they can support the mental well-being of their employees. For example, LinkedIn equips managers with the tools to implement 2-minute breathing exercises at the beginning of work meetings. Michael recalls a time last year when all employees were given a week off from work to “catch their breath.”
Michael decides what services are delivered to employees by making use of quarterly employee voice surveys (EVS).” He emphasizes the importance of “being present and being responsive about what people share with us while we are taking our time to listen.” Making employees aware that Linkedin is available to support them is integral and achievable through outreach and strategic marketing.
After implementing these solutions, LinkedIn sees positive outcomes overall, especially on a micro-level. When asked about the strategies and efforts that have not worked in the LinkedIn Global Wellness program, Michael says, “the biggest thing is overstretching. Going too fast too soon.” It is essential to “really understand what outcome you are trying to achieve. With that, it allows you to be more methodical.”
Michael does not feel like much is missing in the market; however, many people are unaware of the mental wellness market opportunities when facing stressors on a micro- or macro-level. With many solutions available, it should be up to the individual to use the wellness tool of their choosing. “We have an app behind the scenes that people can sync their data to. We can reward these behaviors by doing this minimally amount of times a week.” Michael says, “Ultimately, it is a very personal decision on how we care for ourselves.”
Michael recognizes the challenge some non-profit organizations and early-stage startups encounter due to a lack of resources. He says, “ultimately, it is about bringing these folks together for shared learning. Sometimes just letting people know that they are not alone in whatever it is that they are going through.” It is important to plant seeds of wellness in the workplace and, more importantly, listen so we can hear a little bit more about their specific needs.
Michael explained that when he joined LinkedIn, he focused on promoting the wellness program and thinking like a business owner. He says, “having that strategy of what your approach is… helps you, not only to stay on track but make what you’re doing teachable.” This technique empowers employees to be a part of the solution design and allows programs to be widespread in different regions of the world. “With guidelines, you equip an army of wellness champions, mindfulness champions. You equip them with so much that they do a lot without [you getting too] involved.”
According to Micheal, the most significant change needed regarding employee benefits is utilizing what is available. We would benefit more significantly if services were used more within companies. For employees to take advantage of these services, the offering, marketing, and promoting what is available must be increasingly personalized.
You can watch our entire conversation with Michael here.