Employee Wellness: Corporate America's Missing Link

Shawn Siegel

Since joining LinkedIn in 2011, Michael Susi has played a large role in creating and managing the internet giant’s Health and Wellness Program. Michael discusses why the program has been successful and how it manages to boost company-wide morale.

Human Resources IQ: Can you discuss one or two successful aspects of LinkedIn’s wellness program that you’re most proud of?

Michael Susi: I am most proud of the global reach and the buy-in from employees that we have received since we began the program in 2011. We have the ability to serve our population no matter where in the world they are through our online tools. Additionally, our participation rates are far and away above the averages seen in similar sized companies. We have truly made an impact in the lives of employees and are a large component of the recruiting process.

Human Resources IQ: At LinkedIn, you run competitive events such as the LinkedIn Olympics and WimbledIn. What value do these competitive events have for LinkedIn employees?

Michael Susi: Hosting special events allows people from across departments and groups to meet each other. The camaraderie that is built is very difficult to achieve otherwise. We do all we can to bring all employees together, across disciplines and geographies to compete with and against each other. There is also something about cheering for someone, and being cheered for that is very uplifting. A VP at LinkedIn told me that the WimbledIn tournament allowed him to meet more people outside of his group than he had in his previous years at LinkedIn.

Human Resources IQ: How do you go about convincing the higher-ups at LinkedIn to support your wellness efforts?

Michael Susi: The desire for a Health and Wellness program had the support and blessing of the LinkedIn executives before it even began. There wasn’t a whole lot of convincing to be done. The executives at LinkedIn truly do care about the employees and want the best for them. We have been able to implement a cutting edge program that will result in increased employee morale, team camaraderie, reduced sick leave and reduced health care costs.


Human Resources IQ: How much do fears about liability and potential law suits play into the designs of your wellness program?

Michael Susi: We always strive to design our wellness programs to meet the needs of our employees and keep them safe in doing so. We work closely with our legal department and third parties to ensurewe are compliant in all laws and safety measures.

Human Resources IQ: Looking to the future, what most excites you about your role with LinkedIn?

Michael Susi: I am most excited about Tomorrow. LinkedIn truly is an amazing place to be able to practice my trade and to serve such a wide audience across the globe. There are always new and exciting challenges from building gyms in offices, to designing and hosting webinars, and everything in between. I have the opportunity to teach, which is a passion of mine, and I also am presented with the opportunity to learn every single day.

Interview conducted by Shawn Siegel

Michael Susi will present a LinkedIn Case Study at the 5th Annual Corporate Health, Wellness & Benefits Summit, April 22-24 in San Francisco. For more information or to register, visit www.CorporateWellnessEvent.com or email info@iqpc.com.