LinkedIn Corp.’s vice-president of employee experience and benefits discusses staff well-being, connecting co-workers and creating short films.
Q: What top challenges do you face in your role?
A: Our current challenge is keeping our employees healthy, happy and energized, particularly now during the prolonged coronavirus pandemic and the associated rise in burnout. In 2021, we saw a lot of success with our LiftUp! initiative, which provided innovative programs to help employees manage family responsibilities, along with the social isolation, burnout and anxiety that can arise while working from home.
Q: What new programs or initiatives are you looking to implement?
A: In 2022, as we continue to grow and work in a hybrid environment, we must ensure employees have a clear sense of who LinkedIn is as a company and how we do our best work. We want to bring employees together to create shared experiences that re-energizes our talent and reinforces LinkedIn as their employer of choice. Our goal is to generate engagement and connection with our culture and values, align our vision with our internal ecosystem and continue to surprise and delight our employees along the way.
Q: How do you judge the success of a program or initiative?
A: Our top priority is ensuring our efforts align with what our employees need to find meaning and support at work. So employee feedback via our quarterly employee voice survey is key to both assessing if our programs are supporting employees and what we can do to improve them over time.
Q: What programs do you consider the most successful or that you’re most proud of?
A: We’ve introduced a number of programs to support our employees through these unprecedented times. We’ve provided mental-health resources, monthly meeting-free days and an all-company paid week off last year, as well as opportunities to connect with colleagues, including through a virtual music festival featuring LinkedIn talent. We’re proud of the success of this program and feedback from employees has been overwhelmingly positive.
Q: What key human resources issues do you expect in the coming year?
A: The need and ability to connect will be a key focus at LinkedIn this year. We’ve hired thousands of people in the last year who haven’t been in our offices. We also know it’s difficult for employees to feel connected to the workplace and colleagues in the virtual environment. We need to ensure we’re continuing to build moments of trust, foster relationships and create a sense of belonging among our employees who work completely remotely and those who have adopted a hybrid arrangement.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
A: Prior to the pandemic, I enjoyed travel, music festivals and spending time with friends and family. But since the pandemic has restricted much of that, I’ve started making short films and stealing away to the ocean whenever possible.
Q: What’s your favourite employee benefit and why?
A: Without a doubt, I’d have to say LinkedIn’s PerkUp! program. It provides employees with an annual allowance they can choose to use for perks that are personalized and tailored to their unique needs, such as childcare, pet care, financial planning, tax preparation and more. Our perks have evolved during the pandemic to include home gym equipment, as well as virtual childcare and tutoring.
Lauren Bailey is an associate editor at Benefits Canada.