Intrapreneurship series tells narratives of large companies that engage in independent social activism by building projects that contribute to local communities. These projects are driven by intrapreneurs who, by adapting entrepreneurial and start-up strategies, add to their companies’ coefficient of innovation. By reinforcing the value of social intrapreneurs, we hope to encourage more companies to engage in employee-driven creative ideation, galvanising intrapreneurs with potential into positive action. Learn more about SEV’s original social intrapreneurship builder.
by Joanne Willemin & Yusuf Jaffar
Considered the disease of the century, burnouts are a huge concern for companies. It is no wonder because they cost businesses much: burnouts always result in long-term health problems for employees and impair the working environments significantly.
They typically affect people who continually work long hours and routinely deal with a lot of stressful situations. But the usual culprits are bigger companies where corporate culture is difficult to instill and share around, with employee neglect and isolation ensuing.
Because it is already difficult to find the right balance between work and life for most, just a few years of serious investment into a career – without meaningful breaks in-between – seem to break people.
Innovation to emulate
To combat the problem, LinkedIn has found an innovative way to keep its employees happy at work. Once a month, the company gives all an opportunity to take a break from work and participate in different social activities – to develop selves and inspire others.
These days are called “inDays” (short for “Innovation Days”) and have been LinkedIn’s way of giving back to its people since 2010. Every month, the company proposes a theme with suggested activities, which the employees can either decide to participate in or alternatively take on personal projects. Here are just some of the past examples:
- “Play”: LinkedIn offices welcomed over 300 employees’ children for one day, letting the parents play with the kids, show them the office and introduce them to colleagues.
- “LinkedIn for good”: Job seekers, including veterans, were trained by employees on how to use LinkedIn, ensuring they get the most out of it in their job search.
- “Idea bank”: The company created an internal website where employee submitted over that 150 ideas in one day; some of them became reality.
- “Aspire”: The employees had the occasion to share their passion with the next generations.
- “Earth”: The employees were involved in activities such as volunteering in an organic farm and helping to clean some areas of the cities, parks, and rivers.
Impact to date
inDays started when the company had only a thousand employees. Today, they take place monthly and gather the 10,000-strong LinkedIn workforce across offices in 30 cities. inDays remain popular because they allow otherwise ordinary corporate employees learn a new skill, discover a passion, or refocus on a long-forgotten dream. In the end, this helps them refuel for the rest of the month and find greater fulfilment in their work.