It’s no secret that diversity and inclusion are hot topics for HR professionals and top executives. A quick Google search shows 152 million results and coverage on diversity and inclusion from top media outlets. In a 2016 Forbes article, Josh Bersin outlines why diversity and inclusion will be a top priority:
“Sustainable business performance today depends on your ability to attract and engage a highly diverse workforce… In today’s global business environment — filled with challenges in demographics, skills, and culture — companies that build a truly inclusive culture are those that will outperform their peers.” – Josh Bersin
Diversity and inclusion can also affect the bottom line. We see that equal gender representation correlates with happier and more productive employees, and up to 41 percent increased revenue. And new research by McKinsey & Company shows that gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform their peers and ethnically diverse companies are 35 percent more likely.
Inclusion studies found that companies with inclusive cultures are six times more likely to anticipate change and respond effectively, two times more likely to meet or exceed financial targets and eight times more likely to have overall better business outcomes.
Although the outcomes are clear (have we thrown enough stats at you?), where to start isn’t as obvious.
Where’s Limeade starting in this journey?
We’re starting with our people:
Rather than a broad sweeping initiative to simply recruit and retain more diverse talent, we plan to execute a strategy that fosters inclusion and belonging. We believe a strategy that focuses on creating a culture of inclusion and belonging for our people and driven by our people, aligns with who we are as a company and will produce a powerful, lasting impact.
To create this inclusive culture where everyone belongs, we plan to center our strategy around organizational support for whole-person well-being — a core Limeade point-of-view.
Inclusion goes hand-in-hand with whole-person well-being. Inclusion and belonging at Limeade is about welcoming, accepting and embracing all aspects of our employees — from their physical and emotional, to social selves. We’re committed to an environment where employees can bring their whole selves to work.
We’ve designed a strategy to directly align with the eight components of organizational support for well-being:
We’re working to create professional development plans managers can leverage to recognize and develop diverse teammates.
We’ll support employees in creating and implementing activities that build awareness and empathy around team differences, such as family and friend team social events or meeting practices that enable inclusive behavior.
From BBQs to book clubs, we promote events that foster inclusion through connection.
We intend to ensure that our physical office spaces encourage connection and collaboration, and feel safe and comfortable to all. Think quiet spaces, pods, family photos displayed throughout the office and more.
We envision multiple employee resource groups that speak to our diverse employees and are driven and managed by employees. We also leverage our internal engagement program and platform — LimeMates — to promote and engage employees in events.
As mentioned earlier, inclusion goes hand-in-hand with whole-person well-being. We firmly believe in creating a strategy that aligns directly to a core Limeade point-of-view.
A successful diversity and inclusion strategy requires a call-to-action to leadership. We hope to inspire leaders to serve as executive sponsors of organization-wide diversity and inclusion events, and champion efforts to reach our goals.
Culture is a core focus for our strategy. The most critical success metric for this initiative is our ability to create and reinforce an inclusive culture. We’ll frequently measure our progress with evidence-based surveys.
We know it’s not easy to get this right this first time and anticipate challenges along the way. Limeade plans to listen and respond to our employees. And as Limeade grows and changes, our strategy will need to adapt with us. This is our starting point and we’re eager to get started.