(Story by Henry Albrecht originally appeared on LinkedIn)
Some of you may be wondering, “Why is Limeade focused on inclusion?” We’re not only focused on it, we’re doubling down on it. The statistical connections between inclusion, employee engagement, innovation and well-being are strong (and obvious). How can you have well-being or be engaged at work if you don’t feel included?
That’s why it’s easy for me to explain the strategic value of this to our company and the market. We’re a company built on market-leading innovation that supports employees — and you can’t have innovation without inclusion.
Most leaders I connect with agree that inclusion is important for their business. But today, most inclusion efforts are manual and painful. While some companies haven’t embraced it yet, others are hiring Chief Inclusion or Diversity Officers. In fact, 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies now have a Chief Diversity Officer or similar role — many of whom are senior‐level executives reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer. Yet, these inclusion champions (and in many cases pioneers in their organizations) are limited to the tech tools in their arsenal. Most diversity tools today just assess status or reveal how hiring quotas are being met.
There’s so much more to inclusion. And new technology to help. (Check out this new report from RedThread Research & Mercer on Diversity and Inclusion Technology, which yes, includes Limeade.)
While it’s important to build a diverse workforce, we believe it’s equally important for every employee to feel included. This is a radical way of looking at the problem that goes beyond traditional hiring quotas. Once you have a strong workforce, how do you keep them connected? How do you build a truly inclusive workplace?
Limeade is doubling down on inclusion. Our 12+ years of experience with engagement and well-being measurement and activities provide the foundation for inclusion efforts. Limeade builds inclusive workforces by giving everyone tools, recommended actions and daily habits that foster a welcoming workplace that values everyone. It’s all a subset of how Limeade supports people: helping them learn, grow and excel — while ensuring they feel welcomed and valued for who they are.
Every chance I get, I share what we’re doing with our new product, Limeade Inclusion+ — the insights, actions and community-building — with our customers and prospects — and it gets their wheels turning.
While I’m excited about our new approach to inclusion, I’m becoming more aware every day of how far we all have to go. Malaika Myers, the CHRO from Hyatt said, “Even the best companies have a long way to go.” And Hyatt is at or near the top in every measure of diversity inclusion. Her comment was an inspiration.
It’s been personally humbling to evaluate my own social conditioning, and how my words, actions and inactions might affect others. It’s an exercise every leader should go through. It takes courage, but it’s worth facing. The upside is how fun it is to see human interactions, systems and culture in a whole new light. Almost with a new set of eyes. And now that we’re seeing differently, we’ll continue to show leaders that it’s totally possible to build a truly inclusive workforce.