Social Giving in the Workplace: How Limeade Helps Employees Care for Others
By: Mady Peterson
Limeade is focused on creating a truly gold-standard employee experience — with well-being, engagement, inclusion and authentic communications as key pillars. Our goal is to help every employee know their company cares. When employees believe this, they are 10 times more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work. One way we show care to our own employees is by supporting the community and global causes that they care about. It’s not just the right thing to do for the world — Limeade Institute research tells us that actively showing “concern for others” is good for employee well-being.
For years we’ve offered time off for volunteering, and frequently and actively endorse voting and other forms of global and community involvement.
Last year, we doubled-down with the launch of Limeade Cares — a new employee giving initiative focused on creating giving habits and providing support for employees to care for others. Limeade Cares is a technology-enabled social giving program inspired by Limeade Institute research on the science of care; but at its core — it’s a program centered around helping people help others.
“We created Limeade Cares to show how care extends past the four walls of the office. When companies amplify a great employee experience outward — to their community and throughout the world — they build a sense of mutual care and commitment.”
– Henry Albrecht, Limeade CEO
How Limeade Cares Works
Limeade Cares offers employees $25 every quarter which they can then donate to the 501c3 charity(s) of their choice, with a 100% match from the Limeade CEO.
To power Limeade Cares, Limeade partnered with Cauze, a social giving app that connects employees with friends and enables them to give to any nonprofit at any moment of inspiration. It encourages employees to create small giving habits while making their own personal improvements. By integrating with Cauze, the Limeade platform delivers a seamless experience for employees to use their donation dollars, see how their colleagues are using theirs, cheer each other on and even join each others’ donations.
Rethinking Program Incentives
Research shows that well-being and engagement can be reinforced by both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic motivation is rooted in personal interest and enjoyment in the task itself, like purpose, self-expression and fun. Extrinsic motivation tends to include prizes, perks or cash to get someone to try something for the first time. (Remember when you found your favorite restaurant because 10 years ago they offered “2 for 1 appetizers” to get you in for Happy Hour?) In today’s social and economic climate, extrinsic rewards aren’t always appropriate — and science says they’re not great at building lasting habits.
By offering the opportunity to support personally relevant non-profits, or come together over a common cause, companies can use intrinsic (and social) motivation to improve their overall employee experience — and the world.
Spotlight on Racial Justice
Limeade aspires to be a strongly anti-racist organization. Our mission is to improve well-being in the world, and we believe that the events resulting from systemic racism and injustice directly impact well-being — and more. Our research shows strong statistical connections between employee inclusion, engagement and well-being. As part of our internal call to action, we launched a Racial Justice campaign within Limeade Cares.
First, Limeade compiled a list of nonprofit organizations supporting racial justice, including Black Lives Matter, Black Girls Code, NAACP and Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue (in our hometown).
Next, we leveraged the Limeade and Cauze platforms to encourage employees to donate to a racial justice cause and make an intentional and communal effort to support antiracism, equity and inclusion. (This is in addition to our semi-annual Inclusion survey, demographic reporting and dozens of year-round Limeade Inclusion activities.)
To reinforce the importance of supporting giving during this time, Limeade launched a Racial Justice Weekend Challenge. Each employee automatically received $25 in their Cauze account to donate, with a $25 match from Limeade. Employees were free to contribute to a racial justice cause, or another cause of their choice.
Finally, key leadership at Limeade reported back to the company with trends and results from the campaign, to highlight our collective impact. Together the company raised more than $10,000 for racial justice — with donations from over half of employees — in less than a month. Additionally, 18 individuals from 11 other employers, and seven non-employees also gave to the Limeade Cauze.
The Impact of Limeade Cares
Within the first two years, Limeade has seen over 500 employee donations across multiple categories nationwide with a total of $19,897 donated. It has become one of the most popular parts of the Limeade employee experience. Categories include:
Human Services: 147
Public Benefit: 198
Limeade Cares began as a fun, easy way for Limeade employees to connect across causes that make us unique — and has become even more powerful in these unprecedented times. The quarterly nature of the program allows the company to be both consistent and adaptable.
Social giving through Limeade Cares supports our belief that meaningful rewards like giving to charity is a more meaningful form of motivation. Dr. Laura Hamill, Chief People Officer at Limeade and Chief Science Officer of the Limeade Institute says, “Rewarding employees by empowering them to improve the world is the ultimate display of care, and we hope other companies will be inspired by our approach.” Companies can apply this approach to their own employee and social giving initiatives in a fun, approachable, tech-enabled way that makes a true impact.