Here is something our cherished Limeade customers already get—if you really want employees to know your company cares, you have to listen. More to the point, if you want people to engage and participate in well-being experiences, you have to listen, learn from what you hear and do something about it.
This was true well before any of us had heard of a virus called COVID-19. But the pandemic has cast aside any remaining doubt that well-being is the heart of employee experience; and listening is the heart of well-being.
The Limeade acquisition of TINYpulse will make us much better at employee listening. In fact, the comprehensive listening capabilities provided by TINYpulse technology will position Limeade as the well-being company with the best employee listening capabilities in the world. And we plan to use our listening advantage to create immersive well-being solutions that address the unique needs of every Limeade user.
That’s why we are acquiring TINYpulse. So that our customers can tell their employees, “We hear you.” And mean it.
The Heart of Well-Being
Most corporate wellness solutions are primarily focused upon reducing employee healthcare costs by prioritizing that portion of their employee population with the highest-risk health factors (like high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity). That’s important stuff, and we help people with chronic conditions too.
But what about everyone else? People who don’t have chronic conditions still have needs. And if we don’t listen to their needs now, we may be treating their more serious health conditions later.
This drive to reduce employee healthcare costs by focusing almost exclusively on serious conditions is analogous to downplaying preventive care and waiting to treat everything at the ER. The unintended consequence is that many of these solutions end up looking like top-down corporate initiatives instead of authentic care for employees – despite the best intentions of HR leaders.
“We need to reduce employee healthcare costs by 10%. Let’s find the people who are most likely to cost us money and incentivize them to get healthy. If they can’t stick with the program, then we’ll take the carrot away.”
I’ve never wanted Limeade to be that kind of company. In fact, my vision for Limeade hasn’t changed since I founded the company in 2006: I want people to know that their company cares about them as human beings. It turns out that the biggest part of caring about employees is looking after their physical, emotional, financial and work well-being. So that’s what we do.
Our approach to well-being not only set the industry standard for “a better way” but also resulted in cost savings and better performance at the individual and company level. It improves brand and business performance for the companies who get it. That’s because we’re not only helping people with serious health risk factors; we’re listening to everyone, learning their unique needs and providing well-being experiences that prevent serious conditions from manifesting. And the financial benefits don’t just come from healthcare. In fact, the biggest benefits come from preventing other serious issues like burnout and reducing turnover. After 15 years running Limeade—now with more than 2 million users in over 100 countries—I can say this with absolute confidence: Well-Being is the heart of employee experience and listening is the heart of well-being. Our drive to make people feel cared for fuels our passion for listening. And because we listen, we have ended up with a much broader perspective of well-being than the rest of the industry. Our listening advantage means that we’re able to demonstrate care for the entire employee population instead of only the high-risk portion.
More About TINYpulse
I’ve known the people at TINYpulse for a long time. David Niu started TINYpulse about six years after I started Limeade, about 10 miles from us on the other side of Lake Washington in a little town called Seattle. Over the years, Limeade and TINYpulse have each established reputations as companies who genuinely care about people. Happy people. Healthy people. People with a sense of purpose and belonging.
We’ve partnered in various ways during the last decade or so. But the pandemic presented me with a moment of absolute clarity and changed my relationship with TINYpulse forever.
Work has changed more rapidly than any of us expected before the pandemic. And we’re never going back to the way things were. As workforces become more distributed and decentralized, and as workers develop more autonomy and control, we must all rise to the occasion of meeting people’s changing needs. And we can only do that if we’re listening. Truly listening.
The critical nature of listening was further reinforced for me by a recent study conducted by our own Limeade Institute. Their groundbreaking research demonstrated that the main factor driving participation in well-being experiences is the perception that the company is listening to participants, hearing what they want and need and doing something about it. In other words, most people won’t participate in well-being experiences unless they feel heard.
And so I found myself on the phone with David and TINYpulse President & COO Dave Smith. We talked about how we could put their world-class listening technology to work in service of the most critical challenge facing companies and their people today, and for the foreseeable future—creating a healthy employee experience through immersive well-being. Now more than ever, companies compete mostly on their ability to create the best employee experience possible. It’s the key to generating better business results and durable long-term success. I’m happy to say that it’s also the kind of competition we can all get behind.
What Happens Now?
In many ways, acquiring a company is the easy part. It’s the start of something. Now we have a lot of hard (and fun) work to do to put Limeade and TINYpulse together in a way that provides the most value to our customers—more value than either company could provide on our own.
TINYpulse has large teams in Seattle and Saigon, and all of their people have a home at Limeade. That includes David and Dave, who will remain with the company indefinitely, not only to help with integration but also as instrumental contributors to our future development plans. And, of course, everyone at Limeade will remain as well to deliver for our customers.
In fact, we need more people! We currently have many open positions and will need to keep hiring for the foreseeable future. (So, if you know anyone who wants to work for a purpose-driven company changing the world for the better, please send them our way.)
I am deeply grateful to all the good people at TINYpulse. I also want them to know that we’ve been waiting for them and we’re ready. I also want to thank all of my colleagues at Limeade who have worked hard to help companies and their people cope and prosper during one of the most difficult periods in history. And finally, I want to thank our customers who continue to help us shape the future of well-being through their spirit of collaboration, goodwill and care.
To everyone out there looking for a better way. Looking for answers to the persistent questions posed by the pandemic and rapidly changing workplace. To everyone who needs help and wants to help others. Limeade is listening. And we hear you.
Thanks to our integration center and powerful machine learning, we guide people to relevant partner programs at the right time. So that users get real-time feedback as they progress and rewarded upon completion.
About the author
Henry founded Limeade in 2006 and has led the company from an idea in his basement to a high-growth, industry-leading SaaS employee well-being company that serves some of the smartest companies in the world.