e025. Wellbeing & Belonging with Patti Fletcher

Patti Fletcher (She/Her) is the Chief Marketing Officer at Limeade. Limeade is an immersive employee well-being company that creates healthy employee experiences. Limeade Institute science guides its industry-leading software and its own award-winning culture. Today, millions of users in over 100 countries use Limeade solutions to navigate the future of work. By putting well-being at the heart of the employee experience, Limeade reduces burnout and turnover while increasing well-being and engagement — ultimately elevating business performance. Limeade employs people in Washington, Canada, Germany and Vietnam. In this episode, Limeaid’s Chief Marketing Officer Patti Fletcher makes the connection between wellbeing and belonging.


#IncludingYouPodcast Interview with Patti Fletcher

Interview Transcript

[00:00:46] Amy: Welcome back to Including You. I’m your host, Amy C. Waninger. My guest today is Patty Fletcher. Patty is the Chief marketing officer or CMO at Limeade. Limeade is an immersive employee wellbeing company that creates healthy employee experiences. Millions of users in over a hundred countries use Limeade solutions to navigate the future of work by putting wellbeing at the heart of the employee experience.

[00:01:09] Amy: Limeade reduces burnout and turnover while increasing wellbeing and engagement. Ultimately, elevating business performance. Limeade itself employs people in Washington, Canada, Germany, and Vietnam. Patty, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you here.

[00:01:22] Patti: Thanks for having me. Thrilled to be here.

[00:01:26] Amy: So, I wanted to start with help us understand, because this is a show about inclusion.

[00:01:31] Amy: Help us understand the relationship between inclusion and wellbeing at work and in general.

[00:01:36] Patti: It’s such a good topic, I have to tell you. So, I just started at Limeade in January. I grew up in the HRMS world, right? SAP, the big guys, right? The big folks who are all about the pipes and plumbing, and that’s perfect.

[00:01:49] Patti: We need them. But I grew up as a woman in tech. Essentially, and although I had wonderful support throughout my career, I certainly experienced being a woman in tech. No, no doubt there, and things around self-care were brought to me throughout my career and in a way that was quite negative.

[00:02:07] Patti: It was almost weaponized, right? And self-care being the wellbeing, and I’ll talk a little bit about, as we go through, like how do we define wellbeing in Limeade, but it was weaponized and it was always Can you handle it right? Can you go, go take a nap and go to a spa on a weekend and that way you’ll be refreshed.

[00:02:23] Patti: So I came to this topic as well as stuff I do on the outside of my day job, which I know we’ll talk about. I came to this topic of wellbeing via this self-care route, which was ridiculous. On the one hand, I had the professional, are you gonna be okay? This might be too much for you. On the personal side, as a mom who travels a lot, who does all this stuff, and I’m a mom, it was like,

[00:02:44] Patti: Okay, you’re not working and you’re gonna go work out. That’s so selfish, so there’s like all of these things that, that we’re conditioned to have. I’m a pretty typical woman, right? Come on Amy, we are all dealing with this when we work for a living. So, the thing about wellbeing though, is it is more than self-care.

[00:03:01] Patti: At Limeade, wellbeing fits into four categories. There’s work wellbeing. We know from the data, our own data, as well as the data out there that you and I are both reading that at this point in time and probably even before the pandemic, the number one source of stress is work, right? So, we need to understand what work wellbeing looks like.

[00:03:23] Patti: The next of course, is emotional, right? So, are we burnt out? Now when we think about being a woman in the workplace before the pandemic, we are pretty burnt out. We work three shifts. We get up in the morning, we take care of our kids, we go to work, and then we come home and what do we do? We continue to invest.

[00:03:43] Patti: We’re going on Google, we’re taking classes, right? We’re working those three shifts. When you are burning the candle, not just at both ends, but in the middle as well, you got some challenges and your wellbeing is going to suffer, so that is the emotional. Then there’s the physical wellbeing. Do I have any kind of chronic conditions?

[00:04:04] Patti: Am I able, am I mobile right? Am I able to move around and really use my body in a way that is going to help me? I can, I could be quite sick, but if I am physically taken care of myself, I have a lot of chronic conditions, but they don’t stop me because I’m taking care of them. So are we on top of that?

[00:04:22] Patti: And then the final piece is finance, what is our financial wellbeing? So we know that millennials are in more depth than any generation, including my own gen, Gen X, and I thought we were pretty bad off, right? But they are in bigger debt. Things cost more. They’re spending more money that things are looking, quite a bit different for them in the same four Gen Z.

[00:04:44] Patti: When you look at all four of those components, Amy, we have a few challenges as women, we get paid less. We do, we get paid less. Talk about stress, right? Takes us longer to earn more money. We might not be able to buy the things or experience the things that we want. That’s a challenge, and we consider how many women who like me are the main breadwinners or soul breadwinners.

[00:05:08] Patti: That’s a big deal, right? That’s a big impact when we think about financial wellbeing, I am, and I’m gonna just use myself as an example cuz it’s easy. I am busy. I work all the time. Guess what I would do? I would skip doctor appointments. I wouldn’t even make them right. Meanwhile, this is the only body I have.

[00:05:25] Patti: I’m in big trouble if I can’t use it. Emotional wellbeing for women. We are still conditioned to believe we’re too emotional that we can’t show our emotions at work. We all know that’s quite frankly bs, right? That’s actually not true. But we’re so conditioned there that a lot of those things that we will need to do for ourselves we’re not doing because we feel it makes us less than we feel vulnerable and it exposes us.

[00:05:49] Patti: Definitely a big deal, and then again, we already talked about the work wellbeing. These things could not be more critical. So I am talking specifically about women, but you can put any underrepresented population in there and we’re all facing those same challenges. The connection’s pretty significant.

[00:06:09] Amy: Yeah, and I would say it’s not just how we feel about how we show up. There are real penalties for showing up authentically at work, and those penalties are exacerbated, the more marginalized identities we carry, or the more marginalized those identities are. So I don’t, I guess I wanna be careful about letting anybody take away that you should just, have your emotions at work, because there are people who get fired for that, There are people who get Oscar.

[00:06:36] Patti: You don’t always have the luxury. We don’t have the luxury, which is why I think so many of us have the visceral reactions we do when we see someone who does fit the mold of what success looks like and that, quite frankly, all of the rules were made for that person and they thought, talk about how important it is to be authentic or emotional at work.

[00:06:55] Patti: I have not had always had that experience. It was good, again, weaponized against you. I think you’re right on to carry that out, know the room and maybe find a place where you can just be yourself, for sure.

[00:07:08] Amy: Yeah, so let’s talk a little bit about how belonging factors in. I know you chose Limeade partially because of their mission, but also because of the work that they’re doing internally.

[00:07:17] Amy: Around diversity and inclusion. Can you. I wanna get back to how you help your clients as well, but can you talk a little bit about what you’re doing internally to move the needle so that you’re walking the talk? And setting the standard for what you bring to the marketplace.

[00:07:31] Patti: Yeah, so the reason I came to Limeade is I believe in aligning my passion with my profession. Cause I just don’t have a lot of time, none of us do. So you may as well do the work that moves forward those things you wanna bring your purpose, and so for me, my thing, and we’ll talk about this again later and how it relates to the outside of Limeade, but I do believe my purpose is to change the way the world views women who disrupt and how they view themselves, which means every single talent needs to be able to harness and hinder their ability, their own personal ability rate, their own personal power.

[00:08:06] Patti: To achieve what they wanna achieve in the workplace. That should be up to me, not somebody else, super important, and that’s what Limeade is, again, coming from a more productivity focus, which is essential, but workflow, that kind of thing, world, what we don’t think about is true capacity.

[00:08:22] Patti: Diminish capacity is when all of those things I just talked to about the four parts of a of wellbeing, that they’re pretty low, right? Your energy in those areas are pretty fricking low. So therefore, if you invest in your people like we do at Limeade, like our customers do in those four categories in a way where what I receive is different, Amy, than what you receive, cuz we’re two different people.

[00:08:46] Patti: We need two different things. Our assessments said two different things about how we can elevate in each of those four criteria. When you’re doing that, what’s gonna happen? I’m gonna feel seen, I’m gonna feel heard, I’m going to feel like I found the right stage and the right audience, and I’m gonna thrive.

[00:09:04] Patti: And when I thrive, everybody thrives, right? The business thrives, the customers thrive. So internally there are a few things, first is in having worked in the DEIB space for a very long time, like I have, I was very against quotas, very against them until I realized they were the only things that worked.

[00:09:22] Patti: We don’t have quotas at Limeade, we are very serious about achieving gender equity. That’s where we’re starting, we’re learning things through the work we’re doing with gender, what we’re achieving, and then being able to apply them to other underrepresented populations. So, I work at a tech company, usually the only woman in the room, right?

[00:09:41] Patti: Very used to that, now I’m at Limeade, 50% of what we call the CEO d CEO directs essentially the C-suite were women, our board majority, women, our chairperson, a woman, the more than half of our company, even in the strategic positions, you guessed it, women, right? And you can’t do that if things aren’t different around, for example, talent acquisition.

[00:10:08] Patti: If we go to the same room and talk to the same people about the same stuff, we’re going to get a meritocracy, which is what I call it in my book Disruptors, which we’ll talk about. Essentially. The person in the mirror looks like everybody else who I hire in my organization, same skills, same thought process.

[00:10:25] Patti: Not a lot of differentiation there, maybe one is he grew up in sales and he grew up in product, big deal, right? So, to have those kinds of diverse in a room is a big deal. So not only do we have the diversity numbers, we have the inclusion numbers. We are very much always working on how do I as a leader create an inclusive space where all voices feel heard without prompting when I say something, if it’s not listened to.

[00:10:52] Patti: I have colleagues in the room, men, women, they who will go, gosh Patty just said 10 minutes ago, and of course I’m doing that too, so we’re modeling that inclusive behavior, we’re modeling things like, gosh, in my own team, I have single moms, who are, I’m really lucky my kids are grown up cuz I have no idea what it’s like now where nannies aren’t coming and there’s just a lot, right?

[00:11:13] Patti: A lot going on, again, making it harder, and that does tend to fall on the mom, and we are at a workplace where that’s okay, we’re gonna figure this out. We have to serve our customers, we gotta delight our customers, my orgs job is to break through the noise, but I’m not gonna do it at the expense of my people.

[00:11:30] Patti: So what are those things our HR org is doing in order to be able to meet people where they are individually and what does that look like? And then of course we have ERGs, right? The women at Limeade kinds of groups where we get together and we talk about things, for me, I’m a member of the sandwich generation.

[00:11:46] Patti: It’s, I can’t even it’s so hard, I get a mom with Alzheimer’s, lots of health issues, I have kids about to go off to college, right? There’s all these things going on, not to mention the emotional stuff happening with me, and so I need a different kind of level of support, and I’m getting those kinds of things from the org.

[00:12:03] Patti: The most exciting thing though is the belonging piece, right? So for us, it’s not about me saying, You belong here, Amy. It’s about you looking in the mirror and saying, I belong here. And so, some of those things that we’re doing when we get the diversity, we have the inclusion, what’s gonna keep me in the room? what’s gonna keep me in the room is my way of making decisions where I’m pretty relational.

[00:12:26] Patti: Like most women, I’m quite relational, if we make this kind of decision, this investment, this divestment, how does it impact these different stakeholders, these different other investments? That’s the kind of reason, like that kind of thinking gets women kicked out of boardrooms at Limeade, it gets you included in the room, right?

[00:12:44] Patti: Because we have to force ourselves to make changes differently. So there’s nuance, absolutely, but there is also the expectation of how we work together to ensure we all belong in the room.

[00:12:58] Amy: So how does, the work that Limeade does then help your clients achieve wellbeing and belonging in the companies that you serve?

[00:13:07] Patti: Yeah, there’s a few different things, let’s talk about the data and let’s talk about some actual experiences. So, what we have seen in the data is what women in particular, in particularly black women, have been impacted more negatively than any other population during the pandemic, so we, there’s a lot less tolerance for us having the more flexible kind of schedule like we do here it at Limeade to work from anywhere, remote, first kind of schedule, pick your hours.

[00:13:31] Patti: It’s kinda get your work done, work with your team, create those relationships. So that’s really important when you’re investing in someone’s holistic wellbeing, that’s pretty critical. We do that as a company, as a product, whereas other people in our space are focused in on digitalizing and really automating the process.

[00:13:51] Patti: Our solutions are more human applications. We surround the person, what do they need on those four, work, emotional, physical, and financial in order to be supported. When we look at the fact that women were the number one job losers when we have back to having to choose between do I take care of myself, my family, or my job, and I can only choose one.

[00:14:13] Patti: When you have a solution likely made where you take this wellbeing assessment, it tells you where you know you stand in terms of the health and then using artificial intelligence you are served up with things like activities and content. Here are the things you can do. Here are the things you can learn that will help you be able to get better harmony in your life.

[00:14:33] Patti: Not balance, cuz that’s a myth. Better harmony, but also where you have agency, right? Where you can take control and say, I’m not choosing between those three, I’m choosing those three. I might even add a fourth, and so that’s the first. The second is we force people, not just women, but mostly women and other underrepresented populations who again, are constantly having to prove, to your point, right earlier around, let’s be careful about telling people to open the kimono and show up crying.

[00:15:00] Patti: That’s not what we’re saying, but we’re all conditioned to force underrepresented populations to prove what they’ve already proved to us, which is, they’re human and can be pretty awesome. There, so there’s this constant kind of proving piece, and in the solution, when you have to prove, or in any work area, sorry, you have to prove, you’re typically gonna choose the thing that you gotta prove, which is, I guess I’ll choose work and the other stuff will leave behind.

[00:15:25] Patti: And no, by the way, I don’t wanna have to go to some strange place to go figure out what is an option for me for wellbeing. So not only do we make people choose between their wellbeing and work in that kind of, high level philosophical, we actually do it pragmatically cuz we make it really hard to go find those wellbeing things.

[00:15:44] Patti: Besides open enrollment, in November where you choose insurance in this country. So what we do is we’re infusing wellbeing into daily work things like integration with teams where it’s literally right there with you where our platform becomes part of how the next piece around women is community.

[00:16:03] Patti: So not only do I want something that’s gonna talk to me, where as a 52-year-old woman, I probably don’t need something that would support me if I had infants, right? because I don’t, so I have those things served up for me personally based on all the algorithm. But the other piece is that human connection, being able to, regardless of where you are, connect with other humans in a way that you’re, you are acting on the cultural based behaviors of your company.

[00:16:31] Patti: So for us, one of them is speak plainly, another one is all around teamwork. So, I will go into my solution or our customers will, and they will call out, gosh, Patty, thanks for being in this meeting, you lived, speak plainly, must have been really hard, have an uncomfortable conversation and then other folks kind of chime in and belong in that conversation.

[00:16:52] Patti: One of our customers stayed to Washington during the pandemic, there’s this one video that, that there were multiple videos, but one of them that stuck in my mind from some of their employees, this woman had just gotten her job at the state of Washington. She moves from like Texas or something to Washington state, and the world breaks down.

[00:17:09] Patti: By the way, she has psoriasis so her skin, she’s very uncomfortable not only physically but embarrassed by her looks, she. She gets on ramped as part of becoming a new employee, you get on ramped with the wellbeing solution, you take this assessment, it spits stuff back to her and all of a sudden she’s connecting with people that she’s working with people who live around her, right?

[00:17:32] Patti: Cuz of the geographic location component she is, she completely transformed her diet, which helped with her autoimmune challenges, she learned all these things, and oh, by the way, she started making friends based on the wellbeing stuff too. So, all of a sudden, her life became transformed and going back to the very basic human need and things, most women don’t feel is seen at work, accepted.

[00:17:53] Patti: And that’s how our customers using it, that’s how we are using. Of course, there’s the cost cutting around, not spending so much time with people being absent. Those things are important, by the way, don’t mean to discount, but when it comes to this topic, there is nothing like feeling like you belong and there’s nothing like feeling like you have agency over yourself as a human being.

[00:18:18] Amy: It’s clear that you’re passionate about this work, how did, why do you do this work? Why is this the thing that’s so important to you?

[00:18:24] Patti: Yeah, I come from a long line of women, I’m Armenian and my mom’s first-generation American Armenian, my dad is Irish on the Armenian side we are genocide survivors.

[00:18:34] Patti: So my grandmother was orphaned in the Armenian genocide and when I went back for my PhD to learn how to research like a scholar, cause I was very interested in her life and she had passed and we just didn’t talk a lot about what happened to her, and I found out a lot about her at the same time I was, when I was doing my PhD, my dissertation, which ended up resulting in a book years later, was a phenomenological study of women who held border director positions in publicly held life sciences and tech businesses.

[00:19:01] Patti: Back then, those were the most technology intensive and we still don’t have enough women in those boards. So I’m learning about these women on these boards and how they created their own platforms, they were like me, they did not come from connected families, unlike me, they came from like dairy farms and stuff in Midwest, like me.

[00:19:16] Patti: They didn’t go to tier one school, so they didn’t have the she Sandberg set up, right? And but they were able to constantly transform every time, they fell down, which was quite a bit. They were able to create a platform cuz they knew ego wasn’t going to help them, but platform did, and they knew that they couldn’t solve the whole problem, but what they brought to the table was solving part of it.

[00:19:36] Patti: So these women were amazing self-agency, blah, blah, blah, and then I’m learning about my ancestors, my grandmother, her mother, my great aunts, even my mom, to a pretty big degree, they didn’t have agency in their own life because of where they were born, the gender they were born, when they were born.

[00:19:54] Patti: They basically had to shut up their entire lives in order to survive. So here I am born when I was where I was looking like I was with ears that are big and a mouth that’s even bigger, and, seeing, gosh, aren’t I fortunate? to be here, aren’t I fortunate to be here after this long line of women who couldn’t?

[00:20:13] Patti: What can I do to create a platform big enough so that every woman who disrupts, inefficient, ineffective, inequitable, status quo are able to take this platform and create good in the world? And by the way, doesn’t have to be just women, it can be anyone, right? Because it, it really is about leveling the playing field for all talent to thrive, which is how I get women to, be viewed differently when they disrupted how they view themselves.

[00:20:33] Patti: That’s why I do it. I believe it’s one of my purposes, probably my biggest purpose and it’s why I wrote the book, Disruptors Success Strategies From Women Who Break the Mold. It’s the anti lean in book, cuz I don’t think any of us need to lean in any more than we already have , right?

[00:20:51] Patti: So, let’s understand what those things are that are quite frankly set up against us, only because the people who created them weren’t us, but they’re still in place, those co constructs, let’s learn from everyday women who’ve done incredible things. Like my friend Nicole Sahe, who founded Globalization Partners, created a category, a global category of PEO.

[00:21:12] Patti: Preferred employer of choice, never existed before and went from zero to 1 billion in revenue in six years, right? She created a unicorn in six years where Stanford says it’s 10 to 12. So learning what she did, she’s just a girl from the Bible belt, right? So, what did she do? Very exciting.

[00:21:29] Patti: And I also go out and do a lot of stuff like this, I’m on tv, I go on stages, and the reason is there are so many of us who understand that if all of us can’t thrive, if, none of us can thrive and it’s really critical, but it’s a lot of talk. You’ve been in this space for a while, people throw program money and nothing ever changes.

[00:21:49] Patti: Technology changes the way we work and we live, when you can use technology to be more efficient, more effective, and more equitable, leveling that playing field so I can be more human at work I can bring all my special sauce that I wanna bring on my own terms to work. It’s a pretty good marriage between, that the impact of technology, and I love tech obviously.

[00:22:08] Patti: And in being able to have your daughter have as many opportunities as your son,

[00:22:16] Amy: It is so important. I have a question though, about the technology itself? What is there in the tech or in the solution that, hold on a second. So now that you’ve said that it brought me back to a question that I wanted to ask you, which is folks who have been historically excluded black and brown folks, women, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ community, there are lots of categories of people that have been left out right.

[00:22:47] Amy: We’re all facing real systemic barriers to success and to change, how do you tie the technical solution that that you bring, and this notion of being a disruptor that you bring with your book into breaking down some of these systemic barriers that are bigger than any one of us.

[00:23:07] Patti: Yeah, it’s such a good question.

[00:23:08] Patti: So there’s, I have a few different, do few different ways I’d come at it when I first started on this topic the glass ceiling as everyone called it. I remember thinking things aren’t gonna change, and I was studying boards and all of that, nobody was bringing on a board member, and I thought, why the hell am I waiting for someone to shatter that when I have a freaking glass door right in front of me in some glass floors right below me, and I wasn’t, as high up as I am now.

[00:23:31] Patti: And started thinking about who has the biggest influence, and this was at a time where Nudge was really starting to the work that we Tina Nelson and I can’t remember her partner were doing, but the whole nudge component, and realized if we waited for the board to change things, and this was several years ago and things have changed, we’d be waiting forever and we still are.

[00:23:54] Patti: Instead, why not look at the population of people who are responsible for hiring the majority of your workforce, for investing in the majority of your workforce in terms of who’s getting developed, who’s getting promoted? Cuz you certainly can tell a lot about a company by who gets promoted, right? Who’s gonna get the raise?

[00:24:12] Patti: Who’s gonna get the leadership opportunity? And quite frankly, who leaves and why? Those people are middle managers. So when we look at a solution like this, and we also know the data’s very clear, people don’t leave a company, they leave a boss. What we see from middle managers and what I’ve personally experienced every time I walk off the stage, more often than not a male manager won’t come up to me and go, gosh, Patty, I really wanna do all of these things.

[00:24:36] Patti: I do believe equity in the workplace is part of my job. I don’t have anything to do. I can’t give her flexible work, I have no idea if this woman’s taking care of herself, I can’t, I can’t do those things that I would need to do to move from manager to leader, but more importantly, give her what she needs or this person from an underrepresented population, what they need in order to succeed.

[00:24:57] Patti: When you look at a solution like ours, you look at it from the top down and the bottom up. The top down tends to be around absolutely reducing medical claims, and those things to make sure we’re taking care of our physical and our mental, our emotional health. That’s extremely important. We cannot ignore that, right?

[00:25:14] Patti: We’re in the make money business, or at least in the fulfill a mission business if we’re a government or a nonprofit. But the whole thing about the people is critical. There is a bottom up for sure. So I have the top down, are people using the program? What’s their daily active use?

[00:25:29] Patti: Monthly active use, cuz the more you use the program, the more the program’s going to benefit you, or the solution is going to benefit you, which means you’ve gotta have stuff in place, things around meeting people where they are in the flow of work. Things around those personalized kinds of solutions where I know it’s in my language and it’s all about me.

[00:25:47] Patti: But then there’s the manager, and while the executives, like I have a view of my department, right? My multi-level department, we have advanced listening by Tiny Pulse so a survey tool I constantly know the pulse of my organization and I may go, Okay, so these pockets are having challenges, are they participating in our wellbeing programs?

[00:26:08] Patti: Are they out on what we call team Limeade, which is our install of our solution, are they giving each other kudos? Are they participating in some of the challenge events? Like our CEO always has a step challenge, I’ve never won Amy, someday I’m going to, and I’m going to have a big podium. It’s gonna be wonderful.

[00:26:25] Patti: But they’re not. And if they’re not, how do I nudge them? How do I talk to ’em about what’s going on? I use this thing called Coach It’s one of our solutions, one of the biggest challenges people have, and getting that behavior around inclusion and belonging is again, not managers, not having frequent check-ins with their people.

[00:26:44] Patti: And I don’t mean performance review, frequent check-ins. So I have this thing called coach from our advanced listening module, and the first question, is it pulse question? How are you doing? On a scale of one to five, how are you doing? Give me one word that describes how you’re feeling today.

[00:27:00] Patti: Who is someone doing exceptional work that you think I should call out on? Team Limeade, what are your priorities? How are you feeling? What is stopping you? How can I help you? The one thing I love about, oh, there are many things, but one of the things I love about that is it continues a conversation and puts me in the place as a leader and manager to be your partner and not only getting your work done, but your experience of work.

[00:27:22] Patti: Super important. The next piece I love, and you and I’ve seen the same data. When people get performance reviews or feedback, men tend to get very specific, pragmatic feedback, you just met with this client, here are the things you should keep doing cuz it’s going great. I noticed they asked you these questions.

[00:27:39] Patti: Maybe in the next meeting, say these things. As a woman, I might get great job, doesn’t help me guess what I want, I want the pragmatic stuff too. So our tools are not only around the wellbeing of, I feel better, I feel supported, I’m able to express how I’m feeling and translate that into the kind of support that I need, which is a different conversation.

[00:27:59] Patti: The one we started off with, which is don’t be careful who you tell how you feel, right? Cause you become the partner. But it’s also the work wellbeing, I feel I have what I need to do my job cuz I have specific supportive feedback on a more frequent basis that changes how you work and how you experience work.

[00:28:20] Patti: That’s not a program, that’s not a one time a year, this is the dental and health insurance I want. It’s pretty magnific, and what’s really great is when you get your people involved, when they’re using it, when you have everybody firing on all cylinders and your targeted communications are going on, your manager are using this to run their day to day, and your people are using it to take care of themselves and really enjoy their life, versus just let time go by, you gotta pay back in six months, right?

[00:28:46] Patti: So there is the business benefit component to this as well. We have this thing called the science of care. You invest in your people, they thrive, when they thrive your HR agenda thrives when your HR agenda thrives, your business thrives and it’s true, and if everybody doesn’t feel like they belong and they don’t have the tools they’re not gonna thrive.

[00:29:07] Amy: Thank you for drawing those connections. I appreciate it, and I do think that middle managers have a tough job, right? Because they are at, on the one hand they are responsible for driving all of the execution in the company. They have very little They have very little pull on policy or direction or priority, but they’re just told execute, execute.

[00:29:25] Amy: And, then they’ve gotta rally all these folks underneath them or better alongside them if they’re doing it right, to get everybody moving in the same direction, in the right direction. But they still, they don’t have the right levers because the that’s all right it’s all controlled.

[00:29:42] Amy: They may have this much to work with instead of a wide breadth of things. So, I like. I like that there’s some equity built into the tool. I talk about a lot when I do training or when I do conference work, I always talk about feedback as an equity tool. Because it, and I say this and people are probably tired of hearing me say it, but.

[00:30:00] Amy: If you had five plants on your window cell and you only watered one, only one would thrive, and that’s how managers treat feedback in their teams a lot of times is they give really good feedback to one of their people, and only one of their people thrives, and they wonder why isn’t everybody doing all the work?

[00:30:15] Amy: And once we build that into the way we work, instead of bolting it onto what we’re doing right and making it one more thing that can make a real difference for people’s work experience and I think that’s, there’s a lot to that, right? It’s programmatic, it’s systematic, it’s personal and interpersonal.

[00:30:33] Amy: There’s, personal commitment there, but also corporate commitment, and I think it’s really, I think it’s really important that those things seep into every level of the organization.

[00:30:40] Patti: And I do too, and I think a lot of us were worried about never let a good crisis go to waste.

[00:30:46] Patti: And the pandemic was a good crisis, and are we going to let it go to waste? And what I mean, particularly just in listening to you, it’s that forcing mechanism that we all know the pandemic did, and that is remind us leaders and our managers, that our employees are in fact this thing called human beings.

[00:31:03] Patti: Right? And so, I love your thing about, which is the house plant that’s gonna thrive. The one you’re watering and feeding and talking to and paying attention to and supporting in a way that there’s only one thing that plant needs, that’s one thing, give them what they need, and so the other piece is knowing what people need and plants are not as different as human beings are.

[00:31:24] Patti: They’re different, more sunlight, more cold, whatever the amount of water versus an ice cube, all that. I kill plants, so I, I’m definitely no expert, but human beings all need something special, and so one size fits none, and we’ve known that for a while, and the pandemic drove that home.

[00:31:43] Patti: So now let’s equip managers, not just with the ability to create a place of belonging but to actually meet individuals where they are in a way that they can, you and I know leading diverse teams is incredibly difficult, it’s really hard, it is not for the faint of heart, there are a lot of personalities, a lot of opinions, a lot of perspectives in there should be.

[00:32:07] Patti: Leading and managing, that’s very difficult. So, what can we do to enable them to meet people where they are and get the best out of them and fuel them? What’s the water that you and I might need different water, and that’s okay, right? Different times of day, I love that, I love what you’re doing.

[00:32:23] Amy: Thank you so much Patty, and thank you for being on the show.

[00:32:25] Amy: I’m really excited about the work that you’re doing and how you’re helping companies and their employees thrive. Thank you.

[00:32:30] Patti: Thank you. Great talking with you.

[00:33:23] Amy: That’s it for this week’s episode of Including You. Join me next week where my guest will be, James Thomas from Alaska Airlines.

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Amy C. Waninger Author Bio

Amy C. Waninger is the Founder & CEO of Lead at Any Level, where she improves employee engagement and retention for companies that promote from within. Amy offers assessments, advisory services, and training on essential skills for inclusive leaders. She is the author of eight books. Learn more at www.LeadAtAnyLevel.com

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