Lemon Tree's sustainability objective is to be a trusted Indian brand focused on nation building and being a role model organization. We have focused our efforts on creating a socially inclusive work environment which seeks to bring in people of different backgrounds, abilities and ethnicities and offer them work as a unified team. We believe that persons with disabilities (which can be physical, social or economic disabilities leading to an opportunity deprivation) must be provided the same opportunities as others to realize their full potential and live with dignity.
By creating a supportive environment in the organization that allows them to deliver their best, we are able to play a part, however small, in social inclusiveness, opportunity/livelihood creation and therefore nation building. Lemon Tree Hotels is mainstreaming "Opportunity Deprived Indians" i.e. ODIs into its workforce, as detailed under:
Employees With Disability (EWDs):
- Physical Disability
- Speech and Hearing Impaired (SHI)
- Orthopedically Handicapped (OH)
- Going forward, also Visually Impaired (VI), Low Vision (LV)
- Intellectual Disability
- Down Syndrome
People who belong to Marginalized Sections of Society:
- Communities who do not get employment opportunities easily i.e. North Eastern States, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, etc.
- Widowed or abandoned/battered women
- Below the poverty line (BPL) individuals
- Individuals from economically weak families
Lemon Tree Hotels has been hiring PWDs since 2007. Currently, 13% of group employees
The inclusivity approach has two primary direct results/benefits:
1. Enhanced employee satisfaction and hence employee engagement
2. Growing customer delight
Employees at LTH have frequently expressed the sense of pride they feel to be a part of a company that mainstreams PWDs and on boards them regularly. They are happy to work side by side with them and feel a renewed energy in doing so.
Many of our guests are surprised and delighted to be served by EWDs at our hotels and in a way feel that they too are contributing to nation building by supporting a hotel brand that does so. We have seen a lot of feedback about the excellent service provided by EWDs from our Guest Satisfaction Tracking System (GSTS) and TripAdvisor, both of which we study on a regular basis.
The indirect results include:
1. Reputation building
2. And hence strengthening of the brand
“The inclusivity/diversity strategy of Lemon Tree Hotels is central to our business model and we have built a culture of mainstreaming the disadvantaged. This included People With Disabilities (PWDs) and those from Economically and Socially (EcoSoc) marginalized segment. The aim is to offer the same opportunities to PWDs and EcoSoc as others, so that they can realize their full potential and live with dignity.”
-Aradhana Lal, Vice President-Sustainability Initiatives