Employee retention is a serious concern for businesses. In fact, for 47% of HR professionals surveyed, employee retention was the biggest workplace concern they faced. After all, high turnover is expensive, with replacing an employee costing an estimated half to two times the departing worker’s yearly salary.
It also negatively affects performance, company culture, and even your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy. No HR director wants to commit to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace only to find that workers feel so excluded that they want to leave.
Fortunately, DEI may also be the solution.
How Can Diversity Help a Company Be Successful?
When it comes to talent management, a successful DEI strategy is becoming crucial in attracting candidates and retaining top performers. The reality is that close to half of Hispanic and Black workers and job candidates reported they had quit a role after experiencing or seeing discrimination in a workplace. In addition, 84% of executives polled reported that lack of focus on DEI was partly responsible for high turnover rates. DEI and retention are a great combination because:
- DEI best practices create not just a diverse workplace, but also a welcoming one, so workers feel comfortable & want to stay
- DEI best practices empower workers to speak up, giving them tools to address challenges instead of feeling like they need to seek a new job
- A strong DEI strategy can make workers feel like part of something greater & provide them with a sense of purpose, which can increase engagement & encourage them to stay
To put it simply, DEI creates a place where employees can see themselves staying and making a contribution. It improves culture and communication, creating a healthier and more positive workplace overall by giving everyone a chance to fully take part.
What Are the DEI Best Practices for Staff Retention?
When looking at DEI best practices, staff retention may not be your only priority. You may also want to improve productivity and financial results through DEI or make a systemic change in the world. Nevertheless, if DEI and retention are both a concern, you may want to incorporate these best practices:
- Include DEI early in the employee lifecycle. Strong onboarding can improve the retention rate of new workers by 82%, but beyond that introducing the idea of DEI early in your recruitment & retention strategy shows candidates that it is a priority at your company. You don’t want new hires to be surprised weeks or months into the job that DEI is important. By mentioning DEI in job ads & in the interview process, you ensure that candidates are aware of your focus so you are more likely to hire candidates who are interested in DEI & who are therefore a good fit for your company.
- Train for DEI. Individuals tend to have differing ideas of what an inclusive workplace might be. Ongoing training helps your team understand how to use inclusive language, how to use accessible communication systems effectively, how to support other workers, how to address microaggressions, & more. The more you equip your workers with specific, actionable knowledge, the readier they are to build a great culture at your workplace, which in turn creates a place where workers want to stay for the long term.
- Evaluate your physical workspace. Employees are unlikely to stay if the workplace is uncomfortable or makes work less efficient. Create an accessible, inclusive workplace for not just your employees but also visitors. Simple changes such as tables that can be used by people of different heights & by people using wheelchairs can make a big difference. A quiet space, noise-canceling headphones, & dimmable lights can help neurodiverse employees & workers living with some types of chronic pain. They can also be more comfortable for just about everyone. If you have an online workspace, make sure the apps & platforms you use are comfortable to use & customizable. Some workers may want to increase font size, for example, or may want to change the layout or colors to better understand or work with files. Use software & services with accessibility features & look for vendors with a strong commitment to DEI so you can be reasonably sure the tech was developed with a range of users in mind.
- Consider DEI in your benefits. Consider what benefits a diverse & inclusive workplace may need. For example, you may want a generous paid sick time policy or flexible work arrangements. A wellness program can promote good work-life balance while a daycare option & parental leave can help any people with families. If you gather metrics about your workforce — by working with Diversio, for example — then you may know more about your team so you can customize your benefits to their needs.
- Examine your processes & operations. Is there enough employee recognition? Is employee acknowledgment & promotion based on merit with a transparent evaluation process? Does your organization provide equitable opportunity for all? Look for ways to dismantle any systems based on old ideas of traditional networking & connections & instead work to ensure all talent can thrive. Take a close look at safety & harassment policies to ensure they empower workers to come forward & alert you in case a problem arises.
- Focus on metrics. You may have the best intentions, but without data, your DEI strategy remains ad hoc. You may have ideas about what will make your workplace welcoming, but you could also be wrong. Ultimately, the best way to find out what would make workers stay is to ask them. An article in Harvard Business Review points out that many workers hide parts of themselves at work, & this “makes it difficult to know how these employees feel & what they want, which makes them vulnerable to leaving their organizations. The key to inclusion is understanding who your employees really are.” Knowing who your workers are & what support or best practices they want to see also takes the guesswork out of what to do next.
Improving Retention & Helping Employees Thrive Starts Here
There’s no way around it: If you want to create a workplace where workers are engaged and fulfilled in the long term, you need to create a culture where people want to work. And those workers want to work in diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces that make them feel like they’re part of the team.
If you’re interested in DEI, Diversio can help. Our AI-powered, metrics-driven solution starts by gathering and benchmarking data, so you understand what diversity really looks like in your organization and how that compares to your industry. With the Diversio Dashboard and your Diversio Inclusion Score™, you have a simple way to track progress and conceptualize your diversity efforts — and see them grow over time — using a number. Additionally, The Recommendation Engine™ can give you customized ideas for improving your DEI efforts and a host of additional Diversio solutions can help you every step of the way on your journey.
If you’re interested in tangible results, request a demo today to see for yourself how Diversio can make a measurable impact at your company.