Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are rightfully gaining traction as important aspects of a company’s workplace strategies. And yet, the significance of inclusion’s impact on retention is often overlooked, despite research demonstrating their correlation. This is especially true for parents/carers and their transitioning personal and professional lives. In this blog, we’ll define inclusion, and then discuss how it impacts staff retention, productivity, and wellbeing, with a focus on new parents and carers and their position in the workplace.
More than a tick-box exercise, inclusion is about making sure your employees feel valued by creating a work environment that caters to their needs. This environment helps employees to feel respected, heard, supported, and accepted, regardless of their background or differences from their colleagues.
Put simply, inclusive environments are safe spaces for any employee to be their authentic selves, no matter who they are.
As a manager, actively prioritising retention demonstrates your commitment as an inclusive employer. High levels of retention built on employees’ wish to continue at their place of work not only reflects their success in curating a positive and inclusive environment, but also helps them to retain diverse talent and save costs hiring and training new employees.
This is particularly important for organisations with high staff turnovers to consider. More often than not, a company with a revolving door of new employees hides a deeper issue with staff feeling undervalued, not listened to, or not appreciated.
The impact of inclusion on retention
A report by Better Up on The Value of Belonging at Work found that as few as one single incidence of micro exclusion in the workplace can lead to an immediate 25% decline in an individual’s performance. In contrast, the same report found that when employers feel like they belong, their performance improves by 56%.
The report also found that when staff report feeling valued, not only do sick days decrease by 75%, but their intention to stay increases by 50%. Inclusion is an integral part of retention.
To create an inclusive environment, employers should, to quote Karen Brown from Harvard Business Review, establish a place where “people can be who they are, that values their unique talents and perspectives, and makes them want to stay.” This may be difficult, however, as employees who differ from most of their colleagues in religion, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, and generation, often “hide important parts of themselves at work for fear of negative consequences”, to quote Brown.
Staff member’s desire to stay at their place of work is largely affected by their feeling included, and employers must create inclusive environments if they want to retain their staff. Inclusion has a massive impact on retention, so employers should take it seriously if they’re looking to improve their staff turnover statistics.
How employers can create more inclusive environments
For employers to develop inclusive principles at their place of work, they must first understand their employees, and avoid looking at blanket statistics without considering individuals and minority groups.
At CM Talent we have a number of programmes aimed at creating solid, inclusive foundations that build on introductory diversity and inclusion training and support staff throughout their careers to feel valued. We also help you to get the most of your team in the long run.
For many, the transition to becoming a parent or carer can leave them feeling excluded from the development and progress of their team. We’re Family Care Leave experts and help companies manage leave transitions and support working parents/carers.
We also work directly with managers, delivering group and 1:1 training to ensure they are well equipped to create inclusive, productive networks. During these sessions, we ensure to explore topics like implicit bias training and mental health, among others, to ensure that line managers feel confident and prepared for conversations around diversity, inclusion, and mental health.
Employee network groups that focus on gender, race, parents and carers, as well as mental health and emotional wellbeing that unite staff who may otherwise feel excluded helps to validate them and generates a sense of belonging, which is beneficial to employee engagement and wellbeing. At CM Talent, we specialise in creating these internal employee networks that can be tailored to your organisation’s specific diversity and inclusion.
If you’re looking to create more inclusivity in your workplace, we can support you through this process.
CM Talent helps employers retain diverse teams. Contact us for a discussion about ways in which we can help you prioritise inclusion in your workplace.