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Employee retention depends on inclusion

“Often the perceived ‘answer’ for ED&I is training, which we are often asked to develop. However, we know that awareness training alone doesn’t translate to change. And for many years, people have associated ED&I training with compliance or a HR mandate. Simply doing more of the same isn’t going to have the necessary impact.

More than half (52%) of employees surveyed say their willingness to remain in a workplace depends on inclusion, according to our new survey of the UK workforce.

While the data shows that inclusion is a universal expectation for all working professionals, those who are more likely to want to leave a workplace if they don’t find it inclusive for people like them include women (57%), people with disabilities (57%), those aged between 16 and 24 (56%), heterosexual people (53%), and White people (53%).

The findings suggest that the threshold for accepting less inclusion vary between different groups. People aged between 25 and 34 (49%), men (47%), LGBTQIA+ people (49%), and Asian/British Asian people (41%) are less likely to say, ‘I would want to leave a workplace if I didn’t find it inclusive for people like me.’ While some may argue this means they are less likely to want for inclusion, others may say they are less likely to risk job security. 

While the study demonstrates how integral inclusion is to employee retention, it also shows that there is still substantial work to do in creating inclusive workplace environments.

More than one in five (21%) of all working professionals feel excluded from conversations about ED&I, more than a quarter (26%) find conversations about ED&I in the workplace frustrating, and more than one in five (22%) find these conversations nerve wracking.

These statistics differ dramatically between different groups, suggesting disillusionment amongst underrepresented communities, who generally feel more excluded, more frustrated, and more nervous about ED&I conversations.

Often the perceived ‘answer’ for ED&I is training, which we are often asked to develop. However, we know that awareness training alone doesn’t translate to change. And for many years, people have associated ED&I training with compliance or a HR mandate. Simply doing more of the same isn’t going to have the necessary impact.

For ED&I learning programmes to be effective, we need to get to ‘cognitive disruption’; there needs to be a jolt and a series of memorable moments for the learner that are more likely to lead to transformation. Awareness alone has been disproven too many times.

However, training is only ever one part of a broader set of changes that need to be made. We encourage systems reviews and redesigns, where we take a more forensic approach to looking at  how and where bias can creep into any part of a process or way of working. Both automated and human-led systems and processes are equally prone to bias and we are often able to detect inequitable experiences for candidates and talent as part of the employee lifecycle and for consumers as part of the marketing ecosystem. We underpin this with our measurement model for inclusion. 

What we see is that biased outcomes are typically the result of: mindset + behaviours + process + structures. Focusing on change of only one of these elements tends to yield weak results and generates ongoing frustration and, at times, apathy. A more holistic review and plan is required to acknowledge the bias and to create impactful, system change that in turn leads to more inclusion in the workplace.

 www.theunmistakables.com/confusion 

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