How a more inclusive work environment can help retain tech talent
Discover the importance of inclusion on employee engagement and learn how you can use ED&I to boost your talent retention.
The IT and digital industries are experiencing a boom in the number of open vacancies right now which can be an attractive prospect to employees looking to jump ship. Talent retention is a critical topic when it comes to ensuring you keep the skills you need in-house. Did you know that diversity and inclusion can have a huge impact on employee retention? In fact, you can use a focus on inclusion to promote employee engagement, happiness and wellbeing and retain that top tech talent!
What makes inclusion more than just diversity?
When we talk about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) we tend to focus on the first two. However, that tagged on “&I” is more powerful than you realise.
Diversity is about counting people and filling a quota. Inclusion is about going beyond the statistics and making sure every individual knows that they are valued.
An inclusive environment has the potential to empower your employees and as a result bring you as an employer some juicy benefits too.
Benefits of an inclusive workplace culture
When we talk about inclusion what we really mean is recognising the value of your employees and respecting them as individuals. When employees feel included and valued, they are happier and as you build your brand and reputation as an inclusive employer you can expect to:
Widen your available talent pools
Strengthen employee engagement and trust
Promote creativity and innovation
Make better and more profitable business decisions
Reduce employee turnover rates
4 ways inclusion is key to improving employee retention
It’s that last point that we’d really like to focus on. Better employee retention means its easier to keep the best tech talent in house, keeps company morale high and reduces the time and money you spend hiring. Here’s why:
1. Inclusion creates a sense of belonging
As humans we all want to feel as though we belong. However,40% of us say we feel isolated at work and this isolation can be extremely damaging. When it comes to retention its key. Lacking a sense of belonging is frequently cited in exit interviews and companies with high sense of belonging amongst their teams experience a 50% drop in their turnover rates alongside some other benefits too. The same study found a 75% reduction in sick days taken, a 56% increase in productivity and a whopping 175% increase in the likelihood employees would recommend them to others.
2. Inclusion boosts individual self-worth
Over half of tech employees have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their careers and which can be fuelled by unconscious biases in the workplace.By celebrating the differences that make your employees individuals and championing their unique achievements you are boosting their sense of self-esteem and self-worth. This can go a long way to combatting the sense of imposter syndrome employees from many groups can feel as they progress in their careers.
Giving your employees the space to be themselves and listening to their individual voices can also encourage innovation and creativity and help you develop better products that speak to your audience.
3. Inclusion demonstrates career progression
As an employer it’s important to ask yourself: why would an employee choose to stay with your company if they cannot envision a future for themselves there? Whilst BAME representation in the UK tech industry is around 19%, this representation is severely lacking at boardroom level. In fact, only 11% of tech leaders are from a BAME background. The situation is marginally better for women. A recent TechNation report found that 22% of tech directors are women but clearly lack of representation for minority groups is a critical issue.
By working to ensure there is representation at every level of your organisation and modelling inclusivity at the senior level you are demonstrating to your employee’s that you believe in them, that there is a place for them long term and they have the potential to progress.
4. Inclusion builds a comfortable and accessible working environment for all
It may seem obvious that a comfortable working environment, nice lighting, a few plants, free tea and coffee, would make your employees happy and therefore less likely to leave. But a key part of creating a more inclusive workplace is recognising that comfortable can mean different things to different people, especially in regard to disability and is often tied into accessibility. It is probably impossible to create a truly comfortable workplace that suits everybody but by listening to your employee’s needs you can take proactive steps to improve accessibility, improve job satisfaction and reduce turnover.
How can you develop a more inclusive workplace?
That’s the why. So, what about the how? What can you do as a tech leader to develop a more inclusive workplace culture. Use this building inclusion checklist to help you manage your diverse workforce and promote a sense of inclusion and belonging:
Offer training to all levels
Have senior staff model inclusive behaviours
Ensure your employment practices and policies are inclusive
Offer organisational support and encourage peer-to-peer connection
Gather feedback from your employees and above all listen!
DMCG can support your progress towards diversity and inclusion in the workplace
At DMCG Global we are committed to modelling diversity, equality and inclusion for the recruitment industry and within the digital, technology and marketing sectors in which we work. Our global talent consultancy helps to quickly connect businesses and brands with the right individuals anywhere on the planet. If you are looking for high-calibre professionals and would like a bespoke, high-quality recruitment service, our expert consultants will be happy to help. Get in touch below to find out more.
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