7 Ways to Increase Employee Retention: DEI

When employees can’t bring their whole self to work, they leave. Creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) workplace is imperative to increasing employee engagement and retention. Also vital: talking to your employees about it

“Black and Hispanic workers are more likely than white workers to say they’re actively looking for new employment opportunities,” according to SHRM

This means that organizations are still failing to meet the needs of all their employees. Or worse, maybe no tangible follow-up DEI initiatives have happened after a public display of supporting people of color. Whatever the reason, the good news is that there’s a wealth of information on how to get started. As a result, you can create an inclusive company that anyone can feel comfortable and proud to work for. 

Focusing on DEI

Firstly, a good DEI retention plan should start at the beginning of an employee’s lifecycle. According to the experts at The Diversity Movement, a DEI training and certification agency, that can be as early as the interview process, an employee’s first day on the job, or even accessibility to onboarding documents. 

With a vast range of individual and family situations, it’s essential for you also to show diversity and inclusion through your benefits. Your employee benefits should align with your DEI goals. Look at your benefits annually and ask yourself if they reflect your workforce’s needs. Additionally, keep disabilities, gender, sex, age, and family dynamics in mind. 

“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. This makes it difficult to know how these employees feel and what they want, which makes them vulnerable to leaving their organizations. The key to inclusion is understanding who your employees really are.” – Harvard Business Review

Another factor to consider is employee pay. As a general rule, you should set pay based on years of experience, education, job performance, the number of employees managed, professional accreditations, industry, and the job at hand. Don’t consider gender, age, race, nationality, or disability (among other protected areas) when setting an employee’s pay rate.

Improvements to consider

Secondly, the best way to get a pulse and begin creating an environment that lets your people be their authentic selves is to analyze your workforce. You can help identify areas of improvement by sending out surveys, hiring a consultant to conduct focus groups, or simply having one-on-one conversations, says Tracey Hixon, Nextep’s Director of Happiness.

“It can be easy to think everything is fine and be complacent, but if you want to be a place where people want to work, you can’t be passive about uplifting the underrepresented,” she explains. “Having good intentions isn’t enough. You have to take action.” 

It’s also okay to take your efforts one step at a time, but make sure you have an ongoing plan of action, she adds.

Finally, here are some of Nextep’s DEI efforts: 

  • Pulled pay data to ensure employees were being paid fairly for the job they do and in comparison to their coworkers.
  • Hired a DEI consultant to review efforts and plans, provide insight on potential blind spots, and facilitate 2-3 key training sessions.
  • Dug into benefits and made sure they were equitable for people in different family structures and with additional needs. 
  • Required recruiting and corporate HR teams to complete a DEI certification course. 
  • Openly asked for feedback in surveys and in-person, emphasizing psychological safety for responders. We made sure people had multiple avenues for discussing DEI.
  • Changed recruiting and hiring practices like adding bilingual candidates’ preferences and empowered recruiters to interview non-traditional talent.
  • Created a diversity and inclusion committee to spotlight non-profits/organizations in the community focused on racial equity. We also donated to these programs and provided employees with paid time off to help support initiatives. 

Getting Started on DEI

Ready to start cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace? We’ve got you covered. Check out our DEI roadmap for your next step.

 

Want to read more? Check out our other articles in The Great Retention series!

Leadership Training

Benefits

Flexibility

Pay

Engagement

Growth

 

Also on Nextep

Get the low down on how to handle pay correctly. Should you pay your employees for working during lunch? Yes.  Easy answer! Right? Well, no. Though the simple answer is an emphatic yes, it’s a bit more nuanced.  The topic of lunch and compensable time can be tricky. There are many ways an employee could […]
Read more
An employee’s first day at a new job can set the tone for the working relationship going forward. In fact, according to research by Brandon Hall Group, organizations with a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by more than 70%. Though the employee may feel stressed or nervous, the […]
Read more
Your company policies and values are only as good as the leaders implementing them. Get your leadership team on board, make sure they’re living out your company values, and support them to ensure they get the help they need to lead well. “Half of workers who quit their jobs say they left because of their […]
Read more
…And what you should ask instead Say you’re recruiting top talent for your company and find a few excellent candidates. When it’s time for the job interview, you smile, shake hands (or wave hello over Zoom), and sit down for a productive conversation. Your first question is a softball to help warm them up: “Have […]
Read more
How often do you get the chance to expand beyond your current retention or recruiting strategies? It’s common for managers to get stuck in the daily work routine and overlook the growth opportunities their employees want. That neglect may mean a greater chance of talented employees leaving in the short run. Around 48% of employees […]
Read more
Could your employee handbook stand up to a lawsuit or EEOC claim? Here are six tricky areas that could mean trouble for your company. Landmine 1: A handbook that’s older than dirt When was the last time you reviewed your company’s employee handbook? If it’s been longer than a year, then it’s been too long.  […]
Read more
We all know the importance of regular physicals and check-ups, but when was the last time you checked in on your mental health? May is Mental Health Awareness month, serving as a good reminder of how crucial a healthy mind is in the overall map of our wellbeing. This list and infographic can get you […]
Read more
If you’ve made it to this blog on leadership training, chances are you’ve spent some time with us the last couple of months as we dove into turning The Great Resignation into The Great Retention.  So far, we’ve covered flexibility, DEI, employee growth, pay, employee engagement, and benefits. While each of these is important, when […]
Read more
It’s no surprise benefits are one of the top reasons for employees staying with a company or going elsewhere. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study shows that 36% of employees leave for better benefits. Employee retention can be daunting, but we’re here to break it down! Therefore, we’re talking today about benefits. We’ll look […]
Read more
Employee engagement is a crucial piece of the recruiting and retaining top talent puzzle. When it comes to employee engagement, few people in Nextep can speak more authoritatively on the subject than our very own Director of Happiness, Tracey Hixon. To help you get started, Tracey answers some questions about how to retain employees by […]
Read more
In our employee retention series, we’ve talked about flexibility, employee growth, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now, let’s look at another topic that has a massive impact on attracting and retaining top talent: pay! The Great Resignation and the impacts of an ongoing pandemic have long-lasting effects. As a result, employees are evaluating their […]
Read more
Now is the time for employers to carefully review any arbitration or employment agreements they have in place. On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (HR 4445).  In cases of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace, many employers ask employees to sign arbitration […]
Read more

Download Our App