High Turnover in Workplaces

It is a universal human need to feel and be understood: to be seen as the most authentic version of yourself, no matter who you are or where you come from. This need is a simple one, but it is often overlooked in the world of business. After all, it can seem impossible (and unnecessary) to consider the individual concerns of each worker. However, disregarding the diverse set of challenges your employees face can come at a great cost to both your business and the people who make it successful. A worker who feels undervalued or dispensable will often leave, taking their skills and unique perspectives with them. The answer to combating high turnover lies in communication, validation, and inclusion.

Diverse thinking

Diversity is not just important in the workplace—it’s essential. In fact, Deloitte University Press reports that diversity should be viewed as a business imperative rather than merely a matter of compliance. Organisations that value diversity and inclusion thrive, and they attract the best possible candidates from a globally diverse workforce. Different viewpoints only enhance a business, bringing a wider variety of ideas and input to the table. This can help solve long-term company problems and encourage company growth.

When workers feel they are being heard and understood, they are also more loyal. But when a workplace suffers from poor diversity management, those same workers you have spent countless hours training and invested thousands of dollars into may feel they’re not valued—and this feeling alone can make the difference between a worker staying or leaving.

High turnover, high cost

It’s no secret that dissatisfied employees are more likely to find new jobs, costing you time, money, and energy to replace them. For example, many mothers are faced with the dilemma of juggling time with their children and advancing their careers. If they have no flexibility at work (like long hours or sub-par childcare options), they may feel forced to choose what’s best for them, especially if their supervisors aren’t willing to take their individual situation into account.

Or, consider a worker with a disability, who might be the perfect fit for the job, but who might also feel alienated by a lack of understanding. People with disabilities face immediate challenges in the workplace, such as limited accessibility in the building itself, or a fundamental misunderstanding of their capabilities. If these challenges are not addressed, the employee will not only be uncomfortable and less productive…they will look for a new workplace altogether, somewhere that they ‘fit.’

Of course, these are only two examples. The real struggle for employers is identifying the unique challenges your workforce faces, as well as how to promote and encourage diversity in a meaningful way.

Moving towards inclusion

So, how can you promote diversity and stop that high turnover?

  • Improve communication. Ask for anonymous employee feedback regularly, and take it seriously. Encourage workers to approach their supervisors with concerns or questions. Employees who have a voice in their workplace are much more likely to feel they can create change in that workplace.
  • Validate. Even just acknowledging that your workforce is not a monolith—that people from a variety of backgrounds can contribute a variety of ideas—is a great first step towards keeping workers happy.
  • Actively foster inclusion. Regardless of background, every person wants to feel that they belong. By treating each employee as an individual with their own set of challenges, you give both your workers and your company more options.

Workplace diversity can mean many different things. It can mean flexibility for women who are mothers, in terms of hours or more cost-effective childcare. It can mean a company-wide conversation about disabilities. Whatever it looks like for you, diversity can and will help your company keep your most valuable resource—your employees.

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