This is particularly true for younger workers in Australia with the Deloitte 2019 Millennial Survey showing that loyalty to employers is waning and nearly half (49%) — would, if they had a choice, quit their current job in the next two years.3
Employees are expecting their companies to recognise their “whole selves” — from their unique values, backgrounds, and talents, to their perspectives on the workplace. This can inform employees’ big decisions, such as staying at their current organisations or accepting new positions.
And recognising the whole person means engaging with different employees in different ways. It is not enough for employers to look at employees through the lens of demographics like age and gender.
Employers need to understand their workforce on a deeper level by evolving employee surveys to cover attitudes, motivators, values, and goals to provide valuable insights into the most impactful ways to engage their people.
Using this approach, companies can develop employee profiles that can be used for program development, benefit offerings, and personalised communications that reflect the diverse needs of the workforce — at scale.
One way to do this is to focus more heavily on workplace culture and related programs. Employers underestimate the value of these intangible factors to employees and, as a result, could be missing opportunities to more deeply engage their workforce.
Many Australian workplaces have developed diversity and inclusion policies to support the attraction and retention of talent from minority backgrounds, e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+), indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. However more can be done to create experiences to celebrate diversity in the workforce.
Affinity groups are one way employees can have meaningful opportunities to connect with each other, and feel a sense of belonging within their organisation — supporting one of the top drivers of happiness at work: having coworkers who are like family or friends.
The Deloitte 2019 Millennial Survey shows diversity is particularly crucial when young people are looking for work. When considering whether to work for an organisation, the majority of millennials cited giving a “great deal” or “fair amount” of importance to the gender, ethnicity, age, and general range of backgrounds of employers’ workforces.4
Our research found that more than two thirds (68%) of employees think diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs are important. Furthermore, our research revealed that meaningful work, a sense of purpose, workplace culture, and diversity and inclusion programs were all important ‘must haves’ when deciding to stay in a job or accept a new job.
For diversity and inclusion programs, this was particularly true for Gen Z’s and Gen Y’s in terms of ‘must haves’ compared with older generations.