During the big resignation, employers forget 1 key strategy to keep their employees

The pandemic has changed everything, and for most employee segments it has profoundly affected their sense of belonging and inclusion. In the context of a “war for talent” and a record resignation rate, employees are now demanding flexibility, space, support and trust from their organizations.

However, data from a recently released report by professional and personal coaching firm BetterUp shows that organizations are struggling to meet these new expectations.

Ownership – a leading indicator of both intention to stay and performance – suffers as a result, with employee ownership at an all-time low. Despite improvements in productivity, employees feel more excluded at work than at any time since the start of the pandemic.

The “Redefining Inclusive Leadership” report shares information based on more than 10,000 members engaged in virtual coaching to better understand how individuals navigate their organizations and their lives – before, during and after the pandemic.

Representing all industries and functions, organizations large and small, the data provides a window into the differences, challenges and unique needs of populations affected by the pandemic, including underrepresented minorities, women, working parents. and those who live in hybrid work environments.

Here are some of the report’s key findings and ways companies can focus their efforts on equipping frontline managers to lead in an inclusive manner that generates impact, change, and lasting results across your organization.

1. Managers are key to promoting inclusive leadership

Perhaps no group can create a more sustained and immediate impact on the inclusion of your employees than frontline managers. To support their teams, managers must relearn the key mindsets and behaviors to lead people into the new world of work. Traditional approaches to diversity and inclusion often place the burden of advocating and influencing change on the under-represented group. Dr Erin Eatough, occupational health psychologist and behavioral science manager at BetterUp, who wrote the report, noted that “when we equip managers with inclusive leadership skills such as relationship building, recognition, empathy and social bonding, the whole organization experiences the ripple effect of belonging – and barriers to creativity, collaboration and performance can be overcome. “

2. Under-represented groups need more psychological security

BetterUp has found that under-represented groups are 1.6 times more likely to have low membership and therefore are at greater risk of attrition than their peers. The data suggests a solution: focus on psychological safety. The results suggest that big improvements in intention to stay and other vital metrics occur when managers lead inclusively. Without inclusive leadership, we risk losing talent and creating a more cohesive workforce just when we need a diversity of ideas, perspectives and approaches to drive performance and innovation. in an increasingly complex environment.

3. Women and Parents Need More Support Than Ever

With variable and unpredictable school closings, a general lack of childcare options, and the uncertainty surrounding how to work from home, parents, especially women, face unique and ongoing challenges. Many choose to leave the workforce or are forced to leave completely in what has been dubbed the “Shecession”. For women, the most common topic discussed with their BetterUp coaches was career planning. For parents, the most frequently discussed topics in coaching are stress management and personal care. This reflects the different support these groups need.

However, inclusive leaders have a positive impact for both women and parents. When managers recognized and supported the unique challenges of these people during the pandemic, it mitigated the negative impacts. When it comes to well-being, feeling supported at work has been linked to a 17% increase in women’s actual well-being since the start of the pandemic and a 28% increase for parents.

4. Different working arrangements have different advantages

Eatough also said that “more and more employees now prefer a hybrid work environment or the ability to work remotely. The way your managers lead these new hybrid teams has a direct impact on organizational performance,” employee intention to stay, general well-being, and more “. In the short term (two weeks or less), the impacts of changes in work arrangements are generally insignificant. But in the long term (six months or more), there are noticeable impacts on productivity, resilience and well-being under different working conditions. Working entirely remotely brings small benefits in terms of productivity, resilience and well-being. Working full-time in the office tends to offer a noticeable benefit for resilience – a skill that helps people bounce back from setbacks. But hybrid work (part-time remote, part-time in the office) has a disproportionate impact on well-being. Hybrid work appears to offer a distinct wellness benefit for employees.

But the transition to new working methods also has its challenges. Hybrid workers have differentially high coaching rates around strategically managing and leading others, while remote shifts are associated with a higher rate of emphasis on career development than others. shifts, signaling that professional concerns are rising to the fore for those who switch to working entirely remotely.

As the “big resignation” is in full swing, employees are gaining the upper hand and their expectations have changed dramatically. As a result, organizations must commit to investing in helping their frontline managers relearn the skills that will enable them to meet the new unique needs of their teams. Different populations face unique challenges, as do those adapting to new forms and methods of working. To navigate this new world of work, organizations need a new kind of inclusive leadership that amplifies sensitivity to these new needs.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.


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