Workers fire warning at HR leaders over diversity

Report reveals employers at risk of losing staff if 'diversity in cultures and backgrounds are not respected'

Workers fire warning at HR leaders over diversity

Employees think that their bosses are not committed enough to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts, according to a new report, and this could put employee retention at risk.

A new report from HR consulting company Buck revealed that 32% of employees believe their companies lack diverse benefits, a figure that was higher for Black (35%) and female employees (35%).

These results could mean that a lot of employers are at risk of losing staff, as the report also said there is "direct correlation between employees and their likelihood to want to leave the organisation if they think diversity in cultures and backgrounds are not respected." This includes if they think their companies are not committed to DE&I, or if their company does not provide offerings for a diverse workforce. What’s more, younger employees are more likely to be interested in DE&I efforts compared to older staff. In fact, 60% of millennials expect their employers to demonstrate commitment to DE&I.

"Employer benefit offerings — including voluntary benefits — play a central role in supporting wellbeing, and the perception among employees of their company’s commitment to supporting an inclusive workplace culture," said Tom Kelly, a Principal in Buck’s Health practice and co-author of the report.

"Our findings show that DE&I is an important metric for employees, in addition to a comprehensive benefits plan, and support for holistic wellbeing for themselves and their dependents."

Read more: Only 34% of companies have enough resources to support DEI initiatives

Comprehensive benefits

In terms of comprehensive benefits, it is also critical for employers to understand the needs of their staff in order to retain them. But what exactly do employees want? The report revealed that 72% of employees want more work-life balance resources. But by ethnicity, Black (76%), Asian (78%), and Hispanic or Latino employees (78%) said they want more support. 

With 54% of employees living paycheck-to-paycheck, financial wellbeing is also a top priority for employees. This is much higher for Black employees (66%), followed by Hispanic or Latino staff (56%), and other or native American workers (60%).

Among millennials, 55% said they would change jobs for better benefits and with they had a better understanding of their benefits, a number that is much higher than the 15% of boomers.

Ruth Hunt, a Principal in the Engagement practice and co-author of the report, said employers have to understand their workers and develop appropriate benefit packages to address their demands.

"The challenge for employers is to really understand the needs of the workforce, and then to develop a benefit package that includes appropriate voluntary options that meaningfully address their physical, emotional, social, and financial needs," said Hunt in a statement.

"The survey findings show that recruiting and retaining talent will be significantly more challenging if employers don't continue to take meaningful steps to offer benefits that support the diverse needs of a diverse workforce."

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