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Part 3 – Inclusive Recruitment: Retention

Jun 24, 2024

6-minute read

In the previous two parts of this series, we discussed the significance of attracting and onboarding neurodivergent talent and provided practical tips for doing so effectively. Now, in this final instalment, we will focus on retention. This blog aims to explore different methods to improve retention rates and highlight why retention is crucial for the organisation and its employees.

The importance of retention

According to Harvard Business Review (2023), employee turnover rates can be as high as 20% in the first 45 days. In addition, approximately one-third of employees leave their new jobs within the first 90 days of employment (Harvard Business Review, 2021). This shows that retaining talented employees is more important than ever, as high employee turnover can lead to the deterioration of company culture. Research published by Wiley Edge (2022) found that company culture was negatively impacted in 63% of UK businesses as a result of high staff turnover.

The workplace culture plays a pivotal role in shaping the experience of employees. Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, morals, and beliefs that characterise an organisation and its employees. A positive culture can help create a sense of belonging and loyalty among the company. This involves fostering an environment that supports employee growth, well-being, and job satisfaction.

Different stakeholders involved in retention:

The organisation

The broader organisation sets the tone for inclusion and retention through its values, culture, and leadership. Building a culture of retention goes beyond training staff and providing benefits, it also involves creating a sense of belonging and community within the organisation. Regularly reviewing retention strategies by gathering employee feedback and adjusting programs to meet evolving needs and expectations is crucial. This proactive approach demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and ensures that the organisation maintains a competitive advantage. Effective leadership is essential for initiating and sustaining changes, as successful employee retention is closely linked to strong, supportive leadership.

HR Team

The HR teams play a pivotal role in creating an inclusive environment that supports neurodivergent employees. HR professionals are responsible for developing policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and providing resources for employees and managers. Their efforts are key to building a workplace that values and retains neurodivergent talent.

Line Managers

Line managers play a crucial role in shaping the work experience of neurodivergent employees. They are essential in introducing inclusive practices, offering support, and nurturing a positive team culture. Providing training to line managers to help them comprehend and adjust to neurodiversity can substantially improve employee retention rates. A proficiently trained line manager is more capable of assisting their team members, which in turn contributes to a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

Different actions organisations can take:

Line manager training

It is essential for organisations to prioritise the training of line managers in understanding and effectively supporting neurodiversity within the workplace. This training program should encompass comprehensive knowledge of neurodiversity, the ability to identify individual strengths and challenges, and the implementation of management strategies tailored to neurodiverse employees. According to a recent study by TextHelp (2022), it was found that 93% of neurodivergent workers are more likely to remain with an organisation that provides effective support. This underscores the importance of creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees.

Furthermore, raising awareness and providing training for managers will enable them to educate and guide their team members in effectively supporting their neurodivergent colleagues. Research has consistently demonstrated that organisations with well-trained managers experience notable improvements in employee satisfaction and retention rates. By equipping managers with the necessary knowledge and tools, organisations can foster a more inclusive workplace environment and enhance the overall well-being and productivity of their workforce.

HR training

HR training should focus on creating and maintaining inclusive policies, understanding legal obligations, and providing resources and support for neurodivergent employees. A well-trained HR team can drive organisational change and improve retention. This training fosters open communication and builds a trustworthy department to address issues early, preventing them from escalating. According to a 2021 study by SHRM, companies with comprehensive HR training programs reported 30% lower turnover rates.

Reasonable adjustments

While it is a legal requirement to provide reasonable adjustments, many neurodivergent employees face challenges in accessing these resources. Implementing workplace adjustments makes an organisation more appealing as an employer and fosters the creation of inclusive working environments and cultures. Managers should engage in ongoing conversations with employees to understand their evolving needs for reasonable adjustments, as these needs may change over time. It’s important to note that some employees may hesitate to disclose their needs immediately, so continuous dialogue is crucial.

Coaching and Co-coaching 

Coaching consistently supports individuals in optimising their performance. It offers a personalised and tailored approach to finding practical solutions to challenges while recognising and leveraging individual strengths. Coaching helps modify habits effectively, identify long-term goals, and provide motivation and a roadmap for sustained personal and professional growth. Organisations can benefit from our extensive pool of fully qualified coaches to create a psychologically safe environment, fostering a space where employees can openly share their workplace challenges, and collaboratively develop strategies to enhance productivity and confidence.

Co-coaching, often utilised alongside Coaching, allows employees and their managers to find new ways to communicate and work together to solve shared challenges in the workplace. Although managers are very often willing to assist, they sometimes lack clarity on how to provide support, such as implementing reasonable adjustments. Co-coaching helps bridge the gap by fostering collaborative problem-solving and mutual understanding between employees and their managers.

Why is retention important?

Retention is crucial both for the employee and for the organisation. Here are some key reasons why maintaining high retention rates is beneficial:

  1. Stronger company culture: higher retention rates contribute to a stronger, more positive culture. Long-term employees provide stability and continuity, fostering an environment where values and traditions can be deeply rooted. This reduces disruption and helps build a cohesive and resilient organisational culture.
  2. Higher employee engagement: team members who have been working together for an extensive period tend to form stronger bonds. These relationships enhance collaboration, loyalty, and shared commitment to achieving organizational goals. Engaged employees are more likely to be invested in their work, leading to higher productivity and morale.
  3. Reduced training costs: high turnover often necessitates frequent recruiting, hiring, and training, which can be costly. A stable workforce requires less spending on onboarding new employees. Instead, organisations can invest in continuous education and upskilling, enhancing the skills and capabilities of existing employees.
  4. Increased revenue: long-term employees accumulate valuable knowledge, enabling them to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively. This expertise, combined with ongoing support from managers, leads to higher productivity, improved business outcomes, and sustained revenue growth.
  5. Decreased hiring and recruiting costs: the cost of replacing an employee can be substantial, often amounting to six to nine months of the employee’s salary (Resources for Employers, 2023). High retention rates minimise these expenses, allowing organisations to allocate resources more strategically and focus on growth initiatives.

Throughout our comprehensive three-part blog series, we have examined the multifaceted aspects of neurodiversity and practical recommendations to optimise the recruitment process, facilitate inclusive onboarding, and fostering long-term employee retention. In today’s dynamic social landscape, creating an inclusive environment and a supportive community that actively nurtures the growth and success of every individual is paramount.

How we can help

At Thriiver, we support individuals and organisations to become more neuro-inclusive, enabling everyone to have an opportunity to succeed within the organisation. We specialise in providing bespoke solutions, such as our Awareness Training, designed to assist companies in attracting, recruiting, and retaining neurodivergent talent. Our tailored approach allows us to customise our services to align with the specific requirements of the organisation and the individual. This may include a range of strategies such as Coaching, Co-coaching, and Workplace Needs Assessment to create a psychologically safe environment for all.

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