How Belonging and Employee Retention are Linked

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In this modern day and age, many companies have an employee retention problem.

In fact, one-third of new employees quit after about six months, and 20% of turnover happens in those crucial first 45 days. And there are plenty of other eye-watering retention statistics to wince over.

Why is this problematic? Because, on average, an entry-level employee can cost a company up to 50% of their annual salary when they leave. That number skyrockets to 200% for a trained employee.

So what can companies do to increase employee retention? They can start by focusing on belonging because it’s one of the key ingredients to retention that you might not have considered yet. Thankfully, a mentoring program can help with this; in this article, we show you how.

Employee retention is a key concern for companies, both big and small. Workers who are happy and satisfied with their jobs tend to stay longer, while those who are unhappy frequently leave for better opportunities. It’s no secret that high employee turnover is bad for business. It costs time and resources to onboard new employees, and it can disrupt the workflow of the company. But what can be done to improve retention rates?

One proven and effective strategy is to create a sense of belonging in the workplace.

The Benefits of Feeling Belonging in the Workplace

Belonging is a feeling of acceptance and inclusion that’s essential to our well-being as human beings. When employees feel like they belong in their workplace, they tend to be happier, more productive, and more committed to their jobs. Belonging also fosters loyalty to the company, which can lead to increased retention rates. People want to work for a place where they feel valued and appreciated.

When employees feel like they belong, they are more likely to collaborate and work well with others. This can lead to a more positive work environment, where everyone is working towards a common goal. When employees feel like they are part of a team, they are more likely to support each other and work together to achieve success.

Creating a sense of belonging leads to increased creativity and innovation in the workplace. When employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions, they are more likely to come up with new and innovative solutions to problems. This can lead to a competitive advantage for the company, as they are able to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing market conditions.

Creating an Inclusive Environment to Improve Retention

Companies should strive to create an inclusive environment where all employees feel welcome and valued, regardless of their gender, race, or background. This means building a culture of respect and open communication, where everyone’s ideas are heard and valued. It also means being mindful of any unconscious biases or microaggressions that may be present in the workplace.

One way to promote inclusivity is to celebrate the diversity of the workforce. This can be achieved through diversity programs and employee resource groups that provide opportunities for employees to connect and share their experiences. It’s also important to ensure that all policies and practices are equitable and unbiased.

Another important aspect of creating an inclusive environment is providing training and education to employees on topics such as diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias. This can help to raise awareness and understanding of different perspectives and experiences, and promote a more inclusive workplace culture.

Many organizations also consider implementing flexible work arrangements and accommodations to support employees with different needs and responsibilities. This can include options such as remote work, flexible hours, and parental leave policies that support work-life balance and caregiving responsibilities.

The Role of Belonging in Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is closely tied to a sense of belonging. When people feel like they are part of a community, they tend to be happier with their work. Research shows that employees who feel a sense of belonging are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and less likely to experience burnout. They are also more likely to be engaged in their work and more committed to the company’s values and goals.

Creating a sense of belonging in the workplace can be achieved through various means. One effective way is to encourage team-building activities and social events that allow employees to connect with each other on a personal level. Another way is to foster a culture of inclusivity and diversity, where everyone feels valued and respected regardless of their background or identity. By prioritizing belonging, companies can improve employee satisfaction and ultimately, their bottom line.

How to Measure the Impact of Belonging on Retention

Measuring the impact of belonging on retention can be challenging, but there are a few metrics that can be used. First, retention rates themselves can be an indicator of how well the company is fostering a sense of belonging. If employees are leaving at a high rate, it may be a sign that something is not working. Exit interviews can also provide valuable insights into why employees are leaving and what can be done to improve retention.

Employee engagement surveys can also be helpful in measuring the impact of belonging on retention. These surveys can provide feedback on how connected employees feel to the company and their colleagues. They can also reveal any areas where the company may need to improve in terms of inclusivity and belonging.

Another way to measure the impact of belonging on retention is to track employee referrals. When employees feel a strong sense of belonging, they are more likely to recommend their workplace to others. By tracking the number of employee referrals and the retention rates of those referred employees, companies can gain insight into how well they are fostering a sense of belonging among their workforce.

Focus on Long-Term Learning

Not all hope is lost when it comes to employee retention statistics: One survey found that 94% of employees would stay at their current employer if the company invested in their long-term learning.

Thankfully, mentoring is a life-long learning opportunity. That’s because those who enter into mentoring partnerships are often advocates of continuous learning who truly believe in the power of professional development, regardless of where they’re at in their careers.

Creating a culture of belonging in the workplace requires ongoing effort and attention. Companies should focus on providing opportunities for long-term learning and growth. This can be achieved through training programs, mentorship opportunities, and professional development initiatives. By investing in the growth and development of their employees, companies can demonstrate a commitment to their well-being and success.

Moreover, long-term learning can also benefit the company as a whole. Employees who are continuously learning and growing are more likely to bring new ideas and perspectives to the table, which can lead to innovation and improved business outcomes. Additionally, investing in employee development can help to retain top talent and reduce turnover rates, ultimately saving the company time and money in the long run.

Say Goodbye to Employee Loneliness

According to the EY Belonging Barometer 2.0 study, more than 80% of employees experience loneliness, with 49% feeling lonelier today than they did prior to the pandemic. What’s even more worrisome? 90% of those feeling lonely don’t report the issue to their superiors.

Unfortunately, that lack of a sense of belonging can make employees not only decrease their performance but also quit their jobs. On the other hand, employees who don’t feel lonely are more likely to stay with their companies.

Now that more and more workplaces are turning to hybrid working arrangements, loneliness is a factor to consider. So how can you ensure your remote workers feel less lonely? Pairing up remote workers as mentoring partners can not only help them combat loneliness, but it can also improve collaboration and communication while creating and encouraging employees to become more involved with their work community.

An effective way to combat employee loneliness is to create a sense of community within the company. This can be achieved by establishing online forums or chat groups where employees can connect with each other, share ideas, and offer support. Additionally, companies can organize virtual events such as happy hours, game nights, or special interest clubs to encourage socialization and build relationships among remote workers. By prioritizing employee well-being and fostering a sense of belonging, companies can improve job satisfaction and retention rates.

Supporting Each Generation in the Workforce

It’s no secret that millennials change jobs more than any other generation—as much as 21% within the past 12 months. In fact, employee retention stats show that three times fewer non-millennial employees have done the same. And what’s the price tag of this job-hopping generation? It costs the US economy $30.5 billion per year.

By employing a mentoring program at your workplace, however, you can help keep Millennials put. That’s because a mentoring program can demonstrate purpose beyond profit, help create the “ideal” working environment, and support ambition and professional development. In fact, according to Deloitte, those that are intending to stay with their organization for more than five years are more than twice as likely to have a mentor.

It’s important to recognize that different generations have different needs and preferences when it comes to the workplace. Baby boomers, Millennials, and Gen Zers all have unique values and priorities. Striving to create a workplace that caters to the needs and preferences of all age groups can be achieved through flexible work arrangements, a focus on work-life balance, and benefits that are relevant to each generation.

A Mentoring Program is a Win-Win

As Andrea Snead, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) put it:

One way that mentoring has changed my professional life is that it has eliminated the barriers that exist when you are a new employee. I would like for those who are new to mentoring to consider being vulnerable and authentic because you can walk away with a broader viewpoint than when you came in.

Start creating that sense of belonging, whether you’re a small company or a big corporation, by ensuring new people don’t feel out of place and demonstrating that you’re invested in the long-term growth and development of your employees.

Ultimately, by fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace is essential for improving employee retention. When employees feel included and valued, they are more likely to be happy, productive, and committed to their jobs. Creating a workplace culture that promotes inclusivity, celebrates diversity, and provides opportunities for growth and connection is key. By investing in their employee’s well-being and happiness, companies can create a workforce that is loyal, engaged, and successful.

Ready to learn about the benefits a mentoring program can bring to your organization? If you want to start small, go with Mentorloop Pro. If you’re a larger corporation, we’d recommend checking out Mentorloop Enterprise to cover your needs.

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Grace Winstanely
Grace Winstanely
Grace is the Senior Marketing Manager at Mentorloop. She is dedicated to making content that helps make mentoring more accessible to all and helping Program Coordinators deliver the best mentoring experience for their participants. She's also a keen cook, amateur wine connoisseur, sports fanatic, and lover of all things tropical.

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