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Unleashing the power of inclusion

Attracting and engaging the evolving workforce

New research from the Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative reveals how organizations need to adapt to attract and engage the evolving workforce.

Inclusion is a key component to attract and engage today’s talent

Every year, organizations allocate time, resources, and budget towards efforts to foster an inclusive culture—and interest is still increasing. Yet, from our survey results, we discovered that there often remains a disconnect between the expectations of today’s workforce and inclusion in organizations.

Deloitte surveyed more than 1,300 full-time employees from a range of different sized organizations and industries across the United States to discover what today’s workforce values in an inclusive culture. We explored whether inclusion impacts attraction and career choices, what today’s workforce prioritizes in an inclusive culture, and what organizations can do to advance inclusion now and in the future.

Inclusion plays a role in attracting and engaging the workforce:
  • Eighty percent of respondents indicated inclusion is important when choosing an employer
  • Thirty-nine percent of all respondents reported that they would leave their current organization for a more inclusive one
  • Twenty-three percent of respondents indicated they have already left an organization for a more inclusive one

Unleashing the power of inclusion

Today’s workforce is looking for more

When asked which aspects of inclusion are present at their current organization, nearly half of respondents say that their current organizations have leaders and/or co-workers from different demographic groups and life experiences.

But when asked what would make their organizations more inclusive, respondents prioritizes aspects that were embedded in their everyday experiences.

  • Seventy-one percent of respondents valued working for an organization with leadership that consistently demonstrates inclusive behaviors over one with mixed quantity or quality of inclusion initiatives offered—as opposed to working for an organization with high-quality inclusion programming, but inconsistent inclusive leadership behaviors.

Many in today’s workforce do not want to just participate in a program or activity and leave the inclusion conversation at the door. Instead, they want inclusion to be fundamental to their daily experiences and are often willing to leave an organization to get it. It is critical for many businesses today to recalibrate how they approach inclusion to attract and engage the workforce now and in the future.

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We have seen from our research that today’s workforce does not want inclusion to be just an add-on, but a fundamental aspect of corporate culture, embedded throughout their organization. Our research provides critical guidance on how organizations can meet the needs of the workforce now and in the future.
                — Deb DeHaas, chief inclusion officer

What does today’s workforce most value in an inclusive culture?

Across generations, many in today’s workforce are seeking a culture of authenticity, flexibility, and purpose.

It is clear based on our research that today’s workforce is seeking organizations that value authenticity, where they can feel a sense of belonging, can connect with others, and grow. Inclusion unleashes the power of diversity, fostering an organizational culture where everyone can have a voice and feels comfortable being themselves. Organizations should look to go beyond only addressing how inclusion looks but also addressing how inclusion feels.

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