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5 Meaningful Steps Your Company Can Take to Retain Women in Your Workplace

5 Meaningful Steps Your Company Can Take to Retain Women in Your Workplace

With newly minted phrases like ‘The Great Resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’ looming in the daily headlines, it is clearly time to take a proactive approach to hiring and retaining strong women in your organization. It is vital that company leaders and owners now recognize the employee’s desire to feel fulfilled, have workplace flexibility, and take other changing priorities into account when implementing retention methods.

To find ways to connect and fulfill your modern team of motivated women leaders, we have compiled five of the most meaningful strategies designed to appeal and retain. As you begin to rebuild, these methods will help you find your ‘dream team’—and keep them—for years to come.

1. Communicate and Collaborate Effectively

Remote and hybrid work have been successful throughout the last few years and many companies have chosen to keep work-from-home environments in place even now. However, for women leaders there are certain setbacks to this dynamic that make it difficult for these employees to want to stay in their positions and grow with their companies.

For starters, 45% of women business leaders say that it is more difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings than men. On top of this, poor communication in general is an issue women in the workforce face regularly both in virtual and office settings. As a result, oftentimes these employees feel unappreciated and unheard by their team.

The first strategy for employee retention is communication and collaboration. There are numerous ways that you can communicate and work with your team on a more intimate level to ensure they feel heard and appreciated by you. Some of the best include:

  • Facilitating regular one-on-ones where you discuss their progress, recognize their quality work, and strategize their future with the company
  • Developing mentorship programs so your team can help one another to grow and learn in a low pressure, supportive way
  • Hosting virtual meetings about more than just work (movies, goals, music, achievements)
  • Utilizing community channels through Slack or Teams to talk, share funny memes, ask questions, and highlight team achievements
  • Assigning everyone another team member at the beginning of meetings so they can each tell the group one thing they appreciate about that colleague
  • Asking women employees directly which challenges they are facing and asking for suggestions on how to best support them
  • Scheduling in-person company events and being present during these events to show your appreciation for your team and their contributions

By implementing communication and collaboration techniques, you are creating a more connected and empathetic workplace setting for your team which appeals to modern women leaders in multiple ways. When you feel heard and appreciated, it does not make sense to move on to another company or underperform on the job as our innate desire as human beings is to be loyal to those who are supportive of us.

2. Embrace JOMO, not FOMO

The next strategy for employee retention and satisfaction is one that may seem obvious but is often overlooked by employers, especially in remote settings and high-level positions.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a concept that describes a marketing method where companies would make consumers feel as though they needed to do something to not feel isolated from the majority. But the concept has now morphed into the overarching feeling of missing out on most anything—including important work projects and messages.

As a result, women leaders have fallen prey to never truly ‘clocking out’ in order to stay up to date on emails, messages, and tasks that their companies send them. Many companies continue to allow messaging after hours and, while it may seem harmless at first, the truth is that this FOMO can drain your team of their energy, passion for their work, and desire to stay with your company.

Instead, company leaders should encourage the concept of the JOMO (joy of missing out) and stop communicating with their team after the designated workday is through. Some of the most effective strategies to develop JOMO in your company and reap the benefits of a team that feels their personal time is truly respected by management include offering ‘do not disturb’ periods during the week as well as ‘no meeting days’ so your team can feel focused and do better work accordingly.

Similarly, you can also schedule emails to send only during the workday even if you create them after hours (although, even as leaders we should embrace the concept of JOMO when possible).

At the end of the day, all these JOMO methods are not simply great for showing your team that they are appreciated and respected, but also to help with higher productivity and less personal stress.

With a full team of happy individuals free from the stress and anxiety of late-night emails, you can begin to attract more productive employees that want to stay at your company for far longer.

3. Design Career Paths with Purpose

In the past, finding a decent job and staying in that position for decades was entirely acceptable. Now however, upwards growth is far more emphasized by the modern workforce. Women want to continue to advance in their career paths, achieve a sense of fulfillment, and feel valued.

On top of this, with rent increases, high gas prices, and rising cost of living expenses overall, employees also need fair compensation that accounts for inflation and tracks with the current trends. According to Pew Research, the majority of workers that quit their job during ‘The Great Resignation’ cited low pay and no opportunities for advancement as their primary reasons for doing so. These problems made them feel disrespected which prompted them to leave in hopes of finding a company that proactively cares about their success and well-being.

Having defined career paths that center around a sense of purpose is essential. As you build out these paths for your team, you must also remember to take one-on-one meetings as an opportunity to discuss these paths and refine them regularly. Instead of waiting for performance reviews, keep track of your team’s wins and put them in their career path reports so you can decide whether they are ready to move up and where they would best fit at the next level in their careers.

You can also announce promotions to build upon your communication and show your team roles they could potentially fill as they advance in the company. At best, any new leadership opportunities should begin with a search from within your team, at worst, begin within your current workforce.

These added efforts on your part will help your team to feel engaged, purposeful, driven, and fulfilled. Which in turn should encourage employees to stay with you and your company for far longer than they would with an employer that doesn’t take the time to help them advance and find their sense of purpose in the work they do.

4. Empower Your Team with Uncommon Opportunities

One of the most surprising parts of ‘The Great Resignation’ in post-pandemic times, was how shocked large corporations were that people were not willing to go back to the status quo. Unlike smaller and more compassionate companies, these big brands often hired (and fired) in bulk, dictated office culture based on tired policies, and did not take a more holistic approach to employee management.

As a result, entire teams chose to leave their positions in hopes of finding companies that would treat them as individuals rather than mere pawns on a chess board. This can be seen by business leaders as an opportunity, not an omen.

Recognize your employees’ unique leadership qualities, individualize their opportunities and paths to success, and collaborate with them to find what they bring to the table that differs from the rest of your team. As you develop a more enhanced understanding of your team’s personalities and skill sets, you can start to place them in roles of leadership that fulfill them and their sense of purpose.

Also, empowering teams to own their time and work remotely is something that has helped modern companies increase hires from diverse regions and ensure they stay for the long run. As a benefit, being able to work from home and have a flexible work environment is high up on the list for many younger employees. While this method may seem scary to managers at first, the results of this trend has prompted more productivity and focus from employees as they feel inclined to work with more dedication and passion because of the respect for their time and freedom.

5. Develop Programs for Philanthropy, Well-Being, and Success

Lastly, a revised work environment isn’t the only thing that the modern workforce expects from their careers. Nowadays, mental well-being and charity are just as valuable as raises and promotions.

To account for this, try developing programs for philanthropy and your employees’ mental health. Since community service and charity work improve mental health, they are a wonderful place to start. Options for company philanthropy and mental health include:

  • Tending to a community garden
  • Feeding the homeless
  • Creating a food or clothing drive
  • Raising money for school supplies to donate to local schools
  • Taking part in group yoga classes
  • Meditating as a team before the workday begins
  • Hosting an animal adoption event
  • Creating a 5K run for a charity of your choice
  • Invest in success and leadership programs for your team to uplift them (the BLI program from She-Suite is one example of this)

While these opportunities are all quite different from one another, the thing they have in common is their ability to appeal to those desperately searching for a sense of purpose in the work they do. By showing your team that you care and investing in their passions and success, you give them an opportunity to make their work feel like more than just another job they can leave at any point. As a result, they will continue to work with you and feel fulfilled both in and out of the office.

Now that you know some of the best ways to keep your modern workforce, it is time to put in the work so your team knows just how dedicated you are to their well-being and fulfillment as individuals and company leaders. With employee retention saving companies millions every year, these methods are well worth the effort.

At the end of the day, while the future is never certain, tracking the trends of the workforce is crucial for companies to get a glimpse into the future of their industries and the ways they can appeal to every generation with ease. For now, fulfillment and appreciation reign supreme and, for those that get it, the results of these positive strategies are an endless supply of qualified and driven women leaders looking to advance and grow with you instead of simply using you as another steppingstone to the top.

Watch The She-Suite CEO, Melissa Dawn Simkins share insights on Women in the Workplace

In October, Melissa Dawn Simkins, CEO of Velvet Suite and Founder of The She-Suite, sat down with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business News Mornings with Maria to discuss The State of Women in the Workplace and what companies can do about it.

The problem according to a new study by McKinsey & Company is women leaders are leaving the workplace at the highest rates ever. Want to hear Melissa’s take on the situation?

Please take a moment to watch.