Strong equality policies key to retaining talent as Vodafone survey demonstrates loss-inducing impact of ignoring diversity

Organisations must adopt strong equal opportunities policies for female employees and minority groups to help attract and retain staff, new research has revealed.

A Vodafone UK survey out this week found that businesses without such strategies were 20% more likely than average to have recorded a financial loss in the past year.

Just 2% of employees working in organisations without adequate policies were ‘very satisfied’, the study said.

Dilys Robinson, principal research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, said: “Equal opportunities is one of the important drivers of employee engagement. Our research has found it is fourth on the list of what employees want – after enjoying their job, feeling valued, and being involved with the organisation.

The Vodafone study of 1,500 workers and 500 employers also found that while managers at all levels said their highest priority was attracting and retaining the best people, employees believed their employers were performing poorly in areas they considered important, including corporate social responsibility and work-life balance.

Only one-quarter of employees gave a high rating to their organisation’s HR function. “I don’t think HR has worked out what it is there to do yet,” Robinson said.

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