Inclusive Communities at Work Will Be a Major Trend in 2022

Sam Cook


Inclusive Communities at Work Will Be a Major Trend in 2022

The Great Resignation is a pressing issue for most employers as we head into 2022. Consequently, the top mentoring trends we’ve highlighted for this year are also some of the biggest drivers underpinning the Great Resignation. Our top mentoring trends for 2022 include:

We offer a broad overview of these trends in our annual mentoring trends post. Here, however, we’ll dig into why we see inclusive communities as a top mentoring trend for 2022, and how organizations can use mentoring to make inclusive communities at work a living reality for their teams.

Why Are Inclusive Communities a 2022 Mentoring Trend?

A large portion of workers spent the past two years working from home, disconnected from family, friends, and colleagues. In 2019, before the pandemic hit, just 6% of people were working remotely most of the time. In 2020, that number rose to around 30%, and even higher (57%) for people employed in management and professional occupations.

Mentoring Trends 20221

As the pandemic evolved in 2021 — and continues to shift for the better into 2022 — companies are faced with a choice:

  • Will remote work continue?
  • If so, how do we keep people engaged and connected?

The data is clear on the first point. Gallup finds that 54% of people working remotely right now want a hybrid remote model going forward. A further 11% want to stay fully remote. For companies that have built their culture around in-person connection, this could mean further marginalization of employees from historically underrepresented groups (who are more likely to opt for remote work) and new levels of disconnect from employees whose life situations make remote work a necessity (such as parents).

That’s where companies may struggle into 2022, and why following and responding to this trend can make the difference between increasing or decreasing engagement and retention.

Redefine Inclusive Communities

A large majority of people (80%!) now want to work for companies that outwardly value diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most companies already have DEI initiatives of some kind, making this transition less daunting than it may seem. However, how your organization defines DEI may need to change, and how you foster inclusivity may need an update for what workers need in 2022.

See Also: Mentoring Supports Workforce Diversity and Employee Happiness

Mentoring programs offer a solution to this problem by creating connectivity in authentic ways. For example, reverse mentoring programs allow junior-level employees to gain valuable connections to senior-level team members. And experience networks, such as veteran’s networks, women’s networks, or parent groups, can bring together individuals across the organization who have shared interests.

Your company’s role in inclusivity shouldn’t be one of forcing DEI, but in listening to and responding to what your workers say they need to feel included in the workplace. When workers feel seen and included, they feel more positive about their relationship with their work life. And since 70% of workers would leave companies if they had to deal with a negative workplace culture, actively listening to and responding to what they need to feel included is an important part of what keeps workers positively engaged.

Mentoring + Inclusion = Big Time Gains

Selling mentoring programs internally can get complicated. Decision-makers understandably need to see how a new program or initiative positively impacts the bottom line, either by increasing revenue or by saving money. With mentoring software, organizations can run inclusion-focused programs that reap the benefits of both.

A McKinsey study found that diverse companies outperform those without diversity by 36% in profitability. And companies that use MentorcliQ’s mentoring software enjoyed upwards of 75% increases in retention among their mentored population. When your company’s culture is one that supports inclusion broadly, it increases employee satisfaction and engagement, leading to more productivity and allowing you to retain your best talent, and attract high-quality employees.

As Gallup highlighted in a previously-published workplace insights article, “Your culture may be the reason you aren’t getting your top 20% of candidates. And until you start asking the right questions and analyzing your feedback, you won’t know if your culture is helping or hurting your bottom line.”

As 2022 progresses, think hard about the type of community and culture your organization is fostering. Is it inclusive? Do workers who are connecting remotely still feel included? Can all employees feel the value of real human connection and experience?

Learn more about how to be on the winning side of this year’s mentoring trends. Our 2022 Workforce Survival Guide will help reorient your thinking and guide you toward success with mentoring programs.


Sam Cook

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