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Alight named by Fortune as one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ in 2024

The DE&I disconnect: Employers and employees are experiencing different outcomes


All organizations have a diverse employee population. Really understanding what individuals think of your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, along with leadership and values isn’t easy and can’t be assumed, as our deep-dive research into the success and value of current strategies revealed.

According to Alight’s Winning with Wellbeing research, just 38% of respondents are entirely happy with their employer, while nearly half (47%) said they’ll likely leave their current employer within 12 months.

This follows a year when close to a third resigned with no future job. The exception is upper management who report significantly higher satisfaction, loyalty, and trust rates.

“At a time when people are quitting their jobs in unprecedented numbers, asking ‘what can we do to encourage you to stay?’ has never been so powerful.”

Xan Daniels, Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity, Alight Solutions

Why is addressing diversity and inclusion more important than ever?

Many employees are doubtful of the effectiveness of their firm’s DE&I efforts despite many companies heavily promoting their organizations. Alight’s Winning with Wellbeing research shows a divide between corporate efforts to advance DE&I and the lived experiences of many employees.

As it stands, when asked how they felt about their current work and career opportunities, just 50% felt all employees had equal access to resources regardless of their culture, background, or points of view.

This dropped to 43% when asked if they had equal access to leadership and career advancement opportunities, falling to just 30% of Black employees. Better communication is the only way to gain trust.

Percentage agreeing with the following statements

  Total Hispanic Black Asian American LGBTQ+ White
Equal access to resources for all employees, regardless of their culture, background or points-of-view 50% 50% 40% 48% 43% 52%
Equal access to leadership/advancement opportunities for all employees, regardless of their culture, background or points-of-view 43% 49% 30% 42% 40% 44%
A safe space for all employees to be their “authentic selves,” including their appearance and communication styles 47% 49% 44% 50% 41% 46%
A workplace comprised of employees spanning a range of cultures, backgrounds and points-of-view 50% 52% 46% 46% 44% 50%


What makes a great employee disengage?

The reasons for quitting or leaving the labor force entirely are varied. It is in search of better career opportunities for some, but for many, company culture and company benefits fail to support their basic needs.

For a significant proportion of people, it may not be financially or culturally viable to keep working for their current employer. The cost of living coupled with costs of healthcare mean that if another company comes along with an improved salary and benefit package, people are willing to change jobs.

Many middle management Americans could be one or two unexpected bills away from financial disaster. Simply increasing wages may not be enough to help the average working American. Everyone should have access to career development opportunities.

“When I was on my parent’s health insurance I went for a yearly physical. I don’t have health insurance now, so believe it or not, I actually participate in clinical trials for my healthcare because when you go in you get a physical and they make sure you’re healthy.”

Alight’s Winning with Wellbeing research 

While all employees are at risk, non-white and LGBQT+ populations are most likely to have limited access to benefits or, if they do, are unable to afford to access them (35% of the total respondent population), with 41% not thinking they are worth the cost.

Employees are driving a shift in how employers must think about work and wellbeing

“Survey respondents identified a pressing need for near-term liquidity – that is having funds on hand to meet emergency expenses or even basic living needs including housing and food.”

Xan Daniels, Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity, Alight Solutions

Even for those able to access workplace benefits, the options don’t support the real-life needs of individuals or modern families, which often include single-parent and non-traditional households. 

The cost of primary medical care and the rising cost of living has left people struggling to pay for food, rent, and utilities, and the level of personal debt is high.

Saving for a “rainy day,” let alone buy a house, pay for children’s college fees, or retirement is impossible for most, continuing an unlockable cycle of stagnant, if not downward social mobility. Currently, just 30% of respondents save regularly, while 55% don’t save.


Currently, just 30% of respondents save regularly, while 55% don’t save.

“I have two young kids. I would love for my employers to have a college savings plan where they match whatever I contribute. I’d love for my employer to want to see me succeed and see my kids in college. If my employer matched my savings, even 10% or 5%, it would show me we have a partnership, and I am not expendable as an employee.”

Respondent to the Alight DE&I study 2022

Supporting the individual

Employees want employers to deliver benefits in an inclusive culture and a work environment that reflects their unique personal needs. Employee benefits have the potential to be life-changing and, in some cases, lifesaving, especially those centered around personal and family healthcare.

Employees want to be seen, supported, and valued. The concept of work-life balance needs to be repurposed. Work and life are interconnected, but work should not be to the detriment of living a healthy life.

Put simply, what employees are asking of employers is to:

  • See me as an individual and allow me to be my ‘authentic self’”
  • Know me based on the information you have about me, my interactions with others at our organization, and your understanding of the stress I sometimes face — both at work and at home”
  • Support me with personalized benefits experiences, as well as timely and relevant information, plus help when things go wrong”
  • Protect me and keep me and my loved ones safe, not just physically but also by securing our money, personal information, and identities”
  • Value me by showing that my contributions matter and that you understand my goals”

“I’m not 100% sure it’s genuine [company’s DE&I efforts]. I think it’s just really reflective of what’s hot in the news and what’s hot on Wall Street”

Respondents to the Alight DE&I study 2022

Giving employees the opportunity to select the benefits important to them can help employees feel supported. HR platforms can make this incredibly simple to administer for employees and employers. Flexible plans aligned to life-stage needs can reinforce overall organizational culture, given their unique power to improve satisfaction, loyalty, and trust.

While wellbeing means different things to different people, our research defines it as the ability to live one’s best life at work and at home, incorporating financial, physical, mental, and career opportunities.

Specifically, how the right benefits approach and employee experience enable:

  • Workers to access the flexible support they’re looking for and feel more recognized, protected, and valued by their employers
  • Employers to find and keep the talent they need to run and grow their businesses, achieve their DE&I goals, and realize more substantial returns on their investments in benefits and talent management
  • Stronger employer-employee relationships based on higher degrees of trust

For employers to do this, the key is to align benefits to the individual needs of each employee. Make it clear to them that they are valued, that they are seen, known, and supported.

It must be authentic. Life evolves and personal circumstances change. By customizing the benefits delivery experience, employers can make sure employees understand the benefits available to them and how to access them.

For the best talent outcomes, the future of benefits and employee engagement has to be a partnership in which all can thrive.

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