We asked HR and hiring managers and business leaders for their best insights into how to retain DEI. From forming employee resource groups to using a data-driven approach, there are several things that management needs to put in place or act on to retain diversity in their workplace.
Follow a Culture of Equity
Workplace equity ensures a level playing field for all employees. Practicing equity in the workplace stops you from discriminating against employees based on gender, caste, religion, race, sexuality, age and socio-economic background.
Diversity is all about inclusion and we can only achieve that when everyone is treated equally and given fair opportunities regardless of their identities.
When you follow a culture of equity it helps you hire, train and recognize employees based on their skills and performance, and not for who they are or the community they represent. It is imperative for leaders and colleagues to set aside their biases and prejudices to look at their peers as. Such active participation toward equity can ensure diversity and inclusion at work. It further enhances employee retention and gains employee trust so they can align their values with yours.
CTO, Vantage Circle
Start With Hiring
Building and maintaining diverse and inclusive workplaces starts with reducing bias in hiring. In most hiring processes, candidates are evaluated subjectively, primarily based on superficial characteristics and apparent experience instead of job-relevant competencies. Unconscious bias creeps in during the recruiting and interview process as interviewers gravitate to candidates with similar characteristics, qualities and interests to themselves as opposed to the right person for the job. This leads to less diversity in the workplace and decreases the odds of creating an inclusive environment.
Although organizations are making efforts to improve their DEI initiatives, science-based talent analytics can deliver enormous improvements in the quality of hire (a top priority for companies today) and overall decision-making to ensure they are creating a rich, diverse work environment with candidates that have the greatest potential for success.
EVP of Innovation, Modern Hire
Form Employee Resource Groups
Employee resource groups can be an effective tool for retaining diversity in the workplace. These employee-led committees can offer support and camaraderie to team members of specific identities and can advocate for the needs of minority groups in the workplace. These groups offer safety and power in numbers as well as a way to shape meaningful change in organizational operations, not to mention a means to spread education without the burden of instruction falling solely on any one employee. Plus, the mere existence of these groups can signal an employers’ dedication to making the workplace a safe and equitable place for diversity to thrive.
CEO, Museum Hack
Implement Accessibility Best Practices
With many companies now fully remote (or at least hybrid) and considering one in four Americans has a disability according to the CDC, digital accessibility is an important consideration. Companies can stay up to speed by choosing remote work products with built-in accessibility features, such as adjustable display preferences and speech-to-text capabilities. In addition, employers can follow best practices for hosting inclusive and accessible remote meetings.
Owner, Opal Transcription Services
Designate a Department to Focus on Retaining Diversity
HR overall needs to create an inclusive workplace that not only factors in diversity, but rather celebrates it. While the focus on diversity is heightened pre-hire, once you achieve those goals, many companies let their employees fend for themselves upon entering the organization. Humans naturally struggle with inclusiveness, which is precisely why one department needs to become the resource for keeping things on the right path to retaining the diverse workforce you’ve hired.
Senior Manager, Accenture
Connect With Minority Schools
A great strategy to retain diversity is to develop connections to recognized minority schools. That includes both high schools and universities. It’s good to start tracking potential job candidates who excel in areas of your business while they are still in high school. Once the end of their education is set, recruit them for a job. This is one excellent way to retain diversity. Recruiting from minority universities is a plus also because many have excellent, dynamic graduates that would make wonderful job candidates.
CEO, Tasios Orthodontics
Offer a Flexible Work Environment
When it comes to a diverse workforce there are a lot of elements that can be beneficial for you to consider. One of the best paths to take is offering a flexible working environment for your employees. Flexible work environments offer team members the ability to maintain dignity and personal lives while also supporting employee retention. It allows companies to broaden their pipelines and attract diverse talent from anywhere in the world. We recommend a hybrid work policy. By default, a flexible work schedule can allow opportunities for team members to create an office space that is inclusive to their own specific needs, physical ability and learning requirements.
HR Consultant, Red Clover
Use an AI Retention Management System
It turns out that bias in the workplace manifests beyond compensation inequity, insidiously creeping into areas such as connection, growth, recognition and the work itself. All of which may negatively impact the work-life of employees. For example, diverse employees may suffer from extended time in roles and fewer one-on-one or skip level meetings with management. Similarly, they may receive less peer recognition, spend too much or too little time in meetings, have too few or too many tasks, and experience disproportionate peer or collaborator attrition. All this is to say, numerous factors need to be processed in real-time to enable management to act early and appropriately to maintain equity in an inclusive environment which can be done with with the help of an AI-powered retention management system. AI-informed recommendation engines can suggest talent interventions at the right time to maximize employee wellbeing.
Recognize and Celebrate Heritage and Traditions
Celebrating traditions in a variety of ways democratizes the office. Further, it educates your talent on a personal level. Ask your talent if they’d like to participate. Maybe they’d like to present at a meeting about their background or bring in special food. Also, highlight their heritage alongside more mainstreamed holiday celebrations as they’re often overshadowed.
Partner, The Mommy Care Kit
Offer Inclusive Mental Health Support to Employees
Ensuring all employees are supported, understood and listened to is the foundation for a safe, inclusive and diverse workplace. A concrete way to provide this kind of support for employees is through offering accessible mental health support that is inclusive of all employees, no matter their race, gender, ethnicity or age. People can find community without judgment and support from not only certified therapists, but also through their peers with differing backgrounds.
VP of Marketing, Sesh
Employ Technology to Onboard New Employees
The Great Resignation has further complicated the global talent shortage that could see companies miss out on trillions in annual revenue if we cannot address this issue effectively. The way employers can grow and maintain their competitive edge is by hiring and retaining a diverse workforce reflective of the customers they serve. We live in a global world and employers need to take advantage of this by hiring, training and retaining the best talent everywhere. Using technology to effectively onboard new employees and provide continual professional development to existing employees helps reduce risk and cost to employers, while improving employee satisfaction and retention.