Only 31% of organizations believe they have a diverse talent pipeline, according to Brandon Hall Group research, partly due to the lack of recruiting focused on diverse candidates. But another challenge is monitoring inclusion and ensuring that diverse employees have a sense of belonging, feel valued and believe they have equal opportunity for career advancement. Driving inclusion is the key to retaining diverse talent.
Efforts to Drive Inclusion for Diverse Groups
The expression, “Diversity is like being asked to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance,” has meaning. Once diverse talent is on board, it is important to use onboarding, continuous learning, targeted development and other strategies to ensure they feel valued and have a sense of belonging so they want to stay with the organization, grow their careers with you and not jump to another ship.
This is not to say that your inclusion efforts for diverse talent should be greater than efforts for others. But since we know that unconscious bias and other barriers exist, it is important to ensure you are making strong efforts to involve diverse talent in the organization and establish metrics to understand what is working and what is not so you can make adjustments.
Brandon Hall Group speaks to many employers during our research who express frustration about retaining their diverse talent. When we ask questions about the efforts they make to involve these employees in the culture and develop their capabilities, there is often prolonged silence.
Development of diverse talent — especially in organizations that don’t have a long history of attracting and promoting diverse talent — is just starting at the point of hire. The real work begins at onboarding and continues throughout the employee’s tenure.
• Do you have a deep understanding of the everyday experiences your diverse talent has at work?
• Does your workplace culture foster positive everyday employee experiences?
• Does your organization have strategies to impact how employees experience the organization, such as leadership development, career development, coaching and mentoring programs and employee resource groups?
Brandon Hall Group POV
Brandon Hall Group identified six approaches to create employee experiences that promote talent retention. These strategies are the same for diverse talent as with others, but you should make sure you are also measuring the inclusion of diverse talent specifically to see if there are differences from the rest of your population. Metrics you can use to compare the inclusion of diverse talent to the rest of the workforce include:
• Employee sentiment
• Participation in employee resource groups
• Participation in various types of training
• Promotion rates
• Engagement scores
• Volume of recognition
• Performance ratings
• Project team inclusion
Meanwhile, ensure you are focusing on these six strategies that improve employee experiences that drive inclusion and talent retention:
• Wellness/well-being. This involves employee’s physical, emotional and financial health. Do employees have the tools they need to track and improve their wellness and well-being? Do employees believe the organization enables them to do their work in ways that allow them to balance work with personal responsibilities and priorities?
• Sense of belonging. This is the connection employees have with your organization. It includes feeling managers are invested in their success, empowerment to connect with peers, feeling part of a workforce that reflects the community and customers, believing the organization welcomes their opinions and ideas — and acts on them. It can even extend to the company providing them with the right tools for remote work.
• Feeling valued. This ranges from employees having equitable compensation to being recognized for meaningful contributions, to having autonomy on how they do their work and receiving frequent feedback and coaching.
• Employee Development. Employees want to develop their skills and expect the organization to help them. Do employees believe the organization understands their strengths and development needs? Do they feel they can access learning the way they want it on any device? Do employees think the organization prepares them to be effective collaborators in work teams?
• Career Advancement. Are there multiple career paths, both horizontal and vertical? Do managers have periodic career conversations with their team members? Are there targeted programs for diverse groups who have not always had the same opportunities to develop?
• Alignment with the mission, goals of the organization. Does the organization seek input from employees and turn feedback into action? Does the company share business results and other relevant data with employees?
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