By Jason Richmond, CEO & Chief Culture Officer at Ideal Outcomes, Inc.
The need for organizations to act both strategically and with urgency has never been more important. Millennials are set to comprise 50 percent of the workforce next year. And despite all the attention placed on talent diversity, women hold just 12 percent of corporate board seats worldwide according to Deloitte’s 2015 study Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective.
It’s true that many organizations have made a concerted effort to create a more diverse workforce through outreach programs, internships, and employee referral programs. But unfortunately, many of these same companies have not taken as seriously retention of the diverse employees they hired. This is problematic, especially in a strong economy where good talent can “call the shots,” because everyone else wants them too.
It is time to develop a robust retention strategy not only for your diverse talent, but also for all your solid performers, although it’s important to note that the diverse talent you worked so hard to attract is probably more likely to leave. Let’s look at how to develop a retention strategy from three viewpoints: turnover data, mobility, and inclusion.
- When are the key turnover points for your workforce in general? Is it ninety days, six months, three years? Target employees well ahead of those anniversaries and do a pulse check on their engagement.
- Do these turnover points vary by diversity factors? Do women, for example, leave sooner? At a certain age? Does such departure vary from manager to manager, geographic location, or business unit?
- Think creatively. What can you do to get people to stay? For example, if women in their early thirties are leaving to start a family would increased work flexibility cut this turnover? Would an on-site day care pay for itself?
- What are the reasons employees leave? Segment this at a minimum by age, gender, tenure, and race.
Ironically, of the 1,189 respondents to a survey from talent acquisition solutions firm Future step, 87 percent said that having a strong internal mobility program—where employees are encouraged to apply for new roles within their organization—would definitely help with retention. However, only one-third reported that their company has such a program. Hiring managers and recruiters need to know their internal talent’s capabilities. Deloitte Insights has provided some great insights into how to build a comprehensive mobility strategy.
Read Jason’s book and find out how companies are recognizing the key to continual success is empowering their most important asset…their people.
An important place to begin is by defining what your organization means by inclusivity. What behaviors are acceptable and expected from all employees at all levels. From there, establishing policies and then training everyone on them is important. Finally, be sure there are multiple avenues for employees to safely communicate issues and offer suggestions.
You can have solid diversity results and still have exclusion. A respectful, positive work environment needs diversity and inclusion to thrive.