4 Strategies for Retaining Diverse Talent through Development Programs

4 Strategies for Retaining Diverse Talent through Development Programs

Professionals in today’s workforce are highly motivated to improve their skills. In fact, employees have rated professional development as the top characteristic of positive work culture.¹ However, many companies do not prioritize development opportunities for employees. They do not know their employees’ professional goals, and they do not offer learning opportunities in the workplace. This leaves employees feeling “stuck.”

Employees who desire to learn and grow professionally will often start seeking a new job when their development stalls, which results in increased turnover. In the same way, employees who are offered development options in areas that do not align with their goals are likely to look for alternate employment. As a whole, companies who are not providing intentional, goal-aligned development options to their employees are missing out on higher retention rates, improved company culture, and greater attraction of diverse employees.

Read on to learn how to retain diverse talent through your company’s development programs.

Employees who are given development opportunities are better team members and producers. They are more optimistic about the future and more goal-oriented overall. Companies that offer development opportunities attract diverse talent more easily, and they have a higher percentage of retention. Employers who listen to their employees’ desires for development and intentionally help them grow experience better teamwork and improved company results.


But there is something you can do.

Employees themselves state that they are more likely to stay at a company when they are learning and growing. Employees who are developing are happier and more satisfied in their professional lives, which results in better employee output. In addition, companies who actively develop employees increase their chances of filling future positions with internal hires, which strengthens employer brand, company culture, and employee morale, as well as saves time and resources.


Best Practices for attracting more diverse talent through your company website/career page.

  1. Discuss your employees’ personal goals. Engage your employees and discover their personal career goals. Where do they see themselves in three, five, or ten years? What are they most passionate about? What skills do they wish to hone and develop? Knowing your employees’ personal goals will help you discover how their desires intersect with your company goals, which makes all parties feel more productive and fulfilled. Fulfillment at work consistently results in higher employee retention, including diverse employees.
  2. Implement key performance metrics. It’s impossible to determine how to help your employees grow without knowing where their skills are lacking. Implementing a way to measure progress and skill level is critical to discovering how you can help your employees develop. Key performance metrics also help you and your employees track progress and growth over time, which is encouraging and motivating to employees.
  3. Offer feedback frequently. Growth and development cannot occur without feedback, whether positive or negative. If employees don’t know where they’re falling short, they cannot be held responsible for not performing well. Feedback equips employees with knowledge, which then empowers them to learn and develop in a capacity that benefits them professionally as well as improves the company as a whole.
  4. Make promotions attainable.One of the most discouraging feelings for employees, especially diverse employees, is the sense that they are being overlooked for promotions and other opportunities to excel. If employees cannot “move up the ladder,” they are inclined to change jobs. One key way to retain talented, diverse employees is to make promotions attainable. Seek internal hires before accepting external resumes. Make a habit of discussing with employees the job or position they’d like to have in the future, and help them create action steps to get there. Make it clear to your employees that you want them to succeed, and they’ll be much more likely to stay with the company.

So what can you do to get started on your company’s development programs? Check out our latest guide, “Retaining Diverse Talent: Development” for tips on how to make your development programming is more welcoming and inclusive for everyone. The guide covers the essential first steps toward making your website more inclusive. Click here to download the guide today and start making a positive impression on potential customers, partners, and employees!

The 3 Best Practices Your Company Needs To Do When Creating ERGs

The 3 Best Practices Your Company Needs To Do When Creating ERGs

One of the primary struggles for diverse employees is finding a comfortable place to learn, grow, and connect to others in the workplace. Companies that do not offer employees opportunities to do all three often cannot attract diverse candidates. Many companies have embraced Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs, as a solution to meet diverse employees’ desire for development and community. However, even companies with ERGs in place can struggle to attract or retain diverse employees.

Typically this comes down to a lack of structure, funding, or executive support. So, companies with no ERGs find that their diverse employees lack opportunity, and companies with ERGs in place often overlook the specific needs of those resource groups. Both problems result in a low retention rate for diverse employees.

Read on to learn the 3 best practices your company can do now to retain diverse talent through creating ERGs!

Why Creating ERGs is Beneficial for Your Organization

Employee Resource Groups are an effective tool to provide community and offer leadership opportunities to diverse employees.

ERGs are an “open forum” of sorts, where diverse employees can express their needs or concerns in a way that can make real change in a company.

Further, employees involved in ERGs have the opportunity to connect with like-minded coworkers to create a more inclusive environment in the workplace as well as enhance their own work experience.

Employees who are comfortable and included are better contributors, which improves diverse company input and innovation as a whole! Companies with healthy ERGs in place can expect higher retention rates of diverse employees as well as a more inclusive work culture

Best Practices for Solving the Problem

#1 Create a structure for ERGs.

A program without structure will encounter unnecessary stress or even failure, and ERGs are no exception.

When establishing ERGs, decide in advance how leaders will be selected within each resource group, how the groups will be funded, and how the groups will remain in sync with overall company goals.

Seek to keep similar structures in place for each ERG within the company. When leaders are selected for ERGs, make sure they are familiar with the structure as well.

#2 Remove obstacles to the success of ERGs.

Sometimes companies establish ERGs only to see them fizzle out over a period of months or years. When this happens, often the culprit is a lack of employee time.

When employees are expected to add ERG activities and responsibilities on top of their current work tasks – not to mention their personal responsibilities – many conclude that being a part of an ERG is not possible due to a lack of time. One way to remedy this is to allow ERG activities to take place during work hours.

A second reason that some ERGs fail to thrive is a lack of financial support. ERG leaders work hard, but typically their efforts are in a volunteer capacity. Because Employee Resource Groups improve the company as a whole, it would be beneficial to consider providing some compensation to ERG leaders. Compensation demonstrates the company’s dedication to ERGs as well as acknowledges the value of ERGs in a tangible way.

#3 Encourage ERGs from the executive level.

An Employee Resource Group cannot succeed long-term without the support of the company’s executive leadership team. Leaders can encourage ERGs in a variety of ways.

First, it is imperative that executive team members talk about ERGs with new hires. Let new hires know what groups are available, and introduce them to ERG leaders or members that they might connect with.

Second, since funding is crucial to the life of ERGs, the executive team can further encourage ERGs by offering financial support. Allocate a portion of the monthly budget to go to ERGs, or seek out sponsors.

No matter how the funding happens, it lets employees know that the executive leaders of the company are fully on board with Employee Resource Groups.

In order to create an inclusive and diverse workplace, it’s essential that you create an inclusive environment with ERGs. Our guide, “Retaining Diverse Talent: Creating ERGs”, will walk you through the process of how to do just that. It’s easy to do, and you can get started today! So what are you waiting for? Download our Guide today! Happy recruiting!

3 Onboarding Practices Your Company Can Do Now to Retain Diverse Talent

3 Onboarding Practices Your Company Can Do Now to Retain Diverse Talent

More than half of companies focus their onboarding process on paperwork and procedures.¹ A paperwork-centered onboarding process gives employees factual knowledge of their role, but it does not equip them to feel confident and satisfied in their new position. Interestingly, some companies don’t have any sort of onboarding process in place at all; they simply answer questions as they come up.

This informal approach leaves the new hire feeling chronically “behind the curve” in their learning and performance, which is not a positive way to begin with a company. The lack of an effective onboarding process causes many companies to lose talented, diverse employees soon after they are hired.

Read on to learn the 3 onboarding practices your company can do now to retain diverse talent!

Why Improving Your Onboarding Process is Beneficial for Your Organization

An excellent onboarding process is structured, intentional, and communicative. It sparks excitement in new employees, and it nurtures that excitement over time.

Companies committed to diversity can benefit from an improved onboarding plan because, when putting in the work to attract diverse, talented employees, it is important to retain those employees!

Companies with strong onboarding processes enjoy higher retention rates across the board. New hires are also statistically more likely to refer their friends to a company when their onboarding experience was excellent.

So, by honing and refining the onboarding process, companies can maximize their diverse and talented employees’ time at the company as well as expand their applicant pool.

Best Practices for Solving the Problem

As you’re looking to improve your onboarding program, it would be beneficial to audit your current onboarding process through feedback from your most recent hires. An audit will likely highlight specific areas where you can improve. In addition, you can implement these best practices:

#1 Keep up the communication.

A good onboarding process doesn’t last one week or even two weeks. In order to maximize effectiveness, an onboarding program ought to last around 90 days.

When designing an onboarding process, include intentional communication for at least the first three months. For example, it might be helpful to schedule weekly manager meetings where new hires can ask questions, evaluate their progress, and receive feedback.

In addition, be sure to clearly communicate objectives, goals, and expectations. Allow new hires to share their personal goals as well. As new employees adjust to their new roles, providing opportunities for communication will go a long way in creating a positive work experience.

#2 Focus on structure.

The least effective onboarding processes are not thought out. A reactive onboarding situation – in which management simply answers questions as they arise – sets new employees up for failure.

This lack of support will leave new hires feeling frustrated or inadequate in their role when they have questions.

Creating a consistent onboarding structure is a proactive measure to help new hires acclimate. This might include scheduled communication, intentional learning experiences, and phased assignments.

A structured process creates a sense of security and confidence in new employees.

#3 Involve your new employees.

Finding a sense of community plays a huge role in employee satisfaction at work. Particularly with diverse employees, community and inclusion will make a massive difference in their experience with your company.

Be intentional in involving your new hires in meetings, informal gatherings or check-ins, and social events.

Connect new hires to mentors and/or like-minded coworkers. Encourage new employees to share insights and make their voice heard.

Affirm their feedback and listen to their concerns. Involvement is an excellent way to communicate value, and diverse employees in particular will be drawn to places where they know their presence is desired and valued.

In order to create an inclusive and diverse workplace, it’s essential that you create opportunities with an excellent and organized onboarding experience. Regularly auditing your processes will help you attract the top diverse talent that you seek. Our guide, “Retaining Diverse Talent: Onboarding”, will walk you through the process of how to do just that. It’s easy to do, and you can get started today! So what are you waiting for? Download our Guide today! Happy recruiting!