A diverse workforce produces better services, higher quality product, and higher profit margins. You, as the leader of your organization, need to manage your diverse workforce to achieve your organizational goals efficiently. To begin with, you’ll need to come up with certain guidelines for your employees to work as a team and train them to coordinate well with each other. However, it’s an ongoing process. If you don’t handle your diverse workforce well and ensure those guidelines are followed, your employee turnover is likely to be higher.

Overall, people stay in organizations that invest in them and provide a safe, inclusive working environment – that means allowing people to show up as their whole selves and not have to hide aspects of their experience or identities in the office. Inclusiveness is easy and happens naturally when you work with a group of similar people, but it becomes more difficult when people come from different backgrounds, gender identities and diverse abilities. Only when the variety of experiences come together to form one team over the long-term do you really get to reap the benefits and improved performance that a diverse team can achieve for your organization. But what management strategies can you use to improve retention of a diverse team?

1. Take Feedback from Time to Time
Feedback works both ways. By creating an environment of trust and openness, your employees can address their concerns with you directly, which gives you the chance to make necessary changes in your organization before they become a liability. Some cultures that are more hierarchical discourage direct employee to supervisor feedback, so you may have to take initiative in sourcing feedback from your staff. Ask your team how they are performing and you’ll find which areas to work on. Encourage your team to give both constructive and positive feedback. Constant bi-directional feedback can help you improve delegation and the overall work environment.

2. Data-Driven Approach
Most organizations take retention actions based on emotional decisions, which is the reason these actions sometimes don’t deliver the desired results. A data-driven approach to optimizing the retention of a diverse workforce is necessary. Collection of data should include periodic surveys, issues faced by a diverse workforce, and their overall progress. Use the collected data for making decisions, alterations, and retention actions to achieve desired results for diversity retention and recruiting in the workplace.

3. Stay Interviews
Stay interviews are the number one tool for employee retention. They are easy to carry out and effective in reinforcing the reasons your retention target should stay. To carry out stay interviews as a part of your strategy requires scheduling a one-hour interview at least twice a year with staff.

The meetings allow the manager and their employees to talk about their progress, expectations, and the reasons why the employee adds value to the organization. Having stay interviews also allows you to understand why your employees work for you and what your organization can do better to keep them over the long-term – when done widely across a workplace, you can spot patterns in the feedback you receive. They are a proven type of employer investment in your employees as taking the time out of your schedule to hear about their experience and improves employee satisfaction.

4. Performance Measurement and Rewards for Retaining Employees
It’s a well-established rule that you can execute what you measure and further, that you can improve efficiency by rewarding employees. To make your executives and managers prioritize retaining key employees, set rewards for retention. Retention of employees can be added as a KPI for their promotion and bonus metrics.
The measure and reward technique worked quite well for high profile firms, like Intel. By running a company-wide bonus program for diversity retention, Intel managed to bring their diversity turnover below the industry average.

The Bottom Line is…
Having a diverse workforce is not effective for an organization if diversity retention falls short. The steps above create a foundation for strong communication, trust and investment in your employees, which should get you well on your way to improving retention of diverse employees.

Did you know that each hire costs on average $4,000*? That’s only one reason why hiring and retaining good people is so important. If you’re interested in addressing your hiring and retention of diverse employees, we can help. Borrow expert, customizable solutions to apply to your workplace with Veza Community’s Diversity Toolkit.

*Source: Society of Human Resources