How to Retain Diversity in the Workplace

How to Retain Diversity in the Workplace

For years you have been told the importance of diversity in the workplace. You have attended conferences and held trainings on how to hire a diverse workforce. You have truly committed yourself to recruiting a diverse group of employees. However, the challenge remains for employers who wish to achieve this: retaining the diverse talent. Losing these employees can be a frustrating experience for employers who have worked hard to recruit them. Here are six ways to keep your diverse workers happy, productive, and on your team.

Quantifying the Costs of Diversity Turnover

Quantifying the costs of diversity turnover is often overlooked, yet it can ensure that major retention decisions are based in data. Analyzing this data can determine a program’s ROI and provide a program with needed credibility. Further, periodically surveying the results can help identify issues either in the program, recruiting process, or overall organization.

Effective Onboarding

According to an Aberdeen Group report, around 90% employees decide to stay or leave a company within the first six months of their employment. In turn, effective onboarding is crucial to retention. Yet, most onboarding processes are not driven by data and remain ineffective. The onboarding process should always look back to reflect on problems faced by previous diverse hires to inform the onboarding process for new diverse hires.

Prioritizing Diversity Retention Targets

An effective approach to retaining diverse employees requires prioritizing them based on their position, performance, and impact. The next step is to prioritize them based on who are most likely to leave or become a flight risk; working with data scientists can help you identify when a prioritized diverse employee is likely to leave the company. From there, it is crucial to develop an action plan to address the diverse employee’s concerns.

Mentorships and Opportunity Programs

A vital part of the diversity retention requires company leaders to mentor diverse talent. Employees enjoy an environment where they feel encouraged by their managers and colleagues. Mentoring and encouraging employees allows company leaders the opportunity to offer meaningful career guidance and support.

Affinity Groups

An affinity group has shared goals, backgrounds or interests, and can be an indispensable anchor for diversity retention. If affinity groups happen to form without management’s supervision, the organization must ensure a congenial environment. Such groups help your diverse workforce know that your organization works as a close-knit team and provides valuable mentoring and education opportunities.

Stay Interviews

It is important not only to track diversity turnover but all retention targets. Tracking targets can provide you the opportunity to take action before an employee’s engagement level drops. Stay interviews are one of the easiest to implement and most effective ways to encourage employees to stay. Typically, they are one-hour meetings held biannually with the employee’s manager. Stay interviews are aimed at identifying and reinforcing the positive reason for diverse employees to stay.


Diverse recruiting cannot have a long-term business impact unless it is supplemented by an effective approach to diversity retention. The aim must be to make your company a place that not only attracts diverse employees, but also creates an environment where they remain and thrive. A diverse workforce can improve your organization’s innovation, productivity, and image. Yet, it doesn’t come with the snap of your fingers. Retaining diverse talent and diversity in the workplace is an ongoing effort in addition to these six elements.

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