Fun fact: companies that rank in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity are 35% more likely to produce above-average profits when compared to organisations with low diversity. And organisations that are gender diverse are 15% more likely to be profitable.
Even funner fact: several studies have demonstrated that diverse workforces lead to better decision making and increased employee engagement.
Excuse us for diving headfirst into math hour, but you can’t blame us for being excited… those are some mighty powerful statistics! The data clearly supports what every HR manager instinctively knows: that greater diversity is better for their company’s culture and financial success.
Still, even the most prestigious organisations struggle to attract and retain a diverse workforce. On average, women account for just 12% of executive team members across UK companies. Hiring for variety isn’t enough. HR managers must adapt their onboarding processes in order to retain a varied workforce that promotes equality.
Whether you are just getting started with targeted diversity efforts or introducing a new star female developer into your international team, consider onboarding to be key in gearing your new hires for success, and make sure to use it to empower new employees, depending on their profile.
Onboarding for female executives
Just one in 30 C-suite leaders is a Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) woman, according to a study involving more than 200 American companies collectively employing more than 12 million professionals. That means the board room can be a lonely place for BAME female executives joining your company.
Females are reported to over-prepare and underestimate their abilities, so use onboarding to create competitive advantages for your female hires and close that confidence gap. Confidence at work can and should start before the work does, so when creating your onboarding journey and material, think like a woman – include as many helpful manuals and provide opportunities for new hires to level with existing employees on the knowledge and confidence fronts.
Immerse them in your company culture and processes as soon as possible. For instance, ask for their opinion in the first few senior leadership meetings to make it clear that their insights are welcome.
Onboarding for international transfers
Bonjour, hola, hålla! When saying “hello” to employees transferring from other parts of the world, consider proactively addressing the questions that they probably have but might be afraid to ask:
What is the best way to reach the office?
What is the dress code?
How would you describe the office culture?
Are there any cultural faux pas I should be aware of?
Can you please explain office norms such as when employees typically arrive and leave, when team members should be available, and how I should communicate with others (dropping into offices versus sending emails, for instance)?
Keep in mind that these international employees may come from radically different cultures and work environments. What you consider to be common information may not be so commonplace to them, so feel free to share your knowledge.
Now imagine navigating those challenges as a single mother or father... also known as the Olympics of parenting. Help your single parent new hires ‘go for gold’ (and stay with your company for the long haul) by working with them during the onboarding process to create an adaptable schedule that meets their needs.
For example, arrange flexible hours or offer a work-from-home schedule at least part time. Offering these two highly coveted employee benefits may actually help you attract a more engaged and diverse workforce in the first place, in addition to retaining these top performers after day one.
Explaining family-related employee benefits – paid parental leave, flexible hours, health care benefits, vacation time, and tuition and student loan assistance – is particularly important when onboarding this type of new hire. It ensures that you create a workplace that is welcoming to employees of all backgrounds and family structures.
Have you already created the perfect onboarding content for your diversity hires?
I am a bilingual English-Spanish strategic marketing professional with solid experience in agile product development and market positioning. I have always been in "connecting" roles, as a project or team leader, integrating various departments and areas to design and execute broad-reaching strategic projects. I have a true passion for...