The US is growing more ethnically and racially diverse. By 2040, non-white people are expected to make up a majority of the population. The best organizations are getting ahead of this trend by creating a workplace environment that supports diversity. These efforts are leading to better results for employees and the organization: Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity have 35 percent higher financial returns than the national industry average, according to our research at CEB, now Gartner.
To increase racial and ethnic diversity throughout the organization and leadership team—and to realize the benefits of a diverse workforce—organizations must attract diverse employees and remove barriers to their career advancement. Taking these five steps can help you meet both of these goals:
- Highlight organizational stability in job postings. When considering new employment opportunities, racially and ethnically diverse candidates are 1.2 times as likely as other candidates to list organizational stability (i.e., the relative continuity of the organization over time, particularly as it relates to long-term roles) as a key factor in a new job search.
- Train managers for success. Racially and ethnically diverse candidates are 40 percent more likely than other candidates to consider switching jobs if the prospective organization promises more skilled direct managers and colleagues.
- Offer financial wellness benefits. Student debt reimbursement programs and family-related benefits, such as emergency or onsite daycare and parental leave, are among racially and ethnically diverse employees’ top benefits preferences.
- Create specific initiatives for all levels in the organization. Most senior leadership teams do not reflect the diversity seen at the frontline and lower management levels of the organization. Identify specific initiatives to strengthen the pipeline of diverse talent at each stage in the employee development cycle.
- Encourage networked management. Time spent coaching does not always translate to better performance outcomes. Our research shows that connecting employees with relevant formal and informal learning opportunities is the most effective way to improve their performance through coaching.
CEB Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council members can access a range of additional resources to learn more about attracting and retaining diverse talent.
These include our case studies on how Shell assesses for manager bias in performance decisions and how Syngenta uses difference-based mentoring to enable strong connections between individuals from different backgrounds. Members can also check out our research reports on partnering with the learning and development function to advance diverse employees and how to use benefits to attract candidates from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.