I think everyone can agree that a diverse workforce is a successful one! Aside from just being the right thing to do, study after study has proven that recruiting a diverse team is a key ingredient in the financial success of your business as well as creating a happy, healthy and productive team.  A diverse workforce leads to higher sales and greater innovation, it’s as simple as that! Diverse teams have been shown to create larger and more diversified customer and audience bases, naturally generating more revenue. One University of Illinois study attests that each percentage increase in employee diversity correlates to a ninefold increase in revenue. Employee diversity also plays a major role in innovation; it seems only logical that a team of different backgrounds has exponentially greater potential for new and unique ideas, right?

So, exactly what defines diverse employee populations?  Employees of “diverse” backgrounds include (but are not limited to) female, non-white, immigrant and LGBTQ+ folks. Fortunately, most recruiters and hiring managers are focusing on hiring diverse teams. However, far too little attention is paid to keeping them around, and this is becoming a real problem.  Diverse employees tend to have a higher turnover rate than others because the needs of these employees may be different and demand greater attention.  High-achieving professionals of diverse backgrounds are on recruiters’ radars and are often successfully targeted by the smart recruiter, so holding on to and nurturing these employees is very much in your best interest!  Diversity turnover contributes to general turnover. Lack of attention to diversity and inclusiveness is known to cause employees to leave, whether of a minority background or not. Bad public image, low levels of morale among staff and massive monetary losses are not a recipe for success! 

While this may sound like a lot of extra work on your part, there’s no question that it’s well worth it, and here’s why:

Retention of diverse employees is absolutely vital to developing a diverse management team. It goes without saying that any employee won’t make it to a higher-level position if you can’t keep them around! McKinsey did a study which found that corporations scoring in the top quarter for diversity among management were up to 35% more likely to see financial returns above their industry mean. That’s huge!

Not only is having a diverse team the right thing to do, it’s also the most financially wise thing to do! Still, for most companies, there’s a lot to be learned when it comes to retaining employees of diverse backgrounds, and we’re here to help. Keep an eye out for my next article, which will include a few pointers to get you going in the right direction!

Thanks for reading,

Meredith

“Diversity is not a characteristic of life; it is a condition necessary for life… like air and water.” – Barry Lopez