Onboarding Margin Discussion Integrating Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives with New Hire Onboarding Programs

Integrating Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives with New Hire Onboarding Programs

Posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010 | No Comments

While many organizations these days recognize the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent – and accordingly, devote resources to Diversity & Inclusion initiatives – few factor the needs of diverse employee populations into the design and development of their new hire onboarding programs.  Neglecting to integrate Diversity & Inclusion initiatives into the new hire onboarding experience is a missed opportunity with significant consequences.

A Wall Street Journal article from September 2010, titled the “Ranks of Women on Wall Street Thin”, highlighted the fact that in the past 10 years, 141,000 women (2.6% of female workers in finance) left the finance industry, while the ranks of men increased by 9.6% during that period.    This trend runs counter to changes in the overall workforce, where the number of women in the U.S. labor market has increased by 4.1% relative to a 0.5% increase in male workers.

One way to combat the issue of declining representation of diverse employee populations within particular industries or organizations – or said differently, to increase attraction and retention of diverse employees –is to systemically integrate Diversity & Inclusion efforts with other talent management processes, including new hire onboarding.

From our experience working with clients facing these types of challenges, we have seen the value that organizations can derive from new hire onboarding initiatives that consider and address the needs of diverse employee populations.    Benefits include improved new hire productivity and reduced attrition among the targeted employee populations, as well as reinforcement of the organization’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion.

Taking a systemic approach to Diversity & Inclusion and integrating efforts with the company’s new hire onboarding program can be as straightforward as matching diverse new hires with peer mentors from the same gender and/or ethnic background who can share tips on ways to be successful within the organization.   Another example activity is to host a diverse employee panel event where new hires have the opportunity to meet and receive advice from other diverse employees who have successfully transitioned the organization and navigated the company culture.

If you or someone in your organization is interested in reading more about this topic, we will be publishing a new white paper in the coming months that speaks to cross-industry trends and shares a recommended approach for developing and implementing systemic and effective Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.  In the meantime, please feel free to share questions or comments with us at od@kaiserassociates.com.

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