How To Retain Diverse Talent In Your Organisation

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated February 13, 2023

Congratulations! You’ve committed to implementing an inclusive recruitment process, but what’s next? While investing time and resources in inclusive hiring is a valiant first step, it’s not enough on its own. Now you need to retain diverse talent. 

The best way to keep your diverse talent pool and reduce turnover rates is to build an inclusive culture. That way, employees from every walk of life feel safe, seen, and represented in your business. 


We’ve put together five strategies to help you build an inclusive workplace and retain diverse talent. 


How To Retain Diverse Talent In Your Organisation

Today’s job market is competitive. As such, retaining diverse talent can be tough. Fortunately, with the right strategy, you can stop your best employees from leaving for pastures new. 

Here’s our top advice on keeping diverse employees in your business. 


 1. Start with education

Education is one of the biggest killers of bigotry. Therefore, the first step in building an inclusive workplace and retaining diverse talent is training.

Unconscious bias is deeply ingrained in almost all of us. As the name suggests, we’re unaware of our own biases and can allow them to influence our decisions and behaviours. For example, unconscious bias can lead recruitment teams to opt for a candidate who is most similar to them in terms of ethnicity, social background, or gender.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to shine a light on unconscious bias in the workplace and take steps to remove it. Adding training on the topic can help you achieve this. 

While unconscious bias can cause the most harm when it comes to hiring and promoting staff, training should be mandatory for all employees. That way, everybody knows how to identify and remove unconscious bias at work.

As well as training, employers should consider creating a resource hub for staff. This encourages them to keep learning about the topic and become more aware of microaggressions. An employee handbook can help to set clear parameters for staff, including language and behaviour that the company deems unacceptable.

Examples of unconscious bias can be as subtle as the language you use (referring to female employees as pushy and bossy while their male counterparts are called go-getting). Other examples include making assumptions about somebody based on their gender, race, or social background or excluding teammates from activities.

With appropriate training, businesses can dismantle discrimination in the workplace.


2. Rethink your onboarding

Your organisation’s onboarding process is a critical step in the employee journey. It’s your company’s only chance to make a good first impression and set the tone for your new hires. Therefore, it’s important to review your onboarding process and look for ways to make it more inclusive.

If new employees don’t feel represented during the onboarding process, they may start to doubt their decision to join your team. So, make sure that your onboarding materials represent a diverse range of employees. This can be done in a number of ways:

  • Invite more diverse colleagues to be part of the interview process
  • Ensure your employer branding materials represent a diverse group of employees
  • Add initiatives to make employees feel welcome, e.g. a buddy system, team meetings to welcome new hires, and introducing new recruits on your corporate communications tool
  • Include resources to help new recruits settle in, such as maps of the office and a list of useful points of contact
  • Make sure your onboarding touches on company culture
  • Add diversity training to your onboarding program
  • Inform new hires about any employee communities or resource groups for underrepresented people 


The bottom line is that the more inclusive your onboarding process is, the easier new employees will settle into your company. As a result, they will feel a stronger sense of belonging and are less likely to jump ship.


3. Invest in leadership development

We all know the saying, “people don’t leave companies; they leave managers”. Of course, the reality is a bit more nuanced than that, but there’s certainly some truth in the saying. So, if you want to retain diverse talent, you need to train leaders to manage diverse teams.

You may want to consider updating your leadership training programme to include modules on unconscious bias, diversity training, and managing diverse teams. The better prepared your managers are, the happier your employees will be.

Empower managers to continuously evaluate their own decisions. How do they assign tasks? Is there anyone who is being left out? Self-reflection is the best way for leaders to overcome unconscious bias and promote inclusivity in their team.

You can even incentivise this initiative, rewarding managers for retaining diverse talent and taking notes on how they achieve this. 

Remember, diversity alone isn’t enough. Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance. Push your managers to make sure everyone in their team is being asked to dance.


4. Create a transparent career journey framework

Do you want to know an easy way to tell how inclusive an organisation is? Look at who opportunities are given to. 

The best way for a company to ensure all employees have the same access to career advancement opportunities is to create a transparent framework. First off, communicate what opportunities are available, and the competencies employees need to advance to this level. You can create a presentation deck for managers to share with their teams and hold regular Q&A sessions to make sure every employee is aware.

Making your promotion criteria open to all employees is another great way to remove questions or doubts from the process. If diverse employees feel that they are being overlooked for promotion opportunities despite meeting the criteria, they have a tangible framework to consult. This encourages them to speak up.

It all comes down to removing barriers for diverse employees and giving them fair access to career advancement opportunities. In doing so, leaders are encouraged to really consider why an employee has been given a promotion over another one. This leads to a fairer process.

For employees, they know exactly what is expected of them. And, if they are overlooked for a promotion, they know what competencies they need to develop to get to the next level.


5. Implement a formal retention strategy

If your organisation is really serious about retaining diverse talent, then it’s time to develop a retention plan. 

A retention strategy focused on keeping diverse employees within the business will allow you to target your efforts and learn from your mistakes. For example, start by conducting exit interviews to ask diverse employees why they chose to leave your company and what you could have done better.

On top of exit interviews, stay interviews are a great way to retain diverse talent. What is a stay interview? It’s an informal check-in with diverse employees that usually takes place twice a year. During the interview, managers can ask diverse employees how they are getting on and how the company can better support their needs. It’s a chance to get feedback from your target group. 

It’s important to approach your retention strategy with care. The last thing you want to do is make diverse employees feel separate or othered. So, we recommend forming a committee of diverse employees and asking for their support and advice on the best way to approach the plan. That said, transparency is always the best policy. Communicate with employees openly and let them know why you are implementing a retention plan and what you hope to achieve.


How Refreshing A Career Can Help Retain Diverse Talent

Having expert advice is essential when implementing a retention strategy for diverse talent. Here’s how our team of experts can help your business:



Our employer resource hub is packed with guides on everything from funding to training to help you build an inclusive workplace

Be sure to browse our range of employer services, including advertising your roles on our dedicated career change jobs board.

For more information, give us a call at 0345 872 4501 or send an email to

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Last Updated: Sunday December 18 2022
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