But even better, create a culture where everyone’s voice matters from the moment you hire them. Embed the benefits conversation into your onboarding process, so you don’t just dictate what you offer but you ask new hires what they need.
Consider building a flexible portfolio of benefits for employees to choose from, so your people co-create their role so it meets their needs. So they can meet yours more effectively.
Onboarding gives new hires everything they need to hit the ground running. But different hires will need different things to achieve that goal.
Which is intuitive, when we talk about seniority. You might send your new marketing executive a pack defining business-casual, for example, while your new CFO cares more about getting to grips with last year’s revenue metrics.
And it’s still pretty obvious when we talk about tenure. Your new Sales Director should get comprehensive onboarding from the moment she signs and months beyond. Your temp receptionist doesn’t need anywhere near the same depth.
Read more: What onboarding looks like for non-traditional hires
But tailoring your onboarding process is equally important down gender and diversity fault-lines.
Like, many businesses record a welcome message from the CEO. But, given your CEO is likely a white male, why not create a welcome video from a female leader to welcome your new female hires?
And think about ways to tailor content. FAQs, for example, are likely quite different for men versus women. The idea is to send a strong message to new hires that you care about their unique experience.
Ask majority and minority representatives to share ownership for creating onboarding content, so no hidden biases make their way into your program.
This probably sounds like loads of work. But it doesn’t have to be. Talmundo is a digital global onboarding hub that can replicate pages without coding or rebuilding, and automates workflows globally. So you can create and deliver a flexible onboarding process, fast. [SCHEDULE A DEMO]
3 - Build a female mentorship program
The benefits of a mentor program are well-established. Like Deloitte’s finding that employees intending to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor.
Wherever possible, create mentor/mentee relationships amongst people from similarly diverse backgrounds. That way, mentors are better placed to understand new hires’ unique perspective and to help them overcome challenges.
Given that as much as 25% of turnover happens during new hires' first 45 days, onboarding is a pertinent time to offer that extra support.
And it’s relevant beyond too. A female mentorship program can help tackle what McKinsey call the “hollow middle”, where unequal first-level promotion (79 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men) leaves a dearth of mid-level women available to promote.
A female mentor can help by closing the confidence gap, championing and encouraging their young female counterparts to secure those early promotions.
Employees are 50% happier if they’ve got close friends at work. People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged.
But research shows, we gravitate towards people who are similar to us (called social homophily). Like a study last year that found friends tend to be more genetically similar than strangers.
Which ultimately means, new hires from minority backgrounds might find it harder to make friends. Which ultimately means they might become less engaged, less productive and worst-case, leave altogether.
Plus, building connections across the business can be a crucial part of career progress.
Be aware that informal networking opportunities that organically develop for some employees (think ad-hoc nights out, for example) often don’t for minority employees.
Help them, by building-in networking and socializing opportunities from day one.
5 - Be active, not passive
New hires from minority backgrounds might need a little more help to unleash their full potential.
Things like… being assertive with other team members. Making sure their voice is heard in meetings. Attending ad-hoc social events. Volunteering for additional responsibility.
Best-practice employee onboarding means checking-in with all employees actively. But you could include questionnaires and prompts specifically for diversity hires around some of these common issues.
For example, Talmundo’s pulse check module allows you to build custom-questionnaires for new hires and send them at whichever intervals you like. And the system flags those responses for one-on-one manager sit-down if needed.