Retention and Development: Key Components to Elevating Careers and Enriching Your Organization

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In the last 18 months, diversity has been a prevalent theme across industries and organizations. Many have taken steps to assess, understand, and/or identify concrete ways to address barriers that prevent inclusion and equity in the workplace. Given that the very definition of diversity is broad in scope, it surprised me that most of the focus (i.e., media attention, research, organizational strategy) seemingly concentrated on a few core initiatives: education/outreach, sourcing and recruitment, unconscious bias training, and Chief Diversity Officers. While these are integral components for creating a thriving diverse organization, two central themes absent from the dialogue and strategic plans are retention and development. 

In an effort to gain much needed insight of diversity’s role in retention and development of employees, in the fall of 2015 Intellectual Capital created and launched two pilot surveys (50 men and 139 women respondents) which targeted professionals that were either women and/or ethnically underrepresented ethnic minorities, specifically Black and Hispanic/Latino.

The goal of each survey was not only to have a better understanding of the retention and development needs of this group, but to determine if those needs varied across specific demographics (ethnicity, gender, industry, years of full time work experience).

The initial results of each survey indicated that there are indeed factors and themes that can enhance or detract from the professional development and retention of this cohort; however, further research was needed to have statistically relevant data.

After conducting the initial surveys and digesting the data, I quickly realized a flaw in my survey approach. The data revealed a very specific narrative, but it wasn’t the entire story. If the objective was to understand the narrative of women and underrepresented ethnic minorities in the workplace to identify factors that influence retention and career development, I must understand the narrative of the collective workforce.

Therefore, I’ve decided to launch the Inclusion and Career Themes Survey 3.0.  This survey aims to:

  1. Obtain and have a critical mass of respondents to validate analysis across key factors such as gender identity, ethnicity, industry, years of full time work experience, education, veterans.
  2. Leverage data and analysis for the foundation for a Diversity, Retention, and Development White Paper and career coaching platform (web portal and mobile app).
  3. Create awareness and long term sustainable strategic solutions that will advance efforts to resolve systemic organizational retention and development challenges in the workplace.

In order to transition from dialogue to action; from simply a good idea to strategic results…your support is needed.

Please take a moment to complete the Inclusion and Career Themes Survey 3.0. My goal is to have over 500 respondents and I’m hopeful that the LinkedIn community will help make that a reality.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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