Retaining a Diverse Staff: Techniques that Work in a Multicultural Organization
Retention has long been a significant problem for companies in the hospitality industry. Historically, many restaurants, hotels, resorts, and other hospitality firms have been forced to deal with rates of turnover and retention that are double or even triple the average rates in other sectors.
In today’s hyper-competitive hospitality market, the imperative to recruit and retain talented team members is more important than ever. However, in addition to the longstanding issues of training, employee satisfaction, and compensation, many managers have found themselves facing a relatively new retention puzzle – the challenge of reaching out to and retaining a diverse staff.
Harness the Unique Benefits of a Diverse Team
Organizational research experts have long made the “business case” for diversity, and a spate of recent studies bolster these claims. When it comes right down to it, diverse teams are simply better equipped to solve problems creatively and to bring together a broad spectrum of talents. In an industry where service quality is a do-or-die priority, a diverse team is a great asset to have on your side.
So how can you make sure that your retention strategies will resonate with your multicultural team? Use these guidelines to devise a diversity-friendly approach to recruitment and retention.
Walk the talk.
Having diversity-friendly policies and practices in place is one thing, but it’s important to ensure that your organization exhibits a true top-down embrace of diversity and multiculturalism. If employees sense that there is a disconnect between stated policies and the atmosphere and day-to-day operations in the workplace, retention could prove to be a challenge in the long term.
Develop diversity-friendly programs and support initiatives.
Many companies make the mistake of focusing the majority of their resources and attention on the recruitment process, neglecting to establish diversity policies, programs, and practices that seek to bolster the long-term retention of minority employees. Solutions such as mentorship programs, ongoing diversity training, and special multicultural support initiatives will help target and enhance the job satisfaction and loyalty of your established employees.
Tap diverse candidates for leadership training and development.
According to the experts, one issue that often factors into minority candidates’ decision to leave is a perceived lack of advancement opportunities. You can counter this trend by establishing leadership training and development initiatives that focus specifically on minority candidates, singling out and cultivating the potential of your most talented employees.
Keep the lines of communication open.
Studies have shown that minority employees often feel like their opinions are overlooked in the workplace. Over time, this kind of frustration can grow more acute, eventually contributing to the decision to seek employment elsewhere. You can increase retention of your minority staff members by establishing a liberal open-door policy and making it clear that their opinions and ideas are always highly valued.
Make your commitment to diversity a selling point.
If you’ve spent years building up a solid slate of diversity-friendly policies and practices, don’t be shy about touting your organization’s multicultural credentials in the recruitment and retention process. In today’s competitive employment market, talented minority candidates are more likely to be swayed by a company with a proven track record of diversity policies and practices.
The business benefits of a diverse workforce have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Put these concepts to use to make sure you hang on to these valuable assets!