Introduction to Retention:  Bringing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to Your Retention Strategy

With Employee Retention being the priority for many companies in 2023, it is important to have every tool, tip, and trick at one’s disposal.  Some of these items are tangible, like better pay, more flexible hours, etc.  However, not every idea has to be materialistic; it is imperative to ensure that every retention plan makes room for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or DEI for short.  Why is that? 

Firstly, we all strive to be better humans and be more accepting and respectful to all people.  In the business world, many are seeing that it should not be any different.  Companies should always be striving for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive office environment.  These are all things that go together with having a successful company, and business owners and managers have been working towards having DEI standards for a while now, although there was a big push forward on these since 2020.  Research even shows that diversity is integral to innovation and creativity.  Between that and finding out that having a DEI strategy as part of their company culture pushes higher retention rates, managers and supervisors are seeing that being diverse, equitable, and inclusive can improve a company’s bottom line. 

Many have struggled in the past to create effective DEI programs, but, in recent years, these have been found to be lacking in the results desired.  Supervisors and managers have even found it difficult to measure the results of their strategies.  In order to find success, these programs need new ideas and new life.  So, in 2023, recruitment marketers are focused on finding the right way to include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices daily. 

“We’re All in This Together”

Despite the progress being made towards offices that are fully on board with DEI practices, the Covid-19 pandemic did hamper some of the work.  A company called The Female Quotient, out of Los Angeles, CA, studied tech layoffs from March 2020 and found that African American, Asian American, and Latino American workers lost their jobs at higher rates than their White counterparts.  For the researchers, there is a suspicion that racial bias could be at the center of this issue, but it is important to be able to look beyond and make improvements to keep this from happening again. 

Along with racial disparities, there has been a push to make companies more inclusive for those with disabilities.  The pandemic, with its emergency push to have everyone work from home, allowed workers with disabilities more flexibility to work freely as they needed.  Now, three years later, many businesses are pushing for more in-office work.  There has been tension among many workers, but it is becoming particularly loud among those with disabilities that thrive working in a comfortable environment, like their home.  With recruitment marketing strategies calling for more diverse hires, companies have to include workers with disabilities and make the adjustments needed for them to either come into the office or provide them with the proper equipment and supplies to allow them to work fully in their homes.     

Making Improvements for the Future

What is needed for a successful DEI strategy?  There are many thoughts and opinions out there about it, and everyone has dealt with the implementation of these programs in one way or another.  For many just starting out on this journey, it can seem daunting.  However, Forbes recommends communication as a key tool in finding out what is and is not working, and they even provide five ways of going about this for those just starting to put together their own Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs. 

The first is thorough exit interviews.  Employees that are leaving a company are usually the most outspoken about what it was like to be there, and they will candidly leave their impressions with whoever conducts the exit interview.  Be sure to take the time to examine the intelligence gathered and draw smart conclusions from it.    

Second, make time for feedback from participants after any DEI workshops or training days.  There are some that say these types of workshops are to change the hearts and minds of white workers, and, when they don’t, are seen as failures.  However, be sure to ask the minority, female, and disabled participants how they feel about how it went.  Management may be surprised by the feedback they receive from those that the DEI training was meant to help and can take the steps to make improvements for the future. 

Third, also get feedback about leadership from employees.  For staff, holding leaders accountable to their DEI teachings can be seen as engaging workers and accepting their help to become the best business possible. 

Fourth, make sure to that all discrimination claims are investigated and dealt with as quickly as possible.  This ensures that the best practices are being followed, and it is important for people both outside and within the organization to see this happening. 

Finally, and extremely importantly, look into the retention rates for the business.  Find out where the retained population is coming from and glean every bit of information possible from that information.  While this is easier with larger companies, examining the retention rates can indicate trends that employers can use to improve these numbers by implementing similar methods across other departments.  These can also be used to see if there is an area of the business suffering from a toxic work environment, and that can then be fixed as well.    


The World Economic Forum, in partnership with McKinsey & Company, launched the Global Parity Alliance in 2022 to study DEI programs.  While the group hopes to shed light on DEI practices in companies around the world, they are ultimately trying to arm business leaders with the best strategies and focus DEI efforts on methods that work best for as many companies as possible.   

There are many businesses that offer their own tools and opinions for implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity across companies.  However, keeping it simple usually works best for most.  Think about how people, including yourself, want to be treated in the workplace, and then go from there.  For more information and help regarding retention strategies, connect with Lionzone and our LZRecruit Network (! 


Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone.  A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.



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