Best Onboarding Practices for Diversity and Inclusion


Research shows that companies with diverse management teams have higher revenue growth. Compared to companies with less diverse teams, the revenue increase is by 19%. Although diversity and inclusion evidently have many advantages, many companies fail to implement them in their culture. Most organisations believe that they are already promoting an inclusive culture. However, the reality is different. A study shows that only 40% of employees agreed to work in an inclusive environment. This is one of the major reasons why new employees leave the company within six months.

Onboarding is often one of the overlooked areas when it comes to the company's retention strategies. Onboarding helps new hires understand the company's culture and different aspects of their job role. A good onboarding experience assures them that their decision of choosing the organisation was right.


Onboarding is a great opportunity for companies to level the playing field for all employees. This will make everyone - especially the historically underrepresented populations - feel comfortable at work. Through this, companies can establish that they extend their goodwill to all their employees equally. Here are some ways companies can create effective onboarding for diversity and inclusion.

Best practices for an inclusive onboarding experience

1. Make it clear

If the organisation is dedicated to developing an inclusive culture, make sure to discuss it during onboarding. Include a session about inclusion and its importance in the onboarding process. Help new hires understand what inclusion actually means and why it matters to the organisation. Encourage people to share their experiences and make them feel comfortable. Inclusion is a continuing effort. By doing this, the company is inviting its new hires to participate in that process.

2. Let them settle in

When it comes to onboarding, many companies focus on getting new employees productive at the earliest. Generally, the focus is less on teaching them about the ways of the company. Thus, they remain outsiders not knowing how to succeed within the organisation. In order to avoid this, the company should share its history and strategy. This will help them understand how it started, where it's going and what its goal is. In this way, they can make more effective contributions. Teach them the company's language. Hence, they will know what everyone else is talking about.

3. Explain how the team works

Although new hires work for the company, they work within a team. Hence, it's critical that they know the team dynamics. They should know how decisions are made and who makes the decision. They should learn how they are supposed to contribute to the decision-making process. New employees should be taught how to communicate effectively (whether communication is formal or informal). The company's expectations while collaborating with others should also be made clear.

4. Connect to a mentor

The new hires would have mentioned what's important to them career-wise during the recruiting process. Connect them to a mentor who can help them achieve those individual goals. Assign them to individuals who can teach them how to navigate the company culture. That doesn't mean matching new employees with similar people. Yes, they would love to see that people like them are being valued. However, they should also be familiarised with varied perspectives and concepts. Learning is mutual. When organisations pair people effectively, learning becomes two-sided.

5. Don't avoid the existing employees

An inclusive onboarding experience focuses on teaching the new employees about the company culture. The aim is to keep the company culture evolving by incorporating new perspectives and ideas. So, the new employees are not the only ones needing support. The existing employees require support to learn about new hires. They can guide them effectively only when they know what they bring.

To sum it up, when companies are committed to increasing diversity, an inclusive onboarding experience should be a part of their strategies. Making an effort to value diversity within the organisation is key to successful onboarding.

To learn more about onboarding best practices, visit Imarticus Learning.

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