Many organizations bemoan the lack of female and minority candidates for senior management and executive positions. I don’t know where they are looking or what they are doing, but there is no secret about how to find them. attract them, get them. or keep them. While the reasons women and minorities exit employment are complex, the efforts for attracting and retaining talent is no mystery.
Try some, any, or all of the following:
- Groups often follow the unwritten rule of ‘whoever is most loud is most right. That limits the interaction of the more quiet and introverted members. You can rotate who gets to respond to questions or issues first or allow people to interact by chat or text in addition to talking. Perhaps everyone gets three ‘chits’ to speak and when they speak, they forfeit one.
- Interruptions are not just rude; they obstruct the flow of ideas and creativity. Whether you use a ‘talking stick’ (only the person who holds the stick can talk) or employ a ‘no interruption’ rule, enforce it.
- Take the temperature of the room periodically by voting, using Slack or Trello or choosing Emoji’s to get a read of the room.
- Make the work ‘blind.’ Rather than identify who is doing the work, submit information for review or discussion without identifying the author. This can help eliminate unconscious bias and let he work speak for itself.
- Rather than choose from ‘the only woman or person of color when considering candidates, aim for 2 or more in your pool for consideration. Everyone is risk averse so show decision makers that there are several qualified candidates.
- Give people a chance and if they have the potential, allow them to show you that potential realized. Let them show you what they can do – don’t make assumptions (especially if the individual has had a limited number of opportunities to show what they can do. Trial periods allow those opportunities.
These ideas are not the only things that will help you retain folks – but it’s a place to start. When you treat people more equally, their performance has the opportunity to follow suit.