Retention, compensation, benefits & incentives

These four areas are all interconnected. And while they apply to all employees, there are many things you can do specifically to address DEI&B. Strengthen employee retention and development, compensation, benefits, and incentive practices in an equitable manner, creating a culture of inclusivity.

*Small Business Pro Tip: Ask employees for their feedback on retention, benefits, incentives and compensation. Is there something you might not be offering that employees need or want? Do you have a formal review process? Or opportunities to advance employees?

Resources

  • Review the Skillful Retention Case Study/Blog on skills-based hiring (article, < 10 minutes).
  • Evaluate your organization’s total cost of annual turnover using the cost of turnover calculator (a free resource) from the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
  • Create a process for transitioning everyone in an equitable manner into your company. The following are items to potentially incorporate into your on-boarding process.
    • Confirm that all members of the new employee’s team and their supervisor have completed the unconscious bias, inclusion and belonging training you identified. Also, verify that the team has implemented processes for regular check-ins among team members.
    • Confirm the unconscious bias, inclusion and belonging training you identified is part of the on-boarding process for all employees. Assign the new team member a mentor.
    • Proceed very carefully with hiring specific groups of people into special “programs.” These programs can have the opposite of their intended effect, and reinforce a sense of “otherness” rather than becoming an integrated part of the team.
    • Help establish trust and rapport through understanding a new employee’s values, motivations, and unique situation (strengths and barriers).
    • Include an overview of the key family-related barriers, develop an understanding of each new employee’s situation related to those barriers and implement a plan to help them overcome those barriers
      • The National Association of Workforce Boards developed a Family-centered Employment Toolkit that identifies child care, healthcare, housing, food, and childcare as five key family-related barriers to an employee’s success.
  • Provide more intensive career coaching consistently, through at least the first raise/promotion
    • Train managers and supervisors on coaching skills (see Mentoring and Coaching section).
    • Either the supervisor or mentor should have weekly check-ins for the first two months and at least monthly check-ins for the next four months to ensure the transition is going well. 
    • Provide feedback on performance and address any issues or concerns from an employer or employee perspective. Include discussions about biases or barriers encountered since the last meeting. We know that activities similar to these are part of many companies’ HR processes, and we also know it seldom occurs in a meaningful manner.
      • After 3 months, discuss any missing skill sets, or identify strengths that would allow the new employee to build new skill sets the employer values.
      • After 6 months, discuss potential career advancement opportunities, and establish a plan to develop the skills and obtain the experience needed for potential future advancement.
  • Provide benefits that make sense for low-to-middle income individuals. Support your employees to understand and obtain the benefits available to them from the state.  Consider offering:
    • Matching savings accounts
    • Low-interest emergency payroll advances and/or loans. See the Solution Spotlight below for a potential option related to this.
    • Services related to income tax filing support
    • Services related to reading and understanding a paycheck
    • Services related to financial literacy
    • PTO/vacation time pools for use when an employee requires a significant amount of time away from work
    • Flexible schedules and job sharing solutions
    • Creative performance-based bonuses for jobs that may not historically be eligible for those bonuses
    • Chaplains or other social/emotional supports in the workplace
    • Hours of professional coaching
    • An EAP program
  • Consider reducing your temporary workforce to promote workforce and employee stability
  • Strengthen employee retention practices
    • Leverage Human Resources best practices for employee development (including leadership development programs), promotion, retention, and compensation (including a process for reviewing/addressing issues identified for each, diverse group).
      • For access to local experts, join the Employer Council
      • For an in-depth (over 1 hour) resource, review the following report from FSG that identifies retention best practices, such as 1) Provide purpose in the workplace, 2) Create opportunities for learning and growth, 3) Invest in people-centered management, and 4) Make benefits relevant 
  • Use competencies from the job descriptions to assess, track, and support employee development
  • When promoting, make promotions based on skills needed for the new role
  • Utilize inclusive employee development practices such as transparency on opportunities for development and requirements for promotion
  • Map out advancement opportunities that align with competencies. This informs the organization and employee of the various opportunities across the entire organization
  • Understand the government benefits cliff effect and monitor your impact on your employees – a $1 an hour raise can result in an employee losing $5,000 in government benefits
  • If you have shift work, establish shifts that are set, predictable (or at least published further in advance) and equate to full-time employment.  If you have set office hours, have some flexibility at the beginning and end of the day.  Both of these support obtaining high quality child care, and give employees some grace when family crises or transportation delays occur.
  • To see an example of what Procter and Gamble has done to take action in this area, see https://us.pg.com/diversity-and-inclusion/.

*Solution Spotlight: Red Rocks Credit Union partnered with The Community Impact Fund (CIF) to create a solution that empowers an employer and their employees to help meet the needs of employees struggling through a difficult financial situation.   Employees apply when they have a critical need, The CIF assesses the need, confirms if it meets your pre-determined approval criteria, and writes up approved requests in a way the employee remains anonymous.  The need is published to your employees through a charitable giving website branded as your company’s, but managed by CIF.  Employees then choose to support or not support the request.  Employers can choose to match or not match employee contributions and to cover or not cover the management fees, which are 10% of total donations.  CIF will also work with the employer to communicate the impact of the program.  The following link provides an example of how this has worked at Red Rocks Credit Union

One option available through CIF is to have the funds be given in the form of a no interest loan rather than a donation.  Organizations such as Kiva have proven that this model increases both the dignity of the person requesting funds as well as the impact of those funds, since repaid loans become available to cover other requests.