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Leaders have a pivotal role to play in influencing the onboarding and career development of their employees.

Part of a leader’s job is to coach, develop, mentor, sponsor and support the people they manage.

What sets an inclusive leader apart in employee onboarding and development is that they overcome the tendency to identify with people who are like themselves and instead try to connect with and support those who are different.

A team of solar panel engineers performing an inspection together in the field

Supporting Resources

Bias in Development

  • Women who negotiate for a promotion or compensation increase are 30% more likely than men who negotiate to receive feedback that they are “bossy,” “too aggressive,” or “intimidating”.
  • Women are more than 20% less likely than men to receive difficult feedback that helps improve their performance. Also, managers are more likely to hesitate when it comes to giving feedback to women due to the risk of sounding mean or hurtful. This is less of a concern when giving feedback to male employees.24
Female wind turbine technician in the field

Leaders play a pivotal role in employee development

Female electrical engineer directing her male co-worker

Challenge Your Assumptions: Monitor how equitably you approach key people decisions, such as frequency of providing feedback, determining who has leadership potential, or recognizing performance.

Be Inclusive: In providing feedback, evaluating performance and offering ongoing support.

Build Trust:  Be confident in each employee’s ability to achieve results, empower them to make decisions, and take on and implement their feedback to support trust and mutual understanding.25

How to Strengthen Your Organizational Culture

Highlight your investment in employees: Define the “what’s in it for me?” of your employee benefits programs, and communicate to employees how you are investing in them.

Support a “see something, say something” culture: Demonstrate that you consistently hold people responsible for misconduct, e.g. by making disciplinary actions more widely known (while keeping specifics confidential).

Ensure the example is set from the top: Support leaders to behave in ways consistent with company values.

Clearly communicate behavioural expectations: Define values that support the culture and business strategy you want to achieve, assess how well your employees know and live them, and communicate them regularly.26