Korn Ferry

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Work Performance, Inclusion & Diversity Case Studies

Our Workforce Performance, Inclusion & Diversity practice has helped many organizations around the world transform, develop and grow. Some examples of our achievements are provided below.

World-leading consumer goods organization.

Our client, which was in the process of expanding in Asia, was finding it difficult to attract and, in particular, to retain talented employees in China. We helped them develop a customized onboarding program, named the ‘Gas Station’, which enabled Chinese employees to integrate into a corporate environment that can be more Western than Eastern in approach. It is a culturally aware program, designed to build confidence, cultural savvy and behavior modeling. As a result of the program, employee turnover dropped from 15% to 5%. Company officials are now expanding the program beyond China to other regions of Asia, including India, the Philippines and Japan.

Multinational food and beverage company.

This industry leader was experiencing higher-than-average turnover of diverse employees, which was impacting negatively on selection and development investment and weakening the leadership pipeline. Together, we implemented a program designed to help new and newly promoted employees to decode company culture and make business-building contributions early on. This has helped reduce turnover from 42 per cent to less than 2 per cent in just three years.

Life sciences industry leader.

As a result of weak performance across several diversity performance indicators, this industry-leading business approached us to develop a comprehensive strategic diversity initiative that would replace existing programs and practices. Our initiative featured rigorous analysis of issues and causes, appropriate training, metrics and ongoing revisions. We also secured a concrete commitment to the initiative from senior management. The result has been a substantial increase in representation and retention of women and professionals of color at senior levels.

Korn Ferry is committed to confidentiality. We are therefore unable to disclose the identities of our clients. 

Major Wall Street investment bank.

As part of their strategy to present a diverse face to their clients and to the market, we helped a major investment bank increase representation of women, minorities and people with disabilities. We identified the three areas of improvement needed to help them overcome the barriers that were preventing these populations from a) seeking out the firm and b) being sought after by the firm recruiters. These areas were: recruitment strategies; candidate competencies; and organizational readiness to hire.

Through nine months of qualitative and quantitative research and competency work, and then an additional nine months training all managing directors and VPs, we helped the firm increase entry-level hires to 40% women and 40% minorities within 24 months. Over the next 36 months, minority representation at the Senior VP level increased from 5.6% to 10.6% and the representation of women increased from 6.3% to 23.8%.

World-leading provider of securities services.

A major financial company sought our help to fundamentally integrate inclusion into its DNA. The ultimate aim was to increase levels of employee engagement and achieve more positive business results. We began by carrying out a firm-wide diversity and inclusion audit to identify the greatest opportunities for delivering change. We then implemented our flagship Managing Inclusion™ training program, which helped transform the way the firm thought about diversity, before creating a platform that was closely aligned to the program and that connected up all the company’s practices for developing and retaining employees and business.

As a result, the firm has seen significant improvement in several key areas. 92% of employees now say they are proud to be part of the firm. 90% say they are committed and loyal. 81% truly believe management supports and works effectively with their diverse workforce.

Global financial institution.

Realizing that they owned very little of the minority retail banking populations in the U.S., our client asked us to help them achieve growth in these target groups by developing the appropriate skills in corporate and branch management. Over a 12-month period, we worked alongside the bank’s marketing division to help identify the “promises” that were being made to the market in terms of service, representation and support. We then created a customized management program that prepared management to attract, hire and retain diverse banking professionals.

Once the new faces were present in the ranks, incremental revenue began to grow from newly acquired accounts within the minority community. In two years, the bank gained $40 million in revenue from these accounts.

World-famous food and beverage company.

Research carried out by our client’s Global Diversity and Inclusion team revealed that women of color within the organization felt less satisfied, less committed and less connected than all other groups. This in turn was leading to retention and development issues, particularly in middle and senior management ranks. We helped the company successfully respond to these findings by delivering the education element of their award-wining Women of Color Multicultural Alliance initiative. We developed a customized coaching program, known as Power Pairs, which builds personal and professional relationships between women of color and their immediate and second-level managers. We also facilitated professional development and enrichment forums to provide visibility, networking and community-building opportunities for our target group.

Within two years, turnover among women of color who had participated in the program fell by 50% compared with those who had not. Advancement had increased by 50%. There was also a significant rise in satisfaction ratings among executive-level women of color.

Wall Street investment bank.

Our client identified that the number of minority employees passing entry-level core training programs was significantly less than the number of white employees. The firm had invested in the attraction and hiring of this diverse group. Each new hire cost the company an average of $35,000. In one year, they had lost over 30 candidates, or over one million dollars in talent. By conducting focus groups in the population, we determined that minority employees felt the organization did not truly believe they could be successful, as they saw little to no evidence of minority employees in higher ranks. As a result, they were unwilling to put forth effective effort since they were likely to fail.

To address this challenge, we delivered relevant training programs to both managers and employees. Within six months, 100% of all minority candidates passed their examinations and expressed increased confidence that the firm supported their success.

Korn Ferry is committed to confidentiality. We are therefore unable to disclose the identities of our clients.

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