A New Home at Work: an Employer’s Guide to Fostering Inclusion for Refugees in the Workplace

Tej Mehta, David Leathers, Devon Dickau, and Heather Reilly

Deloitte Insights

A New Home at Work by Deloitte and the Tent Partnership for Refugees is a guide to help companies create inclusive workplace environments for their refugee employees. It offers guiding principles, inclusion initiatives, action steps, case studies, and anecdotes based on research and interviews with 90+ employers, refugee employees, and other experts. By deploying these initiatives, employers have a unique opportunity to improve the lives of refugees while also bettering the businesses in which they work.

With businesses around the globe facing tight labor markets and aging demographics, as well as a desire to drive corporate social responsibility and social impact initiatives, many leaders are looking to the world’s 25.4 million refugees as potential employees. In addition to supporting a vulnerable population, hiring refugees offers employers a new pool of talent from which to draw new perspectives and drive positive business outcomes.

Creating inclusive workplace environments for refugee employees sometimes requires a tailored approach that goes a step beyond companies’ existing diversity & inclusion practices. As this research conducted by Deloitte in collaboration with Tent Partnership for Refugees highlights, even the smallest steps can make meaningful impacts on refugee employees and their employers. By developing an understanding of employees’ backgrounds and recognizing their skills and goals, employers can truly help refugee employees feel welcomed into—and thrive within—the workplace. While refugee employees come from diverse backgrounds and may require unique support to get their footing in new countries and new work environments, they share many of their colleagues’ aspirations, such as the desire to succeed, grow, and build better lives for their families. Employers that recognize this fact and focus on fostering inclusion for their refugee employees will likely improve the experiences of their entire workforce and build a stronger and more connected organization.