31 Jul Sure, you have a diversity and inclusion initiative. But, are you measuring it?
If your company has a diversity and inclusion initiative, that’s fantastic. It’s a solid step toward building an intentional culture.
But are your efforts working? Is it impacting your bottom line and how would you even know?
It’s easy to write off diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a touchy-feely part of your business, one too nebulous to measure. Even if you’re tracking employee demographics by age, gender, ethnicity, etc., that’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Consider this. Every dollar spent on D&I yields eight in return. Diverse, inclusive companies are six times more likely to be innovative and agile. How about the fact that diverse companies are 70 percent more likely to capture a new market?
Diverse, inclusive companies are six times more likely to be innovative and agile.
The stakes are high, and the potential ROI even higher. D&I is too important not to measure.
There are meaningful ways to take stock of your diversity and inclusion efforts.
The Hiring Process
D&I initiatives often kick off with a shift in recruitment processes. HR reinforces its commitment to being an equal-opportunity employer and expands its job postings to recruit a wider pool of candidates.
But who does a candidate meet when she sits down for her interview? Does anyone on the other side of the table look like her? Minding the diversity of your interview panels – even if it means adding someone who is tangential to the open position – can put your organization’s best foot forward. Plus, people with different backgrounds will provide a range of input on the candidates.
Minding the diversity of your interview panels – even if it means adding someone who is tangential to the open position – can put your organization’s best foot forward.
Furthermore, take note of your hiring rates among Millennials, older workers, people of color, and other key groups. You may be successful in getting them to apply and interview, but you need to see that through to the offer and hiring stages.
Your employees should feel like they belong. Only then will they feel comfortable bringing their whole, authentic selves to work.
This is where your D&I truly comes to life. In fact, some research shows that feeling connected to your coworkers can be a bigger motivator than money alone. GQR’s 2018 State of Diversity and Inclusion report affirms the connection between recognition and belonging: 66 percent of respondents who felt their contributions were valued at work also felt a sense of belonging at their company.
You may not be able to get inside everyone’s heads, but you can look for tell-tale signs of community.
You may not be able to get inside everyone’s heads, but you can look for tell-tale signs of community. Do people express themselves openly in meetings? Are calls for new ideas or for volunteers met with enthusiasm? What’s the attendance like at company social events? Are individual contributors routinely recognized for their good work? If you’re scoring well on the belonging front, you’ll see evidence of camaraderie and engagement.
You also have the opportunity to gauge belongingness more directly.
The Company Survey
I offer the company survey with a caveat, because at most workplaces there’s ample room for improvement. We live in a cynical world where the average response rate for an employee survey is 30 percent – and four out of five don’t believe their managers will act on the results. Any staff survey should be deployed on the premise that the company is not simply taking the temperature of the workplace, but is committed to improving the workplace.
When designed, executed and acted on properly, employee engagement or culture surveys can be a useful tool for taking the pulse of company culture. Even if a quarterly survey indicates 75 percent of employees are very satisfied, dig a little deeper to make sure you know the whole story. This is possible while still keeping the results anonymous.
Know the demographics of who actually took the survey. If the Millennial or Gen Z cohort did not, then the results do not represent them, and they may already be thinking about their next move. Likewise, if the highest ratings came from a single department, or from your most tenured leaders, then you have some work still to do.
Understanding how your diverse staff experience workplace culture gives insight on where you need to make adjustments, both programmatically and as leaders.
Understanding how your diverse staff experience workplace culture gives insight on where you need to make adjustments, both programmatically and as leaders. A software solution, like
The Promotion Ladder (and Revolving Door)
The Board of Directors and C-suite have become the litmus test for company diversity. We’re quick to note what percentage of these leadership positions are held by women or minorities. While that’s a good start (after all, company culture tends to trickle down from the top), look deeper at the career paths your company is forging.
Who’s getting the title changes and promotions? Are all the African-American and Latinx employees sitting in administrative roles, rather than management positions? Who takes the stage at all-company meetings? Who’s getting the opportunity (and support) to lead innovation projects and showcase their strengths? Finally, who’s most likely to leave your organization (at which point you’ve already lost the inclusion battle)
Answering these questions will give you a big-picture barometer of how your company’s D&I initiatives are faring. The data won’t lie.