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Measuring D&I in the Workplace

General Methodology on Developing Diversity Metrics

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Step 1. What do you want diversity to help you achieve?

In order to quantify diversity’s return on investment, diversity metrics need to be aligned with key organizational values and goals. The goals have to be linked directly to business goals or they won’t resonate with senior leadership. It’s also important to be concise and to only select relevant goals. You need three to five key points that are easily understandable. Examples:

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Step 2: What programs do you need to implement based on these goals?

At strategic level: (1) Establish business-aligned diversity plans/goals, and systematically launch diversity programs/activities. (2) Integrate diversity into performance review, enhance commitment and involvement at all levels of management.

At tactic level: (1) Choose clear measurement forms to track diversity programs and activities. (2) Provide managers with coaching, education, and tools to help reach the goals. (3) Constantly review measurements and change them over time to ensure close alignment with business strategies and goals.

Step 3: How can we measure the effectiveness of these programs?

  • Quantitative: takes a variety of forms, such as headcount, percentages, rates, proportions, ratios, etc.
  • Qualitative: used to evaluate quality of efforts and results of business.

Focus Areas Example 1

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Focus Areas Example 2

  1. Pipeline (Recruiting and Hiring): The ability to recruit successfully both internally and externally and to develop a sustainable group of diverse people. Comparing new-hire demographics to the existing workforce, or assessing involuntary versus voluntary turnover by race, ethnicity and gender.
  2. Equitable talent development: are people being promoted fairly across the organization regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability? Examples of metrics used here would be promotions within management versus overall management demographics and the use of diversity initiatives proven successful for promotion, such as mentoring (plus assessing the percentage of managers in mentoring).
  3. CEO/upper-management commitment: This includes factors such as representation at the top three levels, accountability measures such as diversity goals linked to compensation, and corporate sustainability/transparency measures, such as philanthropy.
  4. Supplier-diversity: Percent of procurement spent with minority- and women-owned suppliers, as well as suppliers owned by LGBT people, people with disabilities and veterans with disabilities. It also assesses means of helping suppliers grow.

Qualitative Measurement: Employee Climate Survey:

Employee climate surveys help capture the perceived benefits of programs and allow for employee input to effectiveness of diversity initiatives, and provides invaluable insight into which diversity programs are most critical to staff and might yield the greatest efficiencies. The most effective employee climate surveys ask questions pertaining to perceptions of diversity, welcomeness, trust, transparency, and fairness, etc. Note it is important to establish a baseline.

Sample Survey Questions

My team has a climate in which diverse perspectives are valued.

At _____, employees can voice their opinions without fear of retribution.

At _____, people are rewarded according to their job performance and accomplishments.

At _____, employees are treated with respect, regardless of their job or level.

I know how to address disrespectful and/or intolerant behavior.

I can succeed at _____ without sacrificing aspects of my personality or culture.

My manager ensures fair treatment for everyone on my team.

Senior leadership emphasizes the value of a diverse workforce.