If your organization is like so many others in the last several years, you have made the decision to foster more diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Though you may be quick to announce feel-good statements or launch a DEI program right off the bat, these quick-fix solutions typically don’t see any sustainable changes. Where should you start? Assess.
If you’re hoping to implement long-term DEI initiatives, the first step should be determining how diverse and inclusive your business already is — and how far you have to go. Of course, your organization may already be in a different stage of your journey, — however, completing an assessment is still essential to determining where to prioritize so that you can develop smarter strategies to meet your goals. After all, an assessment is the best way to benchmark DEI behaviors and programs, as well as uncover any hidden biases that may exist in the pipeline.
Assessments offer insight into aspects of your organization from an objective, third-party view. Sure, you’ll want to see the current diversity of your talent pool and pay equity. But it’s also integral to listen to stories from employees themselves — especially those from underrepresented backgrounds — to better understand individual experiences and perceptions of leadership. Do they feel safe and empowered to express their beliefs at work? Do they have resources for help? You’ll quickly identify the biases that may be presenting barriers to disadvantaged employees, such as in recruiting, hiring, and mentorship. And that’s not the only benefit: survey participation also increases employee engagement and confidence that the company is prioritizing inclusivity.
Once you have a better picture of where you’re at, your business can ensure that DEI metrics align with your overall organization performance metrics. During a recent assessment for an organization, for example, we uncovered that women were stalling out at mid-level positions and not advancing to executive roles because opportunities weren’t readily presented to a segment of the workforce. By using surveys and metrics to pinpoint the exact problem in the career development trajectory, we were able to recommend the specific tweaks to the company: In this case, it was ensuring mentorship and more opportunities were explicitly offered to women.
Our assessments and scorecards identify targeted opportunities for improvement within 12 key business areas that can be understood, measured, and evaluated over time. Our approach is tailored to get organizations started on their DEI journey or help jumpstart one that’s stuck. Through analysis of quantitative and qualitative data we gather using one of the following methods — Visioning, Survey, Interviews, Report, and Scorecard — we highlight and organize outcomes and recommendations through 12 key performance indicators in an Inclusivity Scorecard.
As part of the assessment, you’ll need an advisory committee that’s made up of senior leaders to take the lead and take ownership of the process. The goal is to align your vision of equity and inclusion with day-to-day employee experience. That is why our recommendations are non-theoretical and practical in application.
Of course, evaluative assessments can also be difficult to digest, since they reveal the behaviors and actions that negatively influence workplace culture. But a commitment to change and transparency will get your organization on the right path toward sustainable change and bottom-line business benefits.
Wanna learn more? Contact us to learn more about the options for an inclusion assessment.