Have you decided that your diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts will gain more traction with the C-suite if they are grounded in measurable data or metrics? Do you want to show the benefits of your investment in D&I training quantifiably? Good. As the saying goes, "what gets measured, gets done."
Here are 5 tips to help you and your organization move toward a metric-based D&I strategy.
Communicate the Commitment
Change is complex, and expectations must be managed with clear, transparent, and continuous communications. Share goals and objectives. Celebrate wins. Acknowledge setbacks. People seldom expect perfection, but they do want to be kept informed.
Develop Your DEI Data Policy
The D&I data you collect is sensitive and confidential. A well-defined policy regarding this data collection, storage, use, retention, and destruction is critical. It builds trust with employees and will help increase participation levels. Moreover, it will lessen the legal risk associated with the collection and use of the data.
Data is not a Plan
DEI surveys can illuminate issues and challenges that are not apparent, but they are not a solution in and of themselves. They can serve as benchmarks and provide insights that direct the DEI strategic planning process. The data your company has collected is useless unless it is used to inform your company’s planning process.
Do not Think of DEI as an Initiative
If you position DEI as an initiative, you are limiting its potential. Initiatives tend to be time-bound and short-lived. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) need to be framed as a strategic imperative and given the proper attention that other imperatives receive, including resources, budget, and time.
Act on the D&I data that you collect. Use it to effect changes in the evolving makeup of your workplace.
What is the Return on Investment (ROI) on D&I?
Tying D&I to monetary outcomes such as return on investment is a fool's game. However, you can reframe the question to a metric that can still be valid and quantifiable.
Here are some examples to help your company structure its metrics:
- What is the cost of losing a trained employee?
- What is the expense of training and onboarding a new employee?
- What is the opportunity cost of a job vacancy?