Setting success measures for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives is crucial to track progress and ensure that your organisation is making meaningful strides towards creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
After all, what gets measured, gets done. But sometimes the numbers alone don’t garner the will to change DE&I-relevant behaviours. Goals are an even more potent mechanism to achieve behaviour change. They serve to mobilize both the will (motivation) as well as the way (effort and strategies) of behaviour change. Moreover, when goals are made public, they provide an accountability mechanism that research shows makes us more likely to achieve our aims.
The Diversity Agenda, with feedback from Accord signatories set six success measures in year one. These include a mix of goals and success measures that hold us to account and keep us on track as we work towards our 2025 strategy.
Here are some top tips to help you set your DE&I success measures:
- Align with Organisational Goals: Ensure that your DE&I success measures are aligned with your organisation’s overall mission, vision, and strategic goals. DE&I should be integrated into the core values and objectives of the company.
- Involve Stakeholders: Engage a diverse group of stakeholders, including employees, leadership, and external experts, in the process of defining success measures. This helps in gaining different perspectives and buy-in from all levels of the organisation.
- Use a Balanced Scorecard Approach: Consider using a balanced scorecard framework to measure DE&I success. This includes financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth perspectives. Apply these perspectives to DE&I metrics.
- Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics: Incorporate both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Quantitative data can include metrics like representation, pay equity, and promotion rates, while qualitative data can come from surveys, focus groups, and employee feedback.
- Benchmarking: Compare your organisation’s DE&I metrics to industry benchmarks and best practices. Benchmarking can provide context and help identify areas where improvements are needed – check out our Diversity Agenda Accord impact report.
- Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) Goals: Ensure that your DE&I success measures are SMART. This means they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, instead of a vague goal like “improve diversity,” set a specific target, such as “increase the representation of women in leadership roles by 20% within two years.”
- Track Progress Regularly: Establish a regular reporting cadence to track progress toward your DE&I goals. This could be quarterly or annually, depending on the nature of your metrics and initiatives.
- Focus on Long-Term Impact: While short-term goals are important, also consider the long-term impact of DE&I initiatives. Success measures should assess not only immediate outcomes but also sustained change over time.
- Accountability and Responsibility: Clearly define who is responsible for tracking and achieving DE&I goals within the organisation. Hold leaders and teams accountable for their respective roles in promoting DE&I.
- Flexibility and Adaptability: Recognise that DE&I success measures may need to evolve as the organisation evolves. Be open to adjusting your metrics and strategies based on changing circumstances and feedback.
- Transparency: Communicate DE&I goals, progress, and outcomes transparently within the organisation. Transparency fosters trust and accountability.
- Employee Engagement: Include measures of employee engagement and satisfaction related to DE&I. Happy and engaged employees are more likely to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
- Intersectionality: Consider the intersectionality of DE&I factors. Understand that individuals may belong to multiple underrepresented groups, and ensure that your measures account for these intersections.
- Feedback Loops: Establish feedback mechanisms that allow employees to provide input on DE&I initiatives and metrics. Listen to their voices and incorporate their feedback into your strategies.
- Continuous Improvement: DE&I is an ongoing journey. Continuously assess and improve your success measures and strategies to adapt to changing circumstances and emerging best practices.
By following these tips, your organisation can set meaningful and effective success measures for DE&I initiatives, helping to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces.
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