March 10, 2020
On the most basic level, you can look at diversity by the numbers. You can plan an annual report on the demographics of your workforce, and use that to make comparisons year-to-year and against other companies in your industry.
One way to concretely reflect your commitment to developing a diverse workforce is to introduce inclusion KPIs. Making diversity and inclusion a core goal that falls in line with profitability will motivate the hiring team to take the task seriously, and keep you accountable. Measure and reward the work of managers who maintain a diverse team and successfully nurture employees from marginalized groups into leadership roles.
While we’re on the subject of numbers, take the time to track and review your retention rates for the employees you hire from marginalized backgrounds. Are those employees leaving at higher rates than others? Did you have thoughtful exit interviews with them to gain insight into why they were leaving?
Once you’ve reviewed this data, determine if you need to reassess your company culture. You can start by revisiting our posts on Intent vs. Impact in the Inclusive Workplace, Bystander Intervention Skills for the Inclusive Workplace, and Diversity-Competent Mentoring.
Now it’s time to take a look at your company culture as a whole. If you’re not already using one, you may want to consider a climate survey. A climate survey can serve as a detailed snapshot of your organizational culture at a certain point in time. You may think you’re growing inclusion, but does your workforce agree?
While it’s great to learn from the progress you’ve made in terms of representation and retention, you can take it a step further by gathering nuanced information about what your employees say and feel about the organization and its culture. A climate survey can help you absorb the kind of information that is otherwise hard to access: Do your employees feel appreciated? Do they feel like they belong?
Let’s take one last look at where your company stands on fostering inclusive leadership: Are employees from marginalized groups on track to moving up in the organization? Do they have access to effective and personalized mentoring?
With commitment and good strategies in place, you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of your diversity hiring efforts. Once employees from marginalized groups reach higher levels of leadership, the momentum will build. Existing and prospective employees will see one of the true hallmarks of an inclusive organization—diversity in the upper ranks.
This post is part of a series addressed to HR and other hiring managers about integrating diversity competence into each step of the employment lifecycle, from recruitment and hiring, to creating an inclusive workplace, to evaluating and cultivating leaders who will take inclusive excellence at your enterprise to the next level.