How to Update Your DEI Metrics to Influence Change – Techdoxx

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 7, 2022
Updated 2022/01/07 at 7:16 PM

We find ourselves in the midst of the biggest talent shortage in history after a year in which countless organizations voiced their commitment to diversity. However, few have made much progress – and 76% of organizations have not yet established diversity goals for 2022.

Over the past few years, we’ve been studying hiring practices from hundreds of employers and wrote about the impact of the big layoff on DEI. We find a consistent pattern across the board: employers are anchoring a focus on lagged indicators around diversity that will not influence any change.

What are the missing metrics for DEI?

Traditionally, organizations have focused their DEI efforts – including goals and metrics – on increasing diversity and a sense of belonging within their teams.

The challenge? These two metrics are completely focused on the bottom line without taking into account the actual activities required to achieve them. Most organizations are losing a theory of change to their diversity efforts to explain what actions need to take place to move the needle in a meaningful way. That depends on answering two new questions:

  • Are our systems fair? This is the extent to which our processes are fair, consistent and accessible to everyone, directly impacting people’s progress.
  • Are our people aware of, engaged and responsible for DEI? This is DEI’s collective awareness, engagement and responsibility across all of our teams.

Putting these new metrics into practice

Of course, the challenges are daunting and create obstacles to change, but for those who want to be part of the 24% that set diversity goals this year, here are three key areas that can help transform the DEI landscape in 2022:

Measure the current state of diversity to know where to focus your goals

Organizations often set unrealistic DEI goals – too ambitious or not challenging enough. Before creating your DEI goals, you will need to figure out where gaps exist and what to prioritize.

  • Assess your existing organizational policies and practices to determine where you have gaps or potential bias across the candidate and employee journey. Solutions like ours Equal hiring rate can help you get a complete picture of these areas.
  • Examine the current representation of your existing team’s diversity and the extent to which your team is included and engaged in DEI’s efforts through an anonymous survey.
  • Use the insights combined above to determine up to five areas where you have the most opportunity to improve.

Ensure that your EID goals holistically consider diversity, equity and inclusion

As employers often focus their DEI goals only on increasing representation, make sure your goals are holistic to also take into account your people, processes, and representation.

  • Identify your biggest gaps and opportunities to improve equity and accessibility in your hiring and talent process.
  • Identify the critical path in your team’s involvement in this effort, starting with awareness and followed by being equipped, engaged and responsible.
  • Identify where you have the greatest opportunity to increase representation: you can choose to approach that goal with a framework or process-based goal.

Bring your team on board from the start

In the spirit of truly including your team in these goals, you’ll want to ensure they are part of building them from the start. This is how you will create enthusiasm and responsibility to achieve these goals. Here are some ways to bring your team on board in the process.

  • Create shared ownership by including your team in goal setting meetings and conversations, whether through direct engagement or through workgroups.
  • Hear your team’s vision for DEI and be sure to engage your existing employee resource groups or diversity councils, if you have them, and know where your passions lie.
  • Create a system to track and report DEI progress.
  • Make reports and goals available to employees and stakeholders.
  • Make goals and data available to everyone internally and, if possible, share externally.
  • Distribute the responsibility of DEI throughout the organization.
  • Reward your team for achieving DEI milestones.

A call to action for 2022

As the saying goes, we cannot manage what we cannot measure. As we step back to consider our diversity efforts, it is clear that measuring results alone does not guarantee that we will make progress on them. Instead, we need to focus on the real activities needed to drive the change we want to see – the equity of our systems and the inclusion of our people.

As the new year begins, this is the perfect time to talk to our teams about the new goals we can set. Let’s make 2022 not just a year in which we measure diversity outcomes – let’s actually promote them.

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