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Implementing DE&I Initiatives and Measuring Success

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We know from research that a culturally and ethnically diverse and inclusive company is far more likely to outperform those that aren’t as diverse. Employees from diverse companies also have higher levels of satisfaction, which boosts productivity.

With facts like those, it’s not hard to see why implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives is high on the list for many organizations. But how do you go about making changes to improve DE&I? And, how do you know if they’re working?

It’s Not an Overnight Change

Drafting your DE&I initiatives shouldn’t be too difficult. But, implementing and sustaining them so that you experience change within your organization is the real challenge.

Creating a culture of belonging is an enterprise-wide effort. And implementing DE&I is a process that takes time. The important thing is to make a good start and then follow up. Here are a few ideas to kick your implementation off:

1. Create an Employee Resource Group

An Employee Resource Group (ERG) provides your employees with a safe space to speak openly about sensitive topics without fear of judgment. These can be physical spaces within your office, or dedicated digital spaces, like private channels on Slack.

2. Invest in DE&I Training

You can increase awareness of DE&I by rolling out specific training. This might involve making use of online training like LinkedIn Learning, unconscious bias training or having employees take implicit association tests. Rewiring habits is difficult, but training can increase awareness of actions that lead to discrimination and exclusion.

3. Promote Pay Equity

Gender and racial pay gaps still exist in the workplace.

Diversity and inclusion are about promoting equity and fairness to all employees. Analyzing your pay across employees might highlight some pay gaps that you weren’t aware of. Managers can then look into this further to identify any underlying issues.

4. Celebrate Cultural Holidays

You can foster awareness and inclusivity by acknowledging religious and cultural holidays. You can note these holidays in your employees’ calendars, create cultural events to celebrate them and promote them on your company’s intranet. Also, make sure you’re aware of these holidays when scheduling meetings and calls.

These steps will help you get started with implementing DE&I into your organization. But, once they’re up and running, how do you know whether they’re working?

Measuring Success

Taking a data-driven approach to your DE&I initiatives will allow you to accurately track the success of your changes.

Here are some things to consider when measuring your success.

Know What to Measure

DE&I isn’t about quotas or ticking boxes, so your data should be comprehensive and give realistic insights. Ivette Tapia of YW Boston emphasizes the importance of primary data, meaning the data that comes directly from inside your organization. Comparing yourself to industry benchmarks can get you hung up on numbers that aren’t relevant to you and lead you away from your goal of creating a diverse and inclusive environment.

Collecting a range of data is also critical to painting an accurate picture of your company’s standing. Gathering both quantitative and qualitative data will broaden your insights and give you actionable feedback to work with.

Quantitative data might come from measuring your workplace against your targets using a numbered scale. This might involve employees rating happiness, satisfaction and belonging on scales from one to five. The benefit of this is objectivity. [Numerical values remove biases](https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/quantitative-data-definition#:~:text=Benefits of quantitative data,to obtain large sample sizes.) and provide you with solid data and fewer variables.

On the other side of the coin, qualitative data comes from speaking to who your initiatives affect. This type of data encompasses things you [observe, rather than measure](https://study.com/academy/lesson/hr-metrics-qualitative-quantitative-data.html#:~:text=Qualitative Data,is to success.). Often it involves interviews and open-ended questions.

You can collect this data using a DE&I survey.

Creating a DE&I Survey

Hearing from those that live the changes you’ve made is very valuable. Creating an effective survey will help you understand where your initiatives need tweaking and what steps you can take to improve.

To create a survey that will grant you the insights you’re looking for, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Make Answers Anonymous – Diversity and inclusion are sensitive topics. Some employees might not want their answers associated with them. Anonymity will make employees more comfortable and improve response rates.
  2. Create Inclusive Questions – Check your questions to ensure nothing is exclusionary. This might be the content of the question, the answers offered (if multiple choice) or the inability to select multiple answers.
  3. Allow the Ability to Skip Questions – Some topics are highly sensitive and therefore might make employees uncomfortable. Not every question needs an answer from every person.
  4. Share Your Findings with Everyone – Sharing the feedback you received helps everyone feel included with the new initiatives. By being open with your findings, you’ll build trust and promote good communication.

Reaching Out to Job Seekers

Did you know 76 percent of job seekers value workplace diversity as an important factor when considering a new job?

A third of workers explicitly say they won’t apply for a job that doesn’t have an inclusive workforce. To attract diverse talent, you need to look at your hiring process and apply your DE&I commitments there too.

Here are some things to think about when it comes to the recruitment process:

1. Make Sure Your Job Listings Are Inclusive

It’s easy to get stuck in your ways when it comes to job ads. You might have a template you recycle over and over again. Revisiting the language you use in your job advertisements can show you where it needs work. Omit gender biases, remove signs of an aggressive tone and state your inclusion principles.

2. Cast a Wide Net

Taking a multi-channel approach to your hiring will help you find diverse talent. There are plenty of sites to post your listings on these days, so make sure you’re making use of them. Also, social media is a rapidly growing channel for promoting jobs, so make sure you’re using popular social media apps as well.

3. Show Off Your Improvements

Don’t just view your careers page as a place to post jobs. Let the world know about your inclusive culture and the commitments to DE&I you’ve made. Explain your benefits and how you care for your employees. This will help build confidence, even before an applicant has submitted a resume.

Never Stop Improving

Taking action on improving diversity and inclusion is an ongoing effort. To make your workplace an inclusive environment that attracts and celebrates diverse talent, your organization should continue to monitor, measure, improve, and act.

If you’re looking for a powerful tool to help with your recruitment process, consider JazzHR.

To find out more about furthering your commitments to DE&I, contact us today.

Try JazzHR to streamline your hiring.

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