October 24, 2021
Daniel Fellows

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd – an unarmed African American man – during an arrest by white officer Derek Chauvin, businesses have been making bold promises about greater diversity.

Certainly, companies have been devoting more attention and resources to advancing diversity, equalty, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace partly because it’s the right thing to do if we want to tackle racism and prejudice and address and correct societal disparities, but also because it is good for business.

Companies that focus on creating a culture of diversity and inclusion reap a whole host of benefits including greater employee engagement and productivity, a wider talent pool, reduced employee turnover plus financial advantages. (Deloitte found that businesses with an inclusive culture were twice as likely to meet or exceed their financial targets.)

Yet while organisations are rightly ramping up their efforts and have found ways to successfully measure and track diversity,  many are still struggling to measure the impact of their inclusion policies. According to an employer survey by RedThread Research, 92 percent of respondents measure diversity — but, only three-quarters measure inclusion. And, as the  management adage goes: “What gets measured, gets done.”

Without clear, defined measures to track diversity and inclusion efforts and outcomes, there’s a tendency to revert to ingrained and outdated thinking and behavioural patterns.

Stacia Garr,  a researcher, and thought leader on talent management, leadership, D&I, people analytics, and HR technology, spoke about the need for healthy inclusion analytics strategies during a New York University’s recent Accelerating Equity and Inclusion Through Data and Technology Conference.

During her speech, Garr highlighted the difference between diversity and inclusion analytics explaining that the former is largely focused on representation metrics while the latter involves metrics that reflect employee perception and sentiment about equity, inclusion, and belonging.

So, if you’re not measuring Inclusion Analytics, where to start? First up, ask a wide range of different types of employees about what inclusion within the organisation looks like to them. Conduct confidentials surveys that include questions which indirectly address inclusiveness, take advantage of new analytics tools and leverage digital technology.

Last but certainly not least, know when to ask a DE&I expert for help. HR and TA folk aren’t DE&I experts and nor should we expect them to be. DEI experts have completed a host of educational and professional prerequisites and dedicated themselves personally and professionally to this work, which is why it’s important to reach out when you need to.

DE&I companies are the best partners for HR organisations. Only when HR and DEI join forces, can companies truly begin to track inclusion analytics and drive change.

But don’t just take our word for it. The last word must go to Garr who said at the conference: “Inclusion analytics is critical for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. You have to look beyond just perception data and build inclusion analytics throughout the organisation.”

Daniel Fellows