The human race is very diverse in culture, religion, ethnicity, values, and beliefs. People interact every day as they try to get a livelihood and empower themselves economically. However, these diversities that make us unique cause some social, cultural, economic, and institutional conflicts and inequality. In a move to cap such inequalities and discrimination, organizations are adopting diversity, inclusion, and equality initiatives at the workplace. The main aim of diversity and inclusion is to build a diverse team and promote an inclusive workforce.
What Exactly is D&I Benchmarking
D&I benchmarking is the process of comparing an organization’s diversity and inclusion metrics, strategies, and practices with those of world leaders and top organizations in the related industry. It’s a continuous process that’s ideal for distinguishing areas that are doing well and those that need improvement. However, diversity and inclusion isn’t a one size fits all strategy due to the differences in social and organizational cultures worldwide. Each organization can develop its strategies after borrowing ideas from top-performing corporations.
The ultimate goal of D&I initiatives in organizations is to ensure that each person feels welcome and valued, despite the different backgrounds. With D&I, you’ll create a work environment where employees respect, support, value, and accept one another.
How to Measure Your Team’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
You’ll need to employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative measurement techniques to successfully measure diversity and inclusion initiatives and compare them with strategies from top-ranking companies. It would help to be very observant, and you could also conduct some interviews or use in-house surveys. Let’s explore some measures that can guide you on D&I benchmarks and how to measure your team’s initiatives.
Observe Who’s Talking
Whenever there’s a team or general meeting in your organization, keep an eye out on the people who express themselves and those who dominate and run the show. Observe the rate of interruptions and note down the culprits. It would also help if you checked who’s contributing towards common platform conversations such as office email and online chat groups.
Any form of disengagement can indicate a lack of inclusion. However, that may be far from the case if some team members are introverts and prefer to keep to themselves or keep a low profile. When it comes to interruptions, put up a non-interruption policy to give every person the chance to share their opinions and ideas during meetings and team-building initiatives.
Check Out Participatory Efforts
Another good metric you can use to measure diversity and inclusion is employee participation in voluntary events. That can include both in the office and social events that the staff organizes outside of the workplace. Additionally, assess lunches and after-hour hangouts. Is there a tendency of members from underrepresented communities and groups such as people of color or disabled persons to stay together during such times? If there is, then it might allude to failure in fostering inclusion.
You can stimulate inclusion by organizing regular in-office activities which foster the creation of social fabric. For instance, have a day where your employees bring their kids to work and let the kids interact with different members of your team. You can also organize happy hour treats on company time about an hour before closing for the weekends to enhance social interactions among your employees.
Observe Signs of Positivity
When your D&I initiatives are on track, they’ll translate to the success of your company. Inclusion will ultimately boost team performance, quality decision-making, and collaboration. Look into the end-of-year impacts, such as innovations at the workplace, whether you’re meeting and exceeding financial targets, or if you’re achieving better business outcomes. Don’t forget to check the general performance level of the staff.
When your diverse workforce is all-inclusive, the team works as one organ without any fear of discrimination and does its best to achieve business goals. The opposite is also very true. If your team is non-inclusive, there’s no motivation to work. That would be disastrous to your organization’s performance.
Performing a survey at your workplace enables you to assess various aspects of inclusion and diversity. It can reinforce your findings from the above methods. Here, you can ask your employees a series of questions. Their responses may shed light on how they feel about their team members, their position, and the workplace culture. It’s wise to customize surveys to capture your employees’ team initiatives towards achieving inclusion and diversity at work.
However, it’s paramount that you guarantee confidentiality and assure the employees that the surveys won’t affect their jobs. You could also draft some NDAs and have each employee taking part in the survey sign to protect your organization. Surveys also offer an ideal platform for you to pass on ideas to your employees to promote a welcoming and more inclusive work environment as part of the organization’s culture.
Diversity and inclusion are a step in the right direction for a fair, more equitable, and just corporate world. It may look like a shot in the wind, but the benefits are immense. While you may fail to notice progress immediately, you’ll most definitely see the positive impacts of adopting D&I initiatives as the culture builds. In the end, you’ll achieve your business goals!