Diversity & Inclusion: From Perception to Reality

It’s been said that perception is reality. I’ve used that phrase thousands of times myself and I believe it holds true when it comes to what people believe. The good news about Diversity & Inclusion initiatives is there are quantifiable success measures we can use to gauge how “real” they are. I know of agencies and companies that have Diversity & Inclusion programs that quite frankly leave me no choice but to believe they just want to create the perception of D&I instead of yielding any real results. They just want to “check the box” so to speak.

I have also met with organizations that have a genuine interest in improving their company’s Diversity. They want to create stronger climates of inclusion and improve the company performance by recruiting and retaining diverse talent. They just don’t know how to go about it or where to look. In these situations, those in charge of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives take action and put programs in place, but have no idea if they are effective or not. At the end of the day, it’s the efficacy of a program that really matters. Those that have programs in place without performance indicators are quite candidly no better off or celebrated than those who do it just to “check the box”. Fair or unfair, it can be perceived that those who fall into this camp can be seen as “box checkers” as well. Another case of perception is reality.

The solution for effective Diversity & Inclusion programs is as simple as just building in success measures. Diversity & Inclusion programs should be treated the same as any other corporate programs and initiatives that drive revenue. Diversity & Inclusion shouldn’t just be something you do to stay out of trouble with activist groups. Studies show that diverse talent is a means to add value to the business and improves the bottom line.

Key Performance Indicators for D&I program efficacy should be done at the organization level on a case-by-case basis. But here are 7 success measures to consider for your organization:

  1. Profits
  2. Employee Satisfaction
  3. Discrimination complaints
  4. Company External Reputation & Relevance
  5. Diversity of Senior Leadership – (gender, cultural, generational, ethnic, lifestyle, etc.)
  6. Diversity of new applicants
  7. Culturational Chemistry – (how integrated is your organization across all business units from a multicultural and multigenerational perspective and how well do they get along and work together)

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” ~ Daniel Patrick Moynihan

#CulturationalChemistry #NoShortcuts

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