The Pain Point
A high growth diverse technology organization was witnessing a significant dip in employee engagement (both, engagement roi & diversity inclusion roi were impacted unfavorably, in addition to business metrics) and high turnover of minority/under-represented employees. Evidently, from the recent employee surveys, employees felt that the organization and their teams were “diverse” but not necessarily “inclusive.” (Also see, Using data to deliver to on D&I promise, HR Daily Advisor)
The Problem & The Goal
Dissecting the organizational data, we found that although the diversity quotas were being met consistently, the fault-lines were siloed implementation of diversity & inclusion goals, aggravated by cross functional communication gaps, which meant that teams were siloed with divisions across respective functional units based on gender and cultural identity, reducing communication & active collaboration. It seemed like many seperate organizations within a single organization.
Basis this, the goal was to reset the employee engagement back to previous rates, reduce minority groups attrition, and reinvigorate the entire workforce around diversity inclusion goals.
To start with, we deployed Diversity Inclusion Capability Maturity Index & Belonging Inclusion survey; the former to objectively assess D&I capability across the organization & the latter, to understand employee perceptions and behaviors. Complementing the results & analysis from both these assessments, it helped us with several insights, across employee mindsets, culture & operating environment – all of which were directly impacting the cross-functional collaboration, communication & diversity inclusion strategy.
Taking these findings to the Leadership, we partnered with the client to develop Executive & Operational Diversity Council, with representations across functions. The Council with the executive support & operational setup, would serve to be an effective D&I governance mechanism. It’s goal was to setup overall D&I vision & unifying D&I functional strategy, formulate & percolate D&I policies & standardization across organization and deploy processes for collecting feedback & resolve discriminating complaints. Basis the datasets generated over time, the council would equally keep tab on D&I analytics and Diversity Inclusion ROI.
In addition to incorporating a design based governance system, we worked with the Leadership to deploy following diversity inclusion interventions:
- Deploy micro-learning capsules for Managers & Senior Leaders to nudge & reinforce behaviors and mindsets pertaining to inclusion & diversity.
- Administer unconscious bias & inclusion training knowledge session & self reflection exercises within organizational agile training sessions – this would continuously reinforce learning to existing employees & would equally be effective for new talent to get onboard with D&I rigor.
- Deploy a feedback system within HR portal to enable employees confidentially voice concerns related to inclusion & bias against Diversity Council
- Deploy a Inclusion & Diversity Knowledge hub – a virtual social space to communicate & share content over organization’s digital space.
In the run-up to deploying above interventions, the Belonging & Inclusion Survey, the Employee Engagement Survey & the Pulse surveys – each of these witnessed very high positive signals, validating the path correct the pain points. More than 88% of employees felt there were greater opportunities to collaborate, communicate and engage across teams & functional groups. Minority employees, specifically women-of-color, noted feeling more opportunities to share their ideas, as well as express without reservations or any fear, their personal identity & their authentic self’s. The inclusion training had 94% level of completion & knowledge checks had 82% in high D&I awareness bracket.
The employee engagement & Belonging & Inclusion scores have increased by 22%, from 58% to 80%. In addition to this lead indicator, as anticipated the organization is also witnessing a significant decrease in minority groups attrition and improved productivity metrics. Through combining multiple types of data (HRIS, Behavioral & Performance), we were able to conduct diversity and inclusion analytics & validate diversity inclusion roi, directly linking it to pain points & business outcomes.
Key Takeaways to improve Diversity Inclusion ROI
For any organization aspiring to create an impact with it’s D&I strategy – it is very important to drive higher D&I capability maturity, linking it with business outcomes & diversity inclusion ROI. This does not mean reinventing the wheel or going back to stone age, (as the business case for D&I and Diversity Inclusion ROI has been validated over umpteen times), however leveraging data, sets the burden of proof is on business to integrate D&I in a more meaningful & sustainable way & having multiplier effect on Business Outcomes & Diversity Inclusion ROI.