Diversity professionals today are increasingly turning towards metrics as a way to optimize their programs and to be able to compete in today’s data-driven world as more and more companies are relying on metrics. By tracking the metrics behind your diversity programs, you can make data-based decisions about resource allocation, report to senior-level management, and drive organizational change.
What are metrics?
Metrics are a comparison between two (or more) data sets that have agreed upon relevance. They are chosen as a way to gain the insights you want into data. They are different from results, which are the numbers that come out of the metrics. The results are not static, but change upon the data sets used in the metrics. Reporting of the results provides context to the result and relevance to the organization.
Finding larger patterns
Though they vary across industries and verticals, metrics can be used as benchmarks when judged against industry standards. They are extremely valuable, as they provide consistent data sets for measurement. When metrics are tracked, patterns and trends emerge – allowing organizations to compare the success of their programs over time.
In the field of diversity and inclusion, metrics can be used to explore links to engagement within your company. Which activities engage your senior leaders? Do certain departments or groups of employees interact with diversity programs more, or tend to show higher engagement scores? Why might this be the case? By having a clear picture of the metrics behind your diversity programs, you can gain a clearer picture of who attends your organization’s events and trainings – and how you can engage them.
Why track diversity metrics?
Research has shown that there is a business case for diversity and inclusion. Diversity not only leads to enhanced financial performance, but also drives creativity, innovation, and sound decision-making (a recent Forbes study found that inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time).
By tracking metrics, you can better understand where your organization stands in comparison to other companies in the same industry. However, metrics can be utilized for more than just benchmarking, and can truly drive organizational change. Here’s how: As top-level management worries about talent, engagement, and innovation, you can make the case that developing diverse and inclusive workplaces helps solve these issues – and have the data to back you up.
By tracking metrics, you can build trust that you are helping achieve corporate goals. Ultimately, metrics allow you to compete for resources and drive better results, while growing your programs.
While diversity and inclusion is about far more than just numbers, tracking the metrics behind your diversity programs is key. In an age of analytics, metrics are necessary for companies that want to analyze the success of their programs, track their long-term performance, maintain a competitive edge, and push for more D&I initiatives.