Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within HR are essential for building an equitable workforce. Diversity acknowledges the differences within individuals and groups of people, while equity looks to ensure fair access to opportunity and resource. Inclusion ensures an open environment where all people feel involved and truly appreciated.
These concepts are necessary to overcome barriers that may prevent individuals and groups from participating fully in society or the workplace. Addressing these issues requires a commitment to education, policy reform, and community engagement.
Why is DEI important for my organisation?
DEI are vitally important contributions towards an engaged, productive, and thriving workforce. A diverse pool of employees allows companies to access unique perspectives, experiences, and skills that can benefit their business.
The employee experience has been seen to vary significantly among different demographic groups. For example, studies have shown that women and people of colour are often underrepresented in higher-paying and leadership positions, which can be attributed to systemic bias and discrimination (sometimes unconsciously). Addressing these disparities involves intentional efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within workplaces.
Why do we need to track the metrics?
As an HR professional, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling comfortable in your own estimations of DEI performance. You might think that you have a pretty good idea of how your organisation is made up, and the positive inclusion practices you have in place. But It’s incredibly easy for unconscious bias to come into play unwillingly and unknowingly in many areas of an organisation’s processes.
The action to address and remove these biases requires initial identification. By selecting key metrics, and tracking them over time, you can identify biases and other DEI concerns, put in place initiatives to rectify them, and continue to track the effect those initiatives may have.
Without data, you cannot know for sure that you’re not missing any opportunities for improvement. And without data, you cannot track progress over time, or understand and prove how initiatives you are implementing have affected DEI in the workforce.
So, which 5 metrics should you be tracking?
- Demographics across organisation levels
It is not uncommon in some industries to observe less diverse groups of people the higher up you move in the organisation level. For example, amongst senior managers, directors, and partners. Having diverse senior leaders in an organisation is important because it allows for a range of perspectives and ideas to be considered in decision-making processes. This leads to more innovative solutions and better problem-solving. Additionally, a diverse leadership team can better understand and serve a diverse workforce, and customer base, leading to increased employee retention and customer loyalty and profitability. Overall, diversity at the top level of an organization improves performance and fosters a positive and inclusive workplace environment.
To quantify your organisation’s success in this area, you might be looking to compare the distribution of varying demographics within your leadership team, against those within the general employee population. Does diversity diminish the higher up in the organisational structure that you go? If so, one thing you might want to consider is how leadership roles are advertised and targeted, to ensure you are enticing and considering a diverse selection of people to your leadership group.
- Retention rates
By analysing variation in retention rates across different groups of people, you can start to determine whether retention is affected by factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, or other demographics. The results will provide insights into the factors that contribute to employee attrition and ultimately help improve your organisation’s overall retention efforts. By identifying any outliers from the data, you can take proactive measures to develop targeted retention strategies and ensure better engagement and satisfaction of all employees, as well as the continuation of a diverse workforce.
To accurately assess this measure, you will be looking to compare retention rates from one identified group of people to the next, as well as the organisational average. If any groups have statistically lower retention rates than the rest, this may highlight an area for focus. You can combine this data with exit survey information to drill down into more specific reasons for low retention rates.
- Employee advancement / Promotion rate
When reporting on promotion rates amongst employees, you can identify any underlying biases and systemic barriers in the career advancement and promotion process, such as the lack of diverse representation in leadership positions, unconscious bias in promotion decisions, and limited access to mentorship and professional development opportunities for underrepresented groups. By identifying any such areas, your organisation can implement initiatives to address these issues and increase equal opportunities for all employees.
To assess this metric, you would be looking to compare promotion rates against different demographics within your workforce, in order to identify any particular demographics receiving fewer advancement opportunities.
- Pay equity
When analysing pay equity, the aim is to eliminate wage discrimination by ensuring that employees are paid based on their skills, experience, and job responsibilities rather than on their demographic characteristics. Achieving this requires regular monitoring, evaluation, and adjustment of pay structures to ensure that everyone is compensated fairly. It is fundamental when considering fair employment practices and crucial to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
To monitor this effectively, there are going to be a few layers to your metrics. You’re going to want to compare total salary against job roles, and then against different demographic groups, to really understand whether biases are influencing your compensation and remuneration.
- Diversity in the hiring process
By prioritising diversity in hiring, companies can create a more equitable and successful work environment. There are a couple of angles to consider when measuring diversity in your hiring processes. You should be looking at both the diversity within applicants, as well as diversity within the hiring panel.
Diverse applicants ensure an ultimately more diverse workforce. A diverse hiring panel helps to eliminate unconscious bias during the hiring process and allow candidates to feel equally treated.
To achieve diversity in hiring, your company can take steps such as setting diversity goals, using inclusive language in job postings, reaching out to underrepresented groups, and providing unconscious bias training to hiring managers.
Measuring and tracking diversity in your hiring is a vital step towards making improvements. There are two aspects to this. You will be looking to measure percentages of applicants from within varying groups of people, and then comparing this with the figures amongst those that ultimately receive offers of employment. This can help to reflect both how effectively you are attracting a diverse talent pool, as well as ensuring elimination of biases in hiring decisions.
How to track
If you’re just getting started with DEI metrics, the above might sound a bit daunting. You might be asking;
How am I going to pull all those metrics together?
What equations need to be applied?
Where will I find the time to continuously monitor it all?
If you’re going it alone, there are going to be workload implications, and space for human error. However, investing in illumin8HR makes it all quick and simple. There’s no need for complex equations and the stitching together of data from multiple sources.
Simply decide what you’d like to track and illumin8HR will do the rest. There are no equations to decipher, or pages of figures to sift through.
Your metrics will be presented in easy-to-understand charts, along with automatic notifications of any potential problem areas to consider addressing. The platform comes complete with a knowledge bank to house articles and information, helping you and your managers make improvements to specific areas of your workforce. Save time and make real business impact through insights, with illumin8HR!
Ready to give your People Analytics a boost?
We’ve suggested some key examples of useful DEI metrics for you to get started, however, with illumin8HR in place, there are very few limitations when it comes to selecting specific metrics to track. If the data is available, you can create as many bespoke reporting configurations as you can think of – the sky really is the limit.
If you’d like to know more about illumin8HR and how it could strengthen your organisation’s People Analytics, simply book a demo today!