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Ideas and insights for today’s people-centered leaders.

Moving the needle on diversity and inclusion hasn’t been easy. Traditional diversity programs–mandatory training to address bias, job candidate testing, and grievance systems–have been proven to actually make firms less diverse

Fortunately, a wave of public promises made in the last year is a positive sign that organizations are rising to the challenge. For example, in 2020, LinkedIn announced a commitment to “double the number of Black and Latino leaders, managers, and senior individual contributors on its U.S. team over the next five years.” 

D&I initiatives aren’t just about being virtuous, improving business performance, and reducing turnover; they are about avoiding bad press and class action lawsuits. Furthermore, the employee perceptions of decisions made during this crisis will count double as the economy starts to stabilize and recover.

“Bold commitments must be met with bold actions,” states Johnathan Medina, Strategy Senior Manager, Accenture in our HR Trends 2021: People Strategies for an Uncertain Future report. “One of those bold actions is being comfortable admitting that while your company is not racist, racism still exists within your walls in the form of processes, policies, and ways of working.” 

D&I actions to take in 2021

The good news is that many organizations are already sitting on a wealth of data that can help them build meaningful strategies to action on D&I and make it a core part of every business operation, process, and policy. Those who have invested in people analytics can answer D&I questions across the entire employee lifecycle, revealing insights to help them better attract, develop, and retain diverse employees. 

For example, an industrial manufacturer used people analytics to discover that as women moved through the hiring process, many were dropped during the interview process. Armed with this insight, they were then able to develop targeted programs to address this specific issue. 

Here are actions you can take at your organization to make real D&I progress in 2021:

  • Account for everyone
    • Knowing where the organization sits overall in terms of diversity is a good place to start, but averages obscure pockets of risk. For example, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 reveals that workforce participation for women is not improving when the analysis incorporates women of color. Effective leaders go beyond blanket numbers and examine the multi-dimensionality and intersectionality of diverse workforce groups. 
  • Keep leaders accountable 
    • By tying D&I to not just an HR initiative but business health and sustainability, organizations will help mobilize entire workforces and create real change as a result. One way to do this is by recognizing leaders who prioritize diversity and tie compensation and advancement to D&I action. 

Answer these questions with data in 2021

The right analytics platform automates all the number crunching for you so you can quickly track your numbers and tackle questions with purposeful actions. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • How diverse are our leaders and feeder roles for leaders?
  • What skills do we need to transform our business and how can women and diverse employees be trained to acquire those skills?
  • Where are diverse candidates opting out during the recruiting cycle? 
  • Are our high performing minority employees choosing to exit the organization faster than non-minority employees in the same roles? 
  • How does the diversity of the interviewer impact diverse and non diverse applicants?
  • Which diverse employees are most at risk of resigning?
  • Which diverse employees should be considered for promotion?

Getting answers to the above questions will help you take meaningful actions towards boosting D&I–a must-have requirement for businesses in 2021.

This is the second post in a three-part blog series covering the critical changes that will impact HR and the world of work in 2021. This topic appeared as Trend 2: D&I Action Must Happen Now in our HR Trends 2021: People Strategies for an Uncertain Future report. Download the full ebook to find Q&As with our partners and get more tips related to this trend.

About the author: Visier Team

People-centered ideas and insights by the editorial team at Visier.

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