According to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group, most companies have a diversity program of some kind but nearly 75% of employees in diverse groups aren’t reaping the benefits. For many companies, there is a disconnect because their diversity and inclusion training programs (DEI) are not tied to a strategy with measurable indicators.
Investing in DEI training initiatives is growing in popularity as more and more organizations recognize the impact of diversity on their company culture and bottom line. In the U.S., we can be inspired by best practices, and while implementing a DEI training program is a good first step, it doesn’t take the place of a strategy tied to metrics. Influential management consultant, Peter Drucker, sums it up best: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
The State of DEI Training
DEI training may be a hot topic but many organizations check the box for this offering without establishing metrics and a strategy for managing diversity and inclusion. In fact, Brandon Hall Group research reveals that “Almost half of organizations [surveyed] have no clear D&I leader or efforts are led by a non-manager with other, often competing, responsibilities. Organizations that do have a senior leader or executive, such as a chief diversity officer, heading their D&I efforts are two to four times more likely to say their initiatives are successful.” It’s clear that organizations can do better, but how do we successfully move forward?
For starters, making learning more broadly accessible to everyone across the organization, including frontline workers, is an action that promotes inclusivity. L&D departments have the power to promote change and need to take the lead to manage and measure D&I training programs so their organizations can continue to make improvements. In some countries, new regulations are inciting change, while a number of forward-thinking organizations across the globe are willing to demonstrate equal opportunity in training investments.
Global Examples of DEI Training Best Practices
In some countries, such as South Africa and France, regulations are motivating organizations to better track and measure their D&I programs and training because they must be able to measure and report on specific metrics. For example, South Africa’s Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) initiative requires organizations to track employee demographics and maintain a BEE rating, a credential that’s needed to operate their business. And in France, there are regulations in place to support initiatives such as gender parity as well as disabled employees and others. These regulations not only ensure that organizations forecast who they will train so that they can effectively measure and provide reporting on these training initiatives, but they also demonstrate the necessity for managing and measuring D&I programs to ensure compliance. But, where these regulations don’t exist, how do organizations manage what they can’t measure?
Progressive organizations across the globe are managing D&I programs and measuring the results to report findings and to prioritize their actions. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for everyone, measuring diversity and inclusion helps organizations drive change. Let’s take a look at some examples:
- The technology collaboration company, Slack, has a special program called Rising Tides that develops a diverse group of leaders, offering training, coaching, and executive sponsorships.
- To promote a sense of community and camaraderie, Invitae, a genetics information company, assembled seven employee resource groups, including: Women in Tech, Latinx, Pride (Rainbow Connection), Peer Soul Support (Mental wellness), Black Genetics, Veterans In Genetics, and Aznpac & Friends (Asian and Pacific Islander).
- HCL Technologies, an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company, has a program that supports women returning to the workforce after taking a break to raise a family, offering counseling, classroom training, and mentorship to support career growth. Milestones are carefully tracked to ensure women maximize their potential.
Those corporate examples highlight best practices that organizations across the world can adopt.
DEI Training Measurement: Lessons Learned
To echo Peter Drucker’s wise words again, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If organizations do not measure, how can they make improvements or even determine if and where there is a problem? Organizations in the U.S. and across the world need to consider better tracking to ensure equal training opportunities and to educate employees on diversity and inclusion. Organizations can track several attributes including:
- Investments per course
- Domain (training category)
- Demographics such as blue collar/white collar, age, and location
By understanding how much money is spent on training and who is consuming it, organizations have a greater understanding of where gaps exist and how to modify strategies. Better reporting also helps organizations mitigate risk should new regulations enforce policies around diversity and inclusion.
How to Measure Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
Ensure Meaningful DEI Measurement
As organizations continue to use “data driven” insights to guide decisions, it’s important to avoid any DEI blind spots. As noted in a recent Chief Learning Officer article, the person interpreting the data “can bring a biased perspective both to ‘what gets measured’ and how they interpret those measurements to drive policy.” Ensuring that the right data is being interpreted and driving change in the best way is critical for addressing any unconscious blind spots in leadership actions. Measuring the data can provide us with powerful insights around race and ethnicity impacts, gender impacts, and effective skills measurement. Further, reporting on these measurements and implementing meaningful change is a critical step that goes beyond capturing and measuring the data.
Know the Value of Learning Technology for DEI: Measure so You Can Manage
So, how do we move on to the next step of tracking and measuring key diversity and inclusion metrics so that we can better manage these programs and make meaningful change? Learning technologies, such as the Training Management System (TMS), can help L&D teams efficiently track and measure DEI training, understand costs, and much more. With a Training Management System like Training Orchestra, organizations can gain the right tools for managing diversity and inclusion training efforts including:
- Analyze who they are training and how much they are investing.
- Capture different criteria such as training dollars per hour or total hours spent, or domain / training category.
- Track demographic data such as race and level of education.
Ready to learn more or need to discuss a specific DEI training project? Get in touch with our training management experts today.
About Training Orchestra
For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has been helping 600+ organizations worldwide to automate and optimize their ILT and vILT training operations, addressing the complexities often found in: session scheduling, resource management, instructor collaboration, cost tracking and reporting. As a complement to your LMS, LXP and learning technologies, Training Orchestra’s Training Resource Management System can replace all XLS spreadsheets and manual tasks, so you can better manage training as a business.