top of page

How to use a diversity audit to build trust with employees

Originally posted on Fortune

Presented by ServiceNow

Good morning!


The hardest part of measuring DEI progress for many employers is getting a clear and accurate picture of where the organization is in its journey. Beyond representation data, leaders must fully understand what engagement, inclusion, and advancement look like at their companies. It’s a task that, for many DEI practitioners, starts with a full internal audit, much like one would perform for any other business initiative.


Ella F. Washington, an organizational psychologist and professor of practice at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, writes about how leaders can properly perform DEI audits in her new book, The Necessary Journey: Making Real Progress on Equity and Inclusion. In it, Washington tackles some of the hairiest challenges pertaining to moving the needle on D&I and examines how several employers have done so. Here’s an exclusive excerpt on how leaders should approach DEI audits:


“Organizations going through a DEI audit often feel particularly vulnerable. They are asking someone from the outside to objectively assess them and search for pain points. Even with a CEO deeply committed to the work, it is not uncommon for other leaders to question the need to spend time and resources on such an effort. Even with companies like Iora, which had detailed demographic metrics of its patients and employees (kept completely confidential, of course), the company was missing a read on how its employees were experiencing inclusion and equity every day on the job.


Leaders who do not understand that DEI is about more than metrics can be particularly difficult to get on board. Another point of resistance to these types of first-time audits is that team members may be hesitant to talk about DEI openly if the company does not have a previous culture of these conversations. Rightfully so, employees worry about how the information they share in focus groups and surveys may be used against them. It’s vital to the success of audits that the leadership team be on board and promote the audit. The practitioner must also establish unquestioned trust that the information they find will only be presented in the aggregate and not attributed to individuals and that action will be taken based on the information shared.


Unfortunately, many organizations that conducted listening sessions during the summer of 2020 did not follow up with meaningful actions. Employees felt like they were sharing their pain just to make the organization feel better, but they saw no promise of action. One of the golden rules of employee engagement is to never ask employees to share how they are feeling if you are not committed to acting on what you learn. Yet a recent survey showed 80 percent of employees believed leaders would not act on challenges brought forward by an employee engagement survey.


When employees share their authentic experiences through surveys, focus groups, one on one conversations, or other mechanisms where they are explicitly asked to open up, there is an implicit promise that the organization is going to do something with the answers. When that promise is not upheld, it can lead employees to regret sharing in the first place and become much less likely to participate in future assessments of culture and engagement.”


Amber Burton



Hybrid work & boundaries

As hybrid work becomes the law of the land, setting healthy boundaries to separate the personal and professional becomes increasingly critical. Learn how to structure the new balance of powers between employee demands and business needs. Read the article>



Reporter's Notebook

The most compelling data, quotes, and insights from the field. In the latest sign of the times, Zoom announced it would lay off 1,300 employees—about 15% of its workforce. The video conferencing company tripled its headcount during the pandemic as companies rushed to adopt digital tools to support remote work. Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan said in a company blog post that the cuts are partially a result of overzealous hiring. “Our trajectory was forever changed during the pandemic,” he said. “We didn’t take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyze our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably.”



Around the Table

A round-up of the most important HR headlines, studies, podcasts, and long-reads. - Migrant workers in the U.S. are being hired under better conditions and with higher wages than usual, as the hiring market for hourly workers remains tight. Wall Street Journal - Pay transparency laws have helped some workers land $20,000 raises and jumpstart their career switch. Bloomberg - Companies are inflating job titles at unprecedented rates to placate potentially disgruntled employees and avoid paying higher wages. Insider - Organizations looking to fill critical roles without incurring the costs of a formal job search are “quiet hiring” employees. Watch time: 7 min. CNBC - Your employees probably took a pay cut last year, with hourly earnings adjusted for inflation falling 1.7%. Fast Company



Watercooler

Everything you need to know from Fortune. Unwedded work bliss. For most people, divorce hurts their work performance. But in a recent study, a sizable minority reported the opposite. —Alice Hearing Job flight. Boeing announced it would cut about 2,000 HR and finance jobs but will still hire in its engineering and manufacturing departments. —The Associated Press Record-low engagement. People working in person at jobs that can be performed remotely reported the highest levels of disengagement at work. —Jane Thier Filtered finances. Gen Z would rather talk about their sex lives and mental health than how much they make at work. —Orianna Rosa Royle

36 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page