EDI and Anti-Racism— The Importance of Measuring “What you Got”
By: Dr. François Ducharme, Industrial and Organizational Psychologist
Organizations and societies are realizing, some perhaps late in the game, the benefits of implementing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and anti-racism practices in their operations. Having worked with businesses all over the world, I came to realize that many already know that ensuring respectful, tolerant and accommodating work culture and processes is critical to their success as it allows employees contribute to their full potential. Those who have not learned this lesson will soon do so, as their talent walking out of their doors will be walking directly into the open arms of the competition.
But are leaders certain their organization is indeed fully engaged and capable of implementing such powerful culture? You see, I am often asked by leaders and executives if the principles of EDI and anti-racism have taken hold in an organization. Measure is my answer.
We all heard the quote, “What gets measured gets done.” Organizations, surely, measure all kinds of business metrics; why not measure where does it stand in regard to EDI and anti-racism practices? Regular measurement and reporting keep an organization focused on its goal and allows management to make instant adjustments when deviations are identified.
In our experience, there are two areas of focus worth collecting data on your employees’ opinion as to the state of EDI and anti-racism in your organization, and your leaders’ ability to behave in a way that encourage EDI and anti-racism.
An employee opinion survey will gather data on key attributes and practices we know support an EDI and anti-racism culture. The output of that survey is an index that tells you where your organization is doing well, and where further attention is required. Interventions can then be targeted only where needed.
Measures of employees’ opinions are critical to help guide organization-wide actions and decisions. But what about those tasked with implementing and encouraging these practices and culture? Are your leaders showcasing the key competencies and behaviours that support EDI and anti-racism practices and culture in the workplace? My methodology of choice for this purpose is a 360-degree feedback survey. Our survey focuses specifically on the EDI-specific competencies required of all leaders and employees. Participants get feedback from peers, employees, and their managers on how they are showcasing these competencies. They can use this information to identify personal strengths to leverage and areas where fine-tuning is required through coaching or training. Group reports can also be produced. These reports inform the organization’s senior management regarding the bench strength of its leadership cadre in regard to these behaviours. Adjustment can then be made via tailored and focused programs.
Measurement is everything: measuring the right competencies and the right practices that support EDI and anti-racism give organizations—and society as a whole — a competitive advantage over their competitors, especially those who are blindly going through the motion and don’t understand what needs to be changed. They often invest in implementing a treatment for an illness, it turns out, they don’t have.
Before implementing a training program, organizations must have a solid understanding of the current state of EDI in their workforce and in their practices. Dialogue NB has powerful employee opinion surveys and 360-degree assessment that inform organizations and their leaders of where they stand regarding the requisite EDI practices, competencies and behaviours.