Queensland Government

What you measure is what you’ll get...

Having an evaluation process that keeps your organisation accountable will help achieve your diversity and inclusion goals. According to psychologists and economists, human beings adjust their behaviour based on the metrics they are held against.

So, if you want your organisation to care more about diversity and inclusion, start measuring it.

Ideally, evaluation of your diversity and inclusion initiatives should:

  • be underpinned by a clear, considered evaluation plan
  • involve clear, transparent reporting
  • result in useful findings that can inform decisions regarding future initiatives.

Evaluation plan

Evaluation helps you to ensure your diversity and inclusion initiatives are on the right track and doing the right things to achieve its intended objectives. Preferably evaluation processes should be considered from the moment you commence planning your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The scale of your evaluation will vary based on your diversity and inclusion initiatives. For example, evaluating the effectiveness of a Harmony Day event may be quite straight forward compared to evaluating the implementation of an organisation-wide diversity and inclusion strategy, which will require more extensive planning and resources.

Regardless of the scale of your evaluation, it is recommended you put together an evaluation plan which specifies at a minimum:

  • what will be evaluated
  • the purpose and criteria for the evaluation
  • the key evaluation questions
  • how data will be collected, analysed, synthesized and reported.

Measuring diversity and inclusion

As noted, your evaluation plan should include performance measures to help determine how well your diversity and inclusion initiative is meeting its objective.

Performance measures should be well-defined, time bound and specific to the diversity and inclusion activities. Here are some examples of performance measures used in the diversity and inclusion space:

  • Percentage of employees who have completed cultural capability training
  • Percentage of employees who have applied learnings from cultural capability training to their work
  • Percentage of materials available in languages other than English
  • Percentage of customers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds satisfied with services/products
  • Percentage of complaints related to cultural or linguistic diversity (e.g. English proficiency being a barrier to accessing a service or career opportunities)
  • Percentage of staff who feel diversity and inclusion is valued in their workplace.

Targets should be challenging yet achievable – for example, customer satisfaction should not be set at 100 percent as it is not reasonable to believe that every customer will be completely satisfied with a service/product.

Ideally you should also collect baseline data prior to the implementation of your diversity and inclusion initiative so it can be used in later trend analysis.

It’s also important to collect qualitative data to add depth to your analysis and help substantiate quantitative data. For example, you could capture case studies on how your initiatives have helped win new business or developed innovative products that are more relevant to diverse customer needs.

It’s equally important to capture failures or gaps in the implementation of initiatives so you can learn from these and avoid repeating them.

Data collection and analysis

Some useful methods of data collection for diversity and inclusion initiatives include:

  • equal employment opportunity metrics
  • employee attitude surveys
  • diversity profile
  • focus groups
  • customer surveys
  • management and employee evaluations
  • accountability and incentive assessments
  • training and education evaluations.

Before establishing new data collection mechanisms, consider existing data that your organisation may already collect – such as levels of satisfaction through customer surveys. Also consider ways you can make use of your current data collection mechanism – for example, by adding additional fields or questions to an existing employee opinion survey.

Once you have collected data, it’s time to analyse the effectiveness of the initiative including unintended impacts, areas of improvement and aspects that should discontinue. Reporting actual results against the performance indicators should demonstrate the extent to which your diversity and inclusion objectives are being achieved, and case studies will also help provide a fuller picture of the effectiveness of your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Communicating and using your findings

Reporting on your findings allows for conversations to be had about progress, barriers, unintended consequences, successes and what actions can be taken to improve your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Evaluation findings should be presented to senior leadership to demonstrate the return on investment and how diversity and inclusion initiatives value-adds to the organisation. Findings should be discussed with a view to take action and implement improvements. Demonstrating the success of efforts to senior leadership may also help to secure resources and buy-in for future diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Evaluation findings should also be communicated to your entire organisation. This not only makes employees aware of the findings but raises awareness of the organisation’s efforts and shows the organisation values diversity and inclusion – which in turn contributes to employees’ sense of belonging.

It’s also recommended that you share your evaluation findings publicly, particularly your successes. Again, this will demonstrate that your organisation values diversity and inclusion, and will help attract clients and employees.

Communication mechanisms to share your evaluation findings internally and externally include:

  • sending an all staff memo (ideally from the CEO to staff)
  • publishing a copy of the report on your internal network or intranet
  • sharing highlight findings or case studies on social media
  • including a summary of findings in internal/external newsletters
  • including a copy of the report on your organisation’s website
  • noting achievements in speeches at internal and external events
  • creating a video with ‘real’ stories and testimonials which can be shared online
  • having a summary copy of your report in reception or waiting areas.

Useful links and references

The content in this section is intended as a guide only and was prepared with the assistance of Cultural Perspectives Pty Ltd.