If you’re an HR leader, developing a data-driven diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy is critical.
But where do you start?
That’s where your enterprise social network (ESN) data and analytics tool come in. By tapping into your people analytics, you can create a D&I strategy that cultivates a successful, thriving organization.
In this post, you’ll read about:
- Diversity and inclusion—with some surprising stats
- 2 prominent organizations paving the way in workplace D&I
- How leadership can support all employees with people analytics
What is ‘diversity and inclusion’?
Let’s break the definition into its parts.
“Diversity is a variety of cultures and perspectives working together to solve business problems,” according to Deloitte.
Likewise, McKinsey suggests that inclusion has three core components: equality, openness, and belonging. And that “Hiring diverse talent isn’t enough—it’s the workplace experience that shapes whether people remain and thrive.”
Moreover, a ‘social listening’ employee analysis revealed that “[w]hile overall sentiment on diversity was 52 percent positive and 31 percent negative, sentiment on inclusion was markedly worse, at only 29 percent positive and 61 percent negative,” reports McKinsey.
As an HR leader, with your enterprise social network (ESN) data and analytics tool, you have access to critical information—your people analytics—that will help you balance and manage your D&I strategy. Here’s how that works.
Diversity and inclusion requires a top-down and bottom-up approach
D&I success hinges on balanced communication between leadership and employees. Once decision-making disappears behind closed doors, the workplace feels punitive, and vulnerability spikes.
Alternatively, if the organization minimizes its hierarchy and puts communication on the table, the staff feels valued.
But what does that look like?
Take the streaming service Netflix, for example. Its culture page (which employees contributed to) explains how the company’s communication works. Here are some of the main points from that Culture page:
- Encourage independent decision-making by employees
- Share information openly, broadly, and deliberately
- [Be] extraordinarily candid with each other
And more specifically, on inclusion, Netflix says:
- You collaborate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures
- You nurture and embrace differing perspectives to make better decisions
- You are curious about how our different backgrounds affect us at work, rather than pretending they don’t affect us
- You recognize we all have biases and work to grow past them
- You intervene if someone else is being marginalized
Your organization might be diverse in ethnicity and gender, but your talented employees (and the org) will thrive if work decisions are inclusive, open, and transparent.
As an HR leader, your ESN analytics are invaluable for guiding your inclusion strategy. With your analytics tool, you can gain insights into how leadership is engaging with employees to understand community morale.
Moreover, like Netflix’s inclusion example, you’ll understand how your organization collaborates, embraces differing perspectives, keeps employees curious and engaged, gets past biases, and intervenes if marginalization occurs.
Leadership’s D&I responsibility
From CEO to group managers, leaders must create a safe and fair workplace—one that’s free of discrimination for people of color and LGBTQ+ staff.
When it comes to rewarding all staff, a data-based approach will show employee success, allowing the results to speak for themselves. Moreover, the numbers will remove biases that lead to discrimination.
Your analytics tool and reporting are invaluable for supporting and growing your diverse and inclusive work community.
For example, the global brewery AB InBev, with over 200,000 employees worldwide, uses its ESN analytics tool to foster diversity and improve employee collaboration, productivity, and retention.
By encouraging its employees to use the #DiversityAndInclusion, the org can gather insights, ranging from the most successful content (and what made it work) to identifying teams that are having the most impact on the topic.
Measure employee engagement outcomes
Like AB InBev, your ESN data can inform your D&I strategy and, importantly, how it works in real-time in the workplace.
And that starts with engagement.
Using your analytics, you can identify and ‘uplift’ underrepresented employees in the organization. That includes identifying employees in ‘spectator mode’ on the social network and reaching out to them, for example, by alerting their group manager.
You can also get a read on employee sentiment to understand a particular topic’s mood—like using #DiversityAndInclusion.
Of course, engaged employees are typically more productive and creative. Your analytics tool can help team leaders keep employees on track (by seeing who’s participating and how and who needs support).
Plus, with an inclusive workplace, employee creativity and idea-sharing grows, leading to a higher caliber of work and greater innovation.
Give everyone a voice and build a thriving work culture
Developing a D&I strategy is a long game—one that uses data to create balanced communication between leadership and staff—where everyone from entry-level to C-suite plays a critical role in building a thriving community.