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  • Writer's pictureSertrice Shipley

Turning Plans into Action: The Crucial Role of Data in Advancing DEI

In today’s landscape, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) isn’t just a moral imperative—it's a strategic necessity. But where do we begin this transformative journey? The answer lies in data.

Starting with Data: Defining Your DEI Why

Data serves as the compass, guiding organizations toward their DEI aspirations. It’s the starting point, helping us understand where we are and where we want to be. By analyzing demographics, engagement surveys, organizational audits, qualitative feedback and other metrics, one can uncover the realities of an organization’s workforce composition and employee experiences. Using this data the organization likely already has, you can understand where the organization is, which can then be used to determine where you want the organization to go.

Shaping Strategy: Being Intentional, Making a Plan

Data empowers us to be intentional in our approach to DEI. Armed with insights, you can craft comprehensive strategies tailored to your organization's needs. This involves setting clear objectives, identifying key stakeholders, and developing actionable plans that prioritize inclusivity at every level.

Actioning the Plan: Collecting Data and Driving Behavior Change

But strategy alone isn’t enough. We must translate plans into action, driving tangible behavior change. When people think of behavior change interventions, they tend to default to trainings. It is true that this step is where training programs could be implemented, however, numerous other actions could occur as well such as mentorship initiatives, employee resource groups (ERGs), additional data collection like an organizational audit of policies, and more! No matter the action, each intervention should be carefully evaluated for its impact on employee perceptions and organizational culture, which leads to the final step.

Measurement: Assessing Impact and Progress

At every step of the journey, measurement is essential and can look a variety of ways. For example, after any training we conduct, we have attendees complete a feedback survey which provides immediate insight into employee perceptions of the event, and possibly even a knowledge check to determine the usefulness of relaying concepts. Conversely, tools like the Mattingly Inclusion & Belonging Assessment (MIBA), you can gain a comprehensive view of employee perception over time. Some measurement can also be as simple as measuring who is accessing information you share or who is having developmental conversations with their managers. By regularly assessing the status of your various activities and recalibrating strategies, we ensure that our efforts are driving meaningful change.

Looking Ahead: The Continuous Evolution of DEI

DEI is not a destination but a journey—a journey fueled by data-driven insights and a commitment to continuous improvement. By leveraging data to inform our decisions, we can create workplaces where every voice is heard, every perspective is valued, and every individual thrives. 

In conclusion, data isn’t just a tool—it's the cornerstone of DEI success. By embracing its power, organizations can cultivate cultures of belonging, drive meaningful change, and pave the way for a more equitable tomorrow.

Looking to advance DEI through data-driven insights in your organization? Contact us at Plan to Action today to drive meaningful change, together.

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