by Ray Hayes

When it comes to quantifying the value of your diversity and inclusion program things can become difficult especially when you cannot explain to your stakeholders the value and importance to fund the programs. Therefore, the D&I programs are sometimes undervalued and underappreciated. One of the many questions that stakeholders ask are how can you quantify the impact of the programs and determine if your goals where met?

Many organizations are sometimes left dumbfounded and have inadequate answers. In order to assist you with these questions and provide you with ways you can quantify your D&I programs, Janice Gassam from Forbes lends her expertise.

When assessing D&I programs, you must understand the diversity climate within the organization

The first rule of thumb would be to survey your organization’s diversity initiatives. In order to move forward you must first know what the organization needs to focus on to assist with the implementation of D&I programs. Gassam goes on to say that, “This could include an employee engagement survey, with questions focused specifically on company culture and inclusion. You could also assess customer feedback through customer surveys, social media comments and Glassdoor ratings.” Furthermore, metrics are great to assess D&I practices. For example, measuring the succession plan for diverse employees and the percentage of diverse employees, results of sponsorships or mentorship, and employment engagement scores by race or gender.

After the assessment has been completed, now you figure out what improvements need to be made

Review the feedback from the employee’s survey then figure how to implement practices and philosophies to improve the particular areas that were identified by employees. If you are unaware how to combat the issues that employees are facing make sure you take advantage of current and past literature on the topics. For example resources about D&I programs can found on, “… Harvard Business Review, the Society for Human Resource ManagementDiversityInc, and Diversity Best Practices. Reviewing Google Scholar for current research on D&I can also produce a wealth of valuable information.”

Before the implementation of the D&I program, make sure you have a general agreement with those responsible for the program on how you will measure cumulative changes

Gassam states that, “It’s always a good idea to gauge where employees are at the beginning to establish a baseline before any sort of intervention is implemented so you can measure their progress throughout the process.” Keep track of the feedback you receive in order to adjust things as time goes on to better prepare your organization to combat any issues or answer any questions/concerns. “The end destination and goal attainment are central but there should also be a way to evaluate progress at each step along the process. What this does is it allows the organization to assess whether the training is actually working and figure out if modifications and pivots must be made,” Gassam concluded.

After all is said and done, you will now be prepared for the next time stakeholders or employees question how you and your organization quantify the D&I programs.