December 11, 2023

How to hold leaders accountable for their DEI commitments

Without executive support, companies will have trouble meeting their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. This is where accountability comes into play.

Workplace accountability helps create a sense of responsibility while ensuring the company takes action and measures progress. Not only does a commitment to DEI make companies more innovative and profitable, but it’s what employees want. About 32% of employees and job seekers would not apply for a job at a company where there is a lack of diversity.

Even though employees are demanding companies build inclusive and equitable workplaces, about 24% of organizations aren’t establishing accountability or measuring progress in their equity commitments.

If your organization wants to promote workplace equity but lacks executive buy-in, here are seven ways you can work toward holding company leaders accountable for their DEI commitments.

Set clear goals and expectations.

Those who are responsible for strategizing and implementing DEI programs and initiatives should define what the company's DEI commitments are and what success looks like. Goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable so that executives understand what they need to do to meet the company's DEI commitments, and what would happen if they fail to meet these goals.

Establish regular check-ins with leadership.

DEI, HR, or People leaders can establish regular check-ins with C-Suite to review progress, discuss any challenges, and provide support and guidance to executives. These meetings can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on the company's needs, so DEI remains top of mind for company leaders.

Engage employees in the process.

HR, DEI, and People teams can ask employees to provide feedback on the company's DEI efforts through surveys or focus groups. The next step is to summarize this data and share with executives so they understand what employees want and what they feel is lacking at the company. If leaders want to retain their best talent, it’s critical to make employees feel like their voices are heard.

Use data to measure progress.

Collect and analyze data on DEI metrics, such as representation, pay equity, advancement, retention, and employee engagement. Use this data to identify areas where progress is being made and where more effort, team support, or budget are needed. By using data to measure progress, executives will have concrete evidence of the company's DEI efforts and where they need to provide more support.

Celebrate wins, big and small.

Team members responsible for leading DEI initiatives should recognize and celebrate progress to help keep employees engaged and show executives that their efforts are making a difference. Some examples of wins can be improving employee satisfaction scores, starting an Employee Resource Group, or having a successful inclusive recruitment event.

Provide educational resources.

Holding company-wide training sessions to educate the entire team on the importance of DEI can help set a baseline understanding of the company’s goals. Perfeqta has conducted in-person and virtual workshops with over 50 organizations on how to reduce bias in the workplace, become an authentic ally, and other topics. Attendees have left trainings with clarity on how to move DEI initiatives forward while also feeling empowered to engage in tough conversations on improving workplace equity.

Call out executives when they aren’t meeting goals.

Let’s say you’ve done all of the above and leadership still isn’t living up to their DEI commitments. If executives are skipping meetings, absent from DEI events, or have not provided an adequate budget to help start DEI programs and initiatives, it’s important to address this directly. Revisit the data – if your team doesn’t meet DEI goals, how will it affect retention rates and the company’s employer brand?

Learn more about your organization's current state of DEI and share insights with your leadership team.

Perfeqta created a free quiz that helps leaders assess their company’s DEI maturity in minutes. 

You answer 20 questions about your company’s current DEI initiatives and we’ll show you where you fall within our 5-stage maturity model. We also send immediate recommendations on how to evolve DEI at your organization.

Take the quiz today and learn more about your company’s current state of DEI.

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