Question: What is worse than not having a DEI Strategy?
Answer: Having a DEI Strategy that does not involve your team.
The data is in, and study after study has shown that businesses who understand the DEI journey and have demonstrated meaningful results are more profitable and have a much better work culture.
It is not just about current profitability or next quarter’s results either. These businesses enjoy a much lower employee turnover rate and they are appealing to the vast majority of job seekers who place a high priority on a diverse workforce. There is hardly an association member anywhere that does not have this topic as a top priority for their organization. Associations have a moment in time when they can cement their value proposition to their members by helping them drive impactful DEI initiatives.
The question for associations is; how to help and where to start?
We talk to associations every day that may have a DEI committee, or a new DEI policy, or have a section on their website. There is nothing wrong with any of these items and they can certainly play a role in a DEI journey, but if that is where it stops then the opportunity is being missed. I noticed in a recent article in Associations Now that echoes what our clients have known for months, if not years about impactful DEI efforts. These successful associations all have different initiatives in place, but they all have one common variable that is the starting place for their DEI strategy. That variable is that they begin by measuring because they all know that you can’t fix or improve what you have not measured.
Not only is measurement the core of any DEI effort, it is the single most important determination of success and impact that the effort has. Dynamic Benchmarking helps successful associations measure at the company level and we help the association sponsor a cultural assessment for their members and the individual member’s employees. Both of these types of studies offer the association a great opportunity to be relevant in this important movement, but we can’t do it by limiting our involvement to the c-suite or executive committees. When the stakeholders are not involved, the efforts are not realized throughout and the changes miss the mark. Measure, assess, understand, implement and improve. That is the path forward and if the first step is skipped the remaining steps will likely miss the mark. Talk to us, we have the experience and technology to help you get it right for your members including being a 3rd party data collector which is an important piece when dealing with sensitive data like DEI.