Compliance plays a role in every organization and often there are programs or actions that are a direct result of ensuring compliance. It is fine if these programs involve transactional only items, but DEI is more than transactional. It is about the culture of the organization, the success of the team and ultimately the bottom line. Compliance may be able to address the diversity part of the equation, but that is not nearly enough to thrive it in today’s environment.
Data supports the fact that an organization that provides transparency and fosters an inclusive environment will be more successful than one who does not. The Society for Human Resource Management reported last year that 1 in 4 workers dread going to work and do not feel safe about voicing their opinions about work related issues. The findings go on to say that racial and ethnic issues in the workplace cost US businesses up to $54 billion last year alone. More and more companies are tying DEI performance to executive pay and that can certainly have an impact. However, without understanding the needs to be addressed, there is only so much that any executive can do to improve their organizational culture.
A well executed DEI journey must have a starting point. We believe that the starting point begins with measuring the work environment. Think of it as a cultural audit to determine how much work has to be done and what areas need the most attention. We have found that when the results are in, most organization leaders are surprised to find the areas of strength and those of weakness. This revelation further emphasis the point that it all starts with measuring the current status, and then identifying the areas that need improvement.
At Dynamic Benchmarking we are helping associations and their members with our Maturity Model that measures the organization itself and, if desired, allows them to compare those measurements to the best practices of other organizations. The model is designed to help the organization perform a type of self-assessment. Our Cultural Assessment is designed to give the employees a chance to weigh in with their perception of the organization's culture. Together, these two types of studies give management a very clear picture of the organization’s culture and DEI maturity.
by Ray McDonald, President of Dynamic Benchmarking