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Managing Diversity Through Analytics

By March 9, 2018 No Comments

There is an increasing awareness of the business case for inclusion and diversity. Companies today have a diversity mandate that they are actively following not just for social responsibility but have started to regard diversity as a source of competitive advantage. Various reports have now come out in support of inclusion and diversity, and some have conclusively proved that a good diversity score is indeed a key enabler of growth. Yet progress on diversity has been slow, and most companies are still uncertain about how they can efficiently use diversity and inclusion to support their growth.

In trying to unearth a similar connection between diversity and growth at a Fortune 100 company, my team and I were engaged to review several initiatives in a Fortune 500. The company had over 60 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the US with more than 35,000 workers. Once the study was designed, we looked at the diversity data on a company-wide basis, and everything seemed fine. Next, we broke the data down into their four divisions, and again everything looked ok. Digging deeper and analyzing each location within the divisions, we uncovered a potential diversity issue within a specific region with multiple facilities that not only showed a bias in specific functional management pockets but also showed gaps in HR processes that prevented them from reaping the benefits of having a diverse workforce.

There are many ways to slice and dice your data to unravel diversity in your organization, however it needs to be defined: gender, ethnicity, age, background, tenure, education, experience, and others. McKinsey’s research on Why Diversity Matters (Published in 2015) confirms that gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity, particularly within executive teams, continue to be correlated to financial performance across multiple countries worldwide. Hence it is critical to ask these questions before you undertake any efforts to roll-out initiatives that promote diversity:

  1. What types of diversity are you interested in investigating within your organization?
  2. What reason are you starting this initiative?
  3. How will you articulate the purpose and communicate your objective to your management and employees?

You can read about McKinsey’s report on diversity HERE.

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In this issue:

Seven Crucial Analytics Lessons

Over the past decade, data analytics has revolutionized the way many companies do business. Functional teams like marketing, finance even operations have tracked patterns and preferences to predict and manage consumer/stakeholder behavior. HR too has started looking at using people analytics to deploy predictive talent management practices more efficiently. While tracking HR data helps organizations identify current challenges it does not always generate readily usable insights. In my experience, the seven most crucial lessons in people analytics are:

  1. It’s still a new and emerging science.
  2. If you have enough data for payroll, you have enough data to start with analytics.
  3. You need a combination of both qualitative and quantitative data.
  4. Internal partnerships with various stakeholders are important.
  5. Start small and test.
  6. You need to continually investigate, experiment, adjust, and improve.
  7. You need someone who knows analytics to handhold you.

You can read about the detailed lessons in this article.

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