Big Ideas in IDEA

CCDI Consulting's Monthly Newsletter for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility.

Welcome to the last edition of our newsletter for 2022! While this year has been an exciting one, filled with growth and learning, we are really looking forward to what lies ahead for 2023. (Yes - I know I said that last month too... We have big things coming soon!)

This month's articles discuss the importance of measurement in IDEA and key considerations for designing your IDEA strategy. They are based on the webinar "How and Why to Measure IDEA" we ran earlier this year. I hope you find them particularly useful for planning your IDEA strategy and initiatives in 2023. 

I want to end this newsletter with a note of gratitude. Your readership means so much to us here at CCDI Consulting. We have been learning and growing alongside you, and your comments, questions, and messages give us the boost we sometimes need to create meaningful, original content. You are full of ideas and wonderful (and welcomed) feedback. Thank you. 

Speaking of feedback - we created a short survey to learn more about IDEA in your organization. We would appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes to complete it.

Many of you have asked about our Open Enrollment (VILT) Certificate Programs for 2023. I am happy to announce that registration is open and that courses begin on January 10, 2023.  

Kala Singe
Communications Assistant, Marketing and Communications

Measurement in IDEA: 7 Reasons Why Measurement Matters

The success of IDEA programs can be assessed subjectively by the “general feeling” method; however, organizations that follow this approach are missing an excellent opportunity to increase the cost-effectiveness of IDEA programs and their influence on workplace culture. Measurement provides this opportunity. In our recent webinar "How and Why to Measure IDEA," CCDI Consulting leaders Deanna Matzanke and Sheena Prasad offer detailed answers drawn from associated research to the question, “Why measure?”. Here are the 7 reasons they offer on why measurement matters. 

1. What gets measured gets done.

Measurement creates the conditions for goal setting, and defined goals are much more likely to be achieved. Failure to reach a set goal has consequences.

2. It’s the right thing to do.

It is morally and ethically beneficial to increase inclusivity, diversity, equitability, and accessibility, but it is also the right strategy for the business. Making the business case for IDEA training clear to employees and enrolling them in the project can be challenging. The most persuasive way to show the importance of IDEA training to the organization's success is to achieve buy-in by providing data produced by measurement.

3. Companies with a diverse workforce are up to 20% more innovative and deliver 19% higher innovation revenues.

Recruiting employees from different cultural backgrounds brings new thinking and promotes innovation, which has positive effects on the bottom line.

4. Companies with gender-diverse and/or ethnically diverse Boards are more likely to outperform the national industry median for financial performance.

Diversity among company directors is associated with 36% higher revenue. 

5. Highly engaged business or organizational units enjoy multiple benefits, such as reduced operating costs and improved key business or organizational outcomes.

IDEA training results in increased engagement and highly engaged employees have lower rates of absenteeism (-41%), higher productivity (+17%) and higher customer ratings (an increase of 10%). Taken together, higher engagement rates are responsible for a 20% sales increase and a 21% increase in profitability.

6. Inclusive decision-making is twice as fast, resulting in 50% fewer meetings. It also leads to better organizational decisions up to 87% of the time, and decision outcomes can improve by 60%.

Inclusive decision-making allows the inclusion of different approaches to problem-solving and fresh perspectives while engaging with new, complex situations. Faster decision-making, fewer meetings, better decisions and superior outcomes make a strong case for more inclusive decision-making.

7. Healthy, inclusive organizations are successful because they cultivate a healthy workforce to achieve higher performance levels.

Organizations with systemically diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible workplace cultures tend to thrive. Investing in sustained IDEA training lessons disputes among employees and harassment claims while raising engagement, focus and employee morale.

Deanna Matzanke and Sheena Prasad make a strong case for the importance of measurement. The next question is, “What to measure?” Their webinar examines what IDEA data is the most valuable for analyzing and evaluating an organization. 

Measurement in IDEA: 5 considerations for your organization's IDEA strategy

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
- William Bruce Cameron

The effectiveness of an organization’s measurement orientation depends on choices made during planning. In the webinar "How and Why to Measure IDEA," CCDI Consulting leaders Deanna Mazanke and Sheena Prasad pose and answer several questions. This piece will delve into the question of “What should be measured?”. Here are several factors to consider:

1. What is your leadership accountable for?

Executive suite enthusiasm will increase if the data collected focuses on positive changes in their areas of responsibility. This will vary according to the organization’s sector, but goals to consider include the following:

  • Reducing operating costs,
  • Reducing or eliminating the volume of adverse safety incidents,
  • Reducing shrinkage,
  • Improving or maintaining customer or client satisfaction,
  • Improving or maintaining patient or student outcomes,
  • Increasing the productivity ratio,
  • Increasing market share,
  • Increasing the margin of profit, EBIT or net asset value; and
  • Developing or testing new and innovative services or products.

2. What data will be meaningful? Who are the stakeholders?

  • Clients, customers, patients, service users, students,
  • Employees and potential employees,
  • Suppliers,
  • Board of Directors,
  • Shareholders; and
  • Communities or other interested parties.

3. What will the data indicate? What insight will the metric or number of metrics combined give you? Will those metrics allow you to:

  • Show material contribution to the organizational outcomes, and
  • Resonate with those who care.

The types of measurement that produce the most value and best outcomes according to the experience of CCDI Consulting [1] are split into quantitative data (which focuses on demographics and defines the problem) and qualitative data (which approximates or characterizes, and describes the problem). Statistics (qualitative) can help assess organizational issues, but the picture is incomplete without information about the experience of the organization’s members. The combination of meaningful quantitative and qualitative data can determine who your employees are and how they experience the organization, as those factors relate to inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility.

4. Primary Goals of Measurement

To support evidence-based decisions supporting diversity and inclusivity in the existing workforce and the recruitment process. The first measurement cycle reveals the current state and the level of “diversity debt.” This provides a guideline for future improvement.

5. What data connect an IDEA strategy to organizational culture or business outcomes?

Workplace and personal demographics provide the current diversity profile. The workforce’s sense of inclusion and perception of the organization’s support for diversity provide qualitative evidence of the workforce’s recent experience. Regarding an organization’s leadership, cultural competence evaluations and 360º assessments provide a “robust view” of where the leadership stands regarding executive suite buy-in and what can be done to help leadership get behind the IDEA strategy.

There is also valuable data that may have already been collected but has yet to be evaluated through an IDEA lens. Engagement, accountability, productivity, absenteeism rates related to productivity, and benefits use and pay equity can measure the organization’s diversity debt symptoms. Then, the current status may be assessed and compared to IDEA benchmarks, like those provided by the GDEIB [2].

All these are “lagging indicators” that establish the organization's current state, but what about leading indicators that may help forecast a future “diversity dividend” from an IDEA strategy? Some examples of measurable organizational and business outcomes are:

  • Increased revenue/productivity;
  • Budget surplus or deficit;
  • Increase in client/community satisfaction;
  • Better decision-making in half the usual number of meetings; and
  • Decrease in negative safety rates

The webinar offers several key considerations to guide measurement choices:

  • Collect and measure data for specific purposes. This helps to reduce the workload for the collectors and helps to eliminate the collection of unnecessary data.
  • Collect data consistently and regularly, and with clear intent to indicate the organization’s commitment.
  • Be honest and transparent about why the data is being collected to eliminate speculation and build confidence.
  • Respect employees and prioritize their diverse experiences.
A successful IDEA strategy will include data collection parameters that define the current state of the organization’s “diversity debt” and provide a means to identify the future “diversity dividend.” With the evidence from high-quality data, the workforce, leadership, shareholders, and the wider community will see the business and cultural benefits of a successful IDEA program.
[1]    CCDI Consulting Inc. offers Assessment Services
[2]    Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks

Newsletter Sign-up