Accountability: How To Measure Change In Your Organization

February 12, 2021

At our most recent member conference, Driving D&I Through Metrics and Accountability, we explored the idea of how accountability and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) go hand in hand. Accountability has always been critical, but it is more so than ever before.

Organizations continue to make public commitments to address racism and diversify their workforces in light of COVID-19 business disruption and the Black Lives Matter movement. But in order to truly embed DE&I into an organization’s culture, companies need meaningful metrics and the willingness (and courage) to use the data to hold leaders accountable for their diversity goals and results.

Transparency is essential to achieve significant change because without it, there can be no accountability. But it also requires a certain kind of leader to champion DE&I while ensuring accountability.

Once a leader makes a public, personal commitment to diversity and inclusion business results, the alignment of the external and internal strategies is most critical. Authenticity is at risk, and it would be damaging for a leader to externally present a commitment to DE&I that is not backed up by personal actions, as well as those of the organization.

To put it another way, a leader must “walk the talk” and be held accountable. Through intentional commitment, leaders are able to instill high levels of trust within their organizations, which garners the needed support from managers to create a culture of inclusion and belonging.

They take bold action to integrate DE&I into their systems, people and processes to ensure it becomes second nature. And when done right, the collection, analysis and disclosure of data holds the promise of being a powerful lever for progress. But it takes a bold leader to put these wheels in motion.

Here are our suggestions on how to hold your leaders, and yourself, accountable:

  • Establish a list of DE&I priorities and how best to measure results. Define your DE&I goals and establish metrics that matter, including representation rates of women and people of color. Do you know what your turnover rate is for these populations? Are they being promoted at the same rate? Give yourself a timeline with key milestones to track progress along the way. Be specific about what you want to achieve. Make sure your organization’s talent life cycle is equitable and provides a feeling of inclusion.
  • Provide transparency. Share your KPIs and the pace of progress with key stakeholders via internal or external platforms.
  • In order to hold leaders accountable, you must provide a way to assess their impact. How are they developing themselves? Do they possess cultural competencies and emotional intelligence? Leaders will need to behave and show up differently so that lasting changes are made.
  • Create leadership accountability for DE&I with meaningful rewards, and use mechanisms that ensure that accountability.
  • Metrics and numbers are great, but context is needed. How are you delivering on DE&I metrics that can impact the culture of your organization?

This pivotal moment is an opportunity for leaders to decide what legacy they want to leave behind and determine what their company represents. It’s time to define your story before it’s defined for you.

Do you want to be known as an employer of choice that attracts and develops diverse talent?

Click here to read DBP’s latest insight paper, The Time Is Now For Bold Action.

Bridgette Scales, MBA, SPHR Bio

Bridgette Scales is a Senior Director, Member Relationship Advisor at Seramount.

A former DBP member, Bridgette is experienced in Sales and HR and became a Diversity and Inclusion subject matter expert during her long tenure at Procter & Gamble.

She has a history of developing and implementing strategies, programs and processes across a complex and matrix organization.

As a D&I Practice leader for North America, Bridgette guided and counseled senior leaders on the integration of strategies that included awareness, cultural competency, leadership development, accountability and employee engagement.

This led to better processes to identification of high potential employees, reduction in attrition rates of minorities and increased D&I scores on the corporate employee survey.

She was responsible for aligning D&I strategy with corporate image & reputation by leading initiatives, events and programs with external partners. This included applying best practices and global benchmarking to accelerate inclusion efforts, leadership behaviors, and policy changes. Other responsibilities included refining investment strategies to deliver uniquely defined value, and publicly represented the company at national D&I forums and conferences.

Her most recent leadership role was at American Airlines, as the HR Business Partner for Customer Experience. Bridgette was responsible for collaborating on People policies, talent management, career development, succession planning, departmental training initiatives and aligning employee strategies with American Airline business goals.

Bridgette has served on the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council for The Conference Board, previous member of the Network of Executive Women (NEW), and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

She earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix, a BA from the University of Oklahoma and her Senior HR Professional certification through HRCI.

Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Learn more about her work, here.