Blog Post

Metrics and Measurement: The Newbie Way

January 16, 2018
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How to measure your Inclusion and Diversity strategy? How to demonstrate impact to the organization? How to demonstrate success?
Nicole Johnson-Reece

These phrases have taken on many forms and been discussed in a multitude of forums over the years. They are positioned as a critical and required factor for success. As a result, Newbies feel the pressure to set goals and achieve significant and quick results. Newbies often look to Best Practice companies and attempt to mirror their process of evaluating current representation, setting “goals” or “targets”, creating a quarterly scorecard, connecting those targets to executive compensation, etc. For Newbies this level of depth is premature. Don’t try to be like the Best In Class organizations, just yet.

As I discussed in Rule #7 of my article 7 Don’ts for Inclusion and Diversity Newbies, Newbies are still at the Start Up or Basic stage. They should be focused on building the foundation of their D&I function, which can take 6 – 12 months depending on various factors such as:

  • How quickly the organization embraces change
  • Is the culture risk averse
  • The level of awareness, understanding and support
  • Available financial and human resources
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Nicole Johnson-Reece

It is highly unlikely that as a Newbie you are ready for the depth and complexity of accountability and measurement that an Advanced or World Class company has established. In addition, in Newbie organizations, the level of Executive Knowledge, Organizational Engagement and Key Stakeholder Support is still relatively low. As a result, your key stakeholders will likely be resistant to setting D&I goals.You may even have a few that see them as quotas. Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t measure. It is important to demonstrate and report progress. However, how you measure as a Newbie has to be adapted to your stage of the journey.

How Newbies Should Measure

I have developed a 3 phased approach that allows for both Quantitative and Qualitative measurements:

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Status. Outcome. Impact.
Nicole Johnson-Reece

I will use the scenario of Diversity “Training” to demonstrate.(On a side note, I have a “thing” about the term Diversity Training. My position is Diversity and Inclusion can not be trained. But I’ll leave that for another article). Newbies are often frustrated with the unrealistic expectation that organizations have when it comes to the impact that Diversity Training will have on the culture and behavior of those who attend. Often there is an expectation that team members will attend a Diversity Training session and immediately emerge changed, never again to demonstrate behaviors that aren’t inclusive. (This is somewhat preventable if you follow Rule #6 of the 7 Don’ts) They expect that Unconscious Bias, Microaggressions, etc, will immediately be a thing of the past. Clearly, that’s not how it works.

Here is a more realistic approach in the Status, Outcome, Impact© model I developed.


These are the results that you may see “immediately”. Usually between 0 and 3 months, depending on the program/initiative. It measures progress from a beginning state to the next step forward.

In this example of a Diversity Training session:

  • Progress: There was no training session and now one has been implemented.
  • Attendance: Target of 80% of the organization to experience the session. Achieved 90%.
  • Feedback score: Attendees rated the session a 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5.


These are the results that you will see “short term”. Usually between 3 – 12 months, depending on the program/initiative.
In this example of a Diversity Training session:

  • Referral rate: Attendees have referred colleagues to attend or a session is being developed/delivered for the next segment of management.
  • Use of knowledge: Attendees are actively using what they learned in the session and discussing it in the workplace.
  • Request for additional sessions: The next phase of the Diversity Learning experience is being developed or the same one delivered to a new segment of the employee population.


These are the results that you will see “long term”. Usually between 6 – 24 months (or longer), depending on the program/initiative.
In this example of a Diversity Training session:

  • Employee Engagement scores increase
  • Behavioral change noted in performance reviews and 360’s
  • Delivery of more intricate Education and Learning sessions as a part of the Leadership Development curriculum

As you see, this model is not the typical scorecard where the primary focus on the increase in representation, or a particular leaders level of delivery against goal is reflected. This Status, Outcome, Impact© approach:

  • Highlights progress
  • Allows Newbies time to build towards a more comprehensive Scorecard
  • Includes factors beyond ethnicity, gender, etc.
  • Provides more realistic timelines

So rest assured Newbies that a more in depth and detailed quarterly scorecard is in your future, just not the near future. In the meantime, utilize the Status, Outcome, Impact© model to showcase your wins and progress.