We all know that there’s a strong business case for diversity. It enhances employee engagement through better collaboration and that in turn enables more accurate decisions. That leads to better innovation, sales, revenue and growth. This is backed by the data from McKinsey’s 2020 ‘Diversity Wins’ report, which shows diverse companies are more likely to financially outperform their peers. The same report found that executive teams with more than 30% women are more likely to outperform those with fewer or no women.
It is clear that we need leaders who think differently, who lead differently. However, profitability isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the only metric of success for our inclusion and diversity (I&D) efforts. How are companies attributing a ROI – not just on financial terms – on investments by corporations towards I&D? Following our efforts here at FIS, we can share some best practices and learnings when it comes to measuring results.
Identifying key goals and actions
Being very focused and aligned around goals and the specific actions that need to be taken by the organisation helps to accelerate success. At FIS, we’ve identified five key areas of focus covering: education & awareness; giving & partnerships; visibility & sponsorship; sourcing and developing; and engaging clients and partners. We have 15 commitments that support these with specific aspirational goals attached. These goals were identified based not only on our business objectives, but also incorporate ideas and input from our colleagues from all over the world.
To achieve these goals, we realised we needed to bring together various strands of activity that were happening in pockets around the organisation into a holistic approach that would enable us to drive company-wide, as well as client and community-wide impact.
We cannot simply “hope” to diversify our leadership teams. There needs to be a concerted and deliberate action to diversify our teams with more targeted and more intentional development plans for everyone, but especially, our women.
Tracking metrics on core business dashboards
I&D metrics and tracking need to form part of core business dashboards. It’s not simply an add on; it’s a critical enabler of success. Specifically on measurement, we shouldn’t look solely at representation. Equally companies need to analyse the full life-cycle from application to exit, and everything in between: hires, promotions, engagement, succession, compensation, development, etc, to get a more accurate picture of I&D performance.
Certain indicators are more challenging to measure – for instance it’s difficult to measure ‘belonging’ in a hybrid working environment amidst the pandemic. Tools such as Visier, Glint and Talent Neuron can support to give valuable insights. Some of these tools have a ‘listening’ function that collects real-time feedback from colleagues.
Our I&D efforts are tracking well. FIS has retained women when everyone else was seeing record attrition of women in the workplace during the pandemic. We’ve seen increases in representation across our talent pipelines, including at our leadership levels. We are also tracking higher engagement scores across many different demographic groups and higher ratings with inclusion overall across all colleague groups.
Benchmarking internally and externally
Benchmarking progress both internally and externally is key to driving accountability. Within our organisation we report I&D metrics within our annual Global Sustainability Report. We also benchmark against peer group organisations on a regular basis, and use this information to inform, refine, and drive our I&D programs and initiatives. We further govern our I&D offerings through an enterprise wide I&D council whom we meet with monthly, and they help us drive consistency and accountability across the organisation.
When it comes to sharing metrics, it is important to consider the organisation’s maturity with data, as well as its approach with transparency. Companies need to consider how they can gradually build these as part of a long-term strategy, which is the approach we have taken at FIS.
As a final point, aside from measuring success within the organisation, we should also consider the role that businesses can play to drive a more inclusive society. Companies are recognizing the opportunity and responsibility that they have collectively to address I&D across industries and within communities. Ultimately, companies need to identify what their core business is, work out where and how I&D enables this and then put efforts in that space to maximise the impact they can have outside of just the realm of the organisation.