Jennifer Melton is the diversity management consultant for F&H Solutions Group, a national HR consulting firm based in Washington D.C. She has had great success in assisting clients like Turner Broadcasting System and Cox Enterprises in their efforts to develop, implement, and measure the success of diversity initiatives. The last step, Melton says, is vital if you want a diversity program to really work. “Benchmarking is an integral part of the planning processâ€”hence the old adage, â€˜what gets measured, gets done’,” she says. We asked her to elaborate.
Q: Why isn’t it enough just to create a diversity program?
A: It is important to measure what has been accomplished through the implementation of the diversity program and also to identify areas of opportunity for consideration in the future. In the telecommunications industry, for example, we would conduct research of local and national demographical workforce data reported to the EEOC and the FCC and use that as a baseline to determine our annual goals. Whether you utilize industry-related data or simply set your own independent “measuring stick,” a periodic and analytical review of your progress each year will help you to more clearly measure what programs/initiatives are having a positive impact and which ones require some minor tweaking or elimination altogether.
Q: What’s the first step in measuring effectiveness of a diversity initiative?
A: You must hone in on identifying specific goals and objectives to obtain a definitive outcome. I advise all of my clients to ask themselves the following questions: What are you trying to achieve through these diversity/inclusion efforts? Is the diversity effort in response to an EEOC charge or compliance issue? How will you define success once your diversity/inclusion strategy has been launched?