Sustaining a diverse and inclusive workforce can be the hardest part of the process. When it comes to making meaningful change, you get out of it what you put in. If you are committed to creating a workplace where each person feels safe, included and successful, your investment of time and dedication can expect big rewards.
Your effort matters, and it is crucial to measure your progress. Repeat the Commit and Create steps of the process to correct the course if necessary. How you review your progress, and measure success and shortfalls has to be done within an appropriate context for your organization, and should be part of your inclusion strategy. At a minimum, the following should be done on a regular basis:
- Review and revise your “why” (business case), including your short and long-term goals
- Re-measure your important “what” and adjust targets accordingly
- Review your “how” and make adjustments to the plan as needed
- Refresh inclusivity training for leadership and all employees*
- Keep talking about it! Celebrate your successes and communicate your progress
*A great way to keep the momentum going is to review and re-sign the We Are Trades Pledge on a yearly basis.
Measuring progress once per year is best practice. The measurements can be simple or complex. Common measurement practices include:
- Formal Assessments (Workplace Culture or Inclusion Surveys)
- Exit Interviews
- Formal feedback (In-house surveys, discussion groups, or suggestion boxes)
- Informal feedback (check-in discussions)
- Informal work site visits (ask workers what they need to do their job better. Are people smiling? Do you see positive interactions between workers?)
Important note: Creating a safe and inclusive workplace is challenging and can result in individual and/or organizational fatigue. In “Birds of All Feathers,” 2020, Michael Bach advises that progress and change take time, and it’s often difficult to see the progress you have made. Some causes of fatigue include not recognizing or receiving recognition of the work being done, being overwhelmed with other organizational priorities, and forgetting to celebrate all wins, large and small. When an individual or organization experiences fatigue it is important to acknowledge that it’s happening, identify the source(s), and work together with patience and understanding in order to overcome it(6).
(6) Bach, Michael. (2020). Birds of All Feathers. Page Two Books.