Part 5 - Measuring Success


You can track activities and numbers (quantitative measurements). For example:

  • Changes to employee demographics (gathered through self-identification surveys)
  • How many people (board members, employees or volunteers) attended diversity training workshops
  • How many policies were re-written from the perspective of inclusion
  • How many new partnerships with diverse community organizations were formed
  • How many new places the job ad was posted

Numbers can show participation rates, and numbers over time can clarify trends. But by themselves, the numbers will not tell you whether there were changes in awareness or behaviour. For that you will need to consider qualitative measures:  attitudes, changes in morale or behaviour, retention and engagement.


Measuring Engagement

We bandy about words like ‘engagement’ but what does it mean and how would we measure it?  Engagement can be reflected through behaviour, attitudes and outcomes.  You can measure whether your team is committed to the organization, its values and goals.

In the case of diversity and inclusion, you may want to determine whether internal communication of your diversity principles has been clear and that everyone has read and understood the policy.  If you’ve instituted a monthly meeting on diversity topics, does your team find it helpful? Have they learned new information which they apply to their professional activities?

Do members of the team initiate new community partnerships, or do they feel that they have expanded their professional networks?  Are they proud of the organization and do they ask friends and family to attend events? Does the atmosphere in the office feel relaxed and productive and do the new and experienced team members interact well together? Do employees demonstrate engagement through low absenteeism and a good mood?

In a large organization, formal surveys can be done.  In small organizations (the norm in arts and culture), you might have to be inventive about measuring, without placing undue stress or cost on the organization, or undermining confidentiality.

For example, you might simply dedicate regular time each month at staff meetings for people to raise ideas and questions about inclusion. In that instance, it’s important to set up clear ground rules:  encourage open communications with respectful interactions and disagreements so that this is a ‘safe space’ to discuss the topic. Or you might even set up a private online forum for suggestions.  Another good habit is to have a confidential meeting with employees who’ve resigned to ask about their experiences.

Review your plans and measurements regularly to determine if they are telling you the complete story. Make sure everyone is involved and ask questions like:

  • How are we doing? What have we achieved to date?
  • What has worked?  What can we learn from why it worked?
  • What didn’t work, and why?
  • What needs to be adjusted?
  • Where do we go from here?

Tip: Go back to the WorkInCulture benchmark survey (coming soon) periodically to see how your organization is changing and progressing.