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30th Jan, 2024

Iain MacLeod
Iain MacLeod
Job Title
Inclusion Ambassador

It’s January, the decorations are down, and New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. Now is a prime time for setting goals for the year ahead, both personal and business. When setting these business goals, it is important to look beyond just the financial, and to make sure that you review your equality, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDI&B) goals.  

Setting these goals can be tough. An EDI&B goal that is not fully considered can inadvertently cause more harm than good, both for the demographic you are looking to help and the wider business. 

This is especially true when it comes to representation targets. At first glance these targets seem to be great. A commitment for women to make up 50% of the senior leadership team is commendable, but if you don’t get the process right there is a risk of inevitable whisperings such as “she only got the job because she’s a woman”, “she’s a diversity hire”, or “that’ll be good for the quota”. 

Not only is there a danger people will become resentful, but talented women within your business may also question whether their skills really have been seen. So, how do you make sure that your EDI&B goals actually make a difference? 

The first thing to consider in setting EDI&B goals is a simple question. What EDI&B issues are we facing as an organisation? Identifying and calling out the problems that need solving will ensure that your goals are meaningful. To find the answer to this question you will need to look at many sources, from diversity monitoring data, exit interviews, and Glassdoor reviews, to feedback from your employees. Being honest with yourself about areas for improvement will allow you to make meaningful changes.  

Once you have identified these issues you can begin your solution design. This will enable you to make sure your goals are achievable. With the best will in the world, no organisation can fix every issue immediately. In designing your solutions, you should look at realistic changes within the next year, as well as in the next three to five years. Using the ‘Gold, Silver, Bronze’ method of self-assessment will equip you to set goals that are achievable, but still push you to keep doing better. 

Now that you know both the problems that need solving and what good, great, and excellent looks like you need to be sure that your goals are measurable. When doing this you should look at both qualitative (staff feedback forms, testimonials, etc) and quantitative data. In reviewing your quantitative data, in particular your diversity monitoring forms, a key metric to follow is your non-disclosure rate. As the decision to share diversity data is entirely voluntary, a low non-disclosure rate is indicative that your staff feel safe and comfortable to bring their whole self to work.  

In taking the time and care at each stage of the process, rather than trying to leap to the end, you will ensure that your inclusion journey is considered, genuine, and organic, leaving nobody behind. You will be able to learn from those within your organisation and be exposed to different experiences and insights, and in setting meaningful, achievable, and measurable goals you will be able to make real change within your business.  

To find out how Reed Talent Solutions can enhance your EDI&B offering, please get in touch. 

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