How to measure the effectiveness of your diversity programme

the last few years, many organisations have invested heavily in the development
of robust equality and diversity strategies and policies. The objective has
been to make their organisations a preferred employer in the marketplace, which
attracts the best talent and values the differences that all individuals bring
to the workplace. Those same organisations are now looking to measure the
return on this investment, to see whether a diversity strategy really does add
value to the overall business strategy. Jon Whiteley explains

tips for measurement and reporting:

Workforce composition

question, measure the increase in staff over a two- to three-year period within
the following areas:

Women in middle and senior management positions

Total ethnic minority employees and those promoted to management

Number of people with disabilities

Number of employees (both male and female) working under a flexible arrangement

Age profile of the workforce – is it concentrated in one area or is it diverse?

Maternity return rates – how many women are returning to work?

Staff turnover and retention

interviews must be conducted and any issues relating to unfair
practice/discrimination should be referred to the diversity manager.

of turnover figures between, for example:

Male and female staff at same grades

Ethnic minority staff and white staff

Full-time and part-time staff

Staff with disabilities and non-disabled staff

of these comparative groups sometimes throws up some interesting data as to the
perceptions of particular groups and their ‘perceived’ treatment within the

Internal staff surveys

sure that diversity-related questions are an integral part of the staff survey
is critical to tracking staff opinion in this area. Questions should be broad
to be meaningful to all staff but specific enough so that answers can be acted
upon. Tracking this data over a two- to three-year period is key, as is
benchmarking against appropriate norm groups.

Application pool

the details of people applying to your organisation will provide a good temperature
check on the perception of your organisation externally. Inclusive images and
text within recruitment literature can have a powerful impact on the diversity
of your candidate pool. As a minimum, track ethnicity, gender, disability, age,
and working style.

Track complaints of harassment

case recording can act as an excellent barometer for measuring culture and
general health of the organisation. Introducing a new harassment policy will
usually increase initial complaints but track over a two- to three-year period,
and in a positive, healthy culture this should begin to tail off. Similarly,
grievance and discipline cases should be tracked for the same purpose.

Customer feedback

shopping’ among customers is an excellent way to obtain quality feedback about
service provision. For those companies where the diversity policy extends to
mainstream services and products, customer feedback, recruitment and retention
across diverse groups, it will be an excellent measure.

Service value profit chain

more sophisticated organisations have introduced models to measure the
relationship between satisfied staff and increased income streams from
customers. Diversity has played a big part in these satisfaction levels and
could, therefore, be seen to be contributing directly to the bottom line within

Number of employment tribunal cases

a robust and equitable strategy should result in a reduction in the number of
formal cases submitted to employment tribunals.

Whiteley is head of diversity, at occupational psychologists Pearn Kandola,
01865 516202,


Books: Diversity in Action: Managing the Mosaic, Rajvinder
Kandola, Johanna Fullerton, CIPD Managing Diversity, Croner Publications

Comments are closed.