Tag Archives: measure


There are several key ways that organizations can measure the success of their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. It is important to develop meaningful metrics and track both qualitative and quantitative data over time to assess progress and the impact of DEI efforts.

Retention and representation metrics: Tracking retention rates and representation data across different demographic groups can help measure success. Organizations should look at things like retention of minority employees, women, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups compared to overall retention rates. They can also track representation rates in leadership, different levels of management, overall workforce composition, recruiting pipelines, and retention from recruiting to hiring. Increasing retention and improving representation over time across all groups would indicate positive impact from DEI initiatives.

Employee experience through surveys: Conducting anonymous surveys that measure employee experience related to DEI can provide valuable insight. Questions can assess how included and welcomed different groups feel, their sense of belonging, fair treatment, and whether the culture is improving. Benchmarking survey data over multiple years shows trends. Response rates from underrepresented groups are also important to track, as are actions taken in response to survey findings. Continuous improvement in employee feedback would suggest DEI efforts are enhancing workplace experiences and culture.

Engagement and satisfaction metrics: Tracking metrics like employee engagement scores, satisfaction rates, “likelihood to recommend employer” scores, broken down by demographic group, can gauge impact. DEI initiatives aim to enhance all employee experiences, so engagement and satisfaction rates improving or remaining high among all groups is a sign of progress. Surveying people who recently left the company on their experiences can also highlight areas for improvement.

Progress on DEI goals: Setting public, measurable DEI goals is important for accountability. Tracking progress made on specific, time-bound goals shows if initiatives are effective. For example, goals may include doubling the number of women or minorities in leadership by a certain date, mandating DEI training completion rates, increasing spending with minority-owned vendors, etc. Evaluating progress on concrete, transparent goals holds an organization responsible for following through on its commitments.

Diversity of opportunities: Tracking the diversity of employees accessing high-potential opportunities, like leadership training programs, coveted assignments, promotions, mentorship opportunities, can demonstrate impact. DEI aims to foster an inclusive environment with equal access to career-boosting opportunities. Seeing more equal representation of diverse groups accessing high-potential opportunities indicates the organization is culturally evolving.

Reduced bias complaints: Tracking formal and informal complaints related to bias, discrimination, unfair treatment based on personal attributes can provide useful metrics. A decreasing trend in such complaints over time suggests cultural shifts are occurring and DEI efforts are having positive effects. This also protects the organization by reducing legal risks.

Volunteerism and resource group participation: Tracking volunteer rates and involvement in employee resource groups (ERGs) by different employee demographic categories shows engagement. Representation in ERGs and rates of participation in volunteering suggests employees feel invested and supported enough to actively contribute back to DEI initiatives.

Supplier and vendor diversity: Tracking spending statistics with minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned businesses, etc. and increases over time demonstrate initiative follow through. DEI aims to promote inclusive and equitable hiring, sourcing, and procurement practices throughout business ecosystems.

Qualitative testimony: Soliciting individual employee stories of how the culture and their experiences have positively changed thanks to DEI efforts provides meaningful, credible qualitative metrics. Hearing diverse voices brings data to life and highlights the true impact initiatives have on workplace inclusion, sense of belonging, and empowerment.

By comprehensively tracking both quantitative and qualitative metrics across these and other impact areas, organizations can holistically gauge success, continuously improve efforts, and ensure accountability. Seeing steady, sustained progress in DEI metrics over multiple years indicates initiatives are driving meaningful, long-term cultural evolution.


Implement both leading and lagging metrics. Leading metrics provide early signs that the recommendations are driving the desired behaviors and culture change. This could include things like participation rates in new employee development programs, feedback from pulse surveys and focus groups on how initiatives are enhancing the work experience and environment. Lagging metrics tie more directly to the ultimate goals of improved engagement and lower attrition. Core lagging metrics to track include employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), engagement survey results, and voluntary attrition rates. Tracking both leading behaviors and lagging outcomes provides a more complete picture of impact.

Establish benchmarks and targets prior to implementation. Prior to launching any of the recommendations, the company should establish clear benchmarks for where key metrics currently stand. This establishes a baseline to measure improvement against. They should also set ambitious but achievable target levels for each metric to strive for within set timeframes (e.g. increase eNPS by 10 points after 6 months and 15 points after 12 months). Having specific, quantifiable targets helps ensure accountability and momentum towards goals.

Incorporate metrics tracking into business reviews. Metrics tracking should become a formal part of regular cross-functional business reviews attended by senior leaders. Having engagement and retention metrics standing agenda items keeps initiatives front and center, allows for continuous monitoring of progress, and provides opportunities to course correct or adjust approaches as needed. Leaders can also use review forums to identify roadblocks or recognize high-performing teams/functions that are driving exemplary results.

Conduct pulse surveys throughout. While annual or bi-annual engagement surveys provide a comprehensive health check, more frequent “pulse” surveys (e.g. quarterly) on specific focus areas related to recommendations help detect shifts in perceptions or satisfaction levels in real-time. For example, if a new learning and development program is launched, monthly pulse surveys can track awareness, usage and self-reported impact on skills, confidence and motivation. Identifying issues earlier allows for timely remedy versus waiting a year for survey results.

Leverage existing HR and performance databases. Much useful data already resides within existing HRIS, performance management and payroll systems that can provide insight into the impact of changes. For example, training records reveal participation and completion rates for new programs. Performance management data may surface increases in feedback frequency, quality of feedback discussions, or achievement of talent development goals. System data when analyzed longitudinally offers a continuous feedback loop.

Conduct stay and exit interviews. Robust stay and exit interview protocols are important for uncovering reasons people join, choose to stay, or decide to leave the organization. Exit interview participation should be very high to allow for meaningful analysis of trends. Look for changing reasons provided by leavers when compared to benchmarks. Stay interview themes help identify what is working well for retaining top talent and worth doubling-down on.

Administer periodic focus groups and interviews. Speaking directly to employees via informal focus groups or one-on-one interviews provides important qualitative insights not always captured quantitatively. Discussions help expose feelings, perceptions and rationale beneath survey responses in a way that informs necessary adjustments. Select focus group participants to represent a cross-section of functions, levels, tenure, gender and other demographic factors.

Partner with internal stakeholders. Engage line leaders, change agents and employee resource groups to help disseminate and embed new approaches, then provide their unique front-line perspectives on what is resonating or requires refining. Crowdsourcing feedback and experience from stakeholders increases shared accountability for success and sense of community investment in the ongoing evolution of the culture.

Conduct external benchmarking. How do engagement and retention results compare to industry/market norms? External benchmarking, either through participation in large-scale surveys administered by third-parties or purchasing aggregated data reports, helps validate whether progress achieved is sufficient competitively or whether the organization continues to lag the market. It provides needed context for goal-setting and decision making.

The above metrics and monitoring techniques, if implemented systematically and at scale, would provide the company with a comprehensive, multi-dimensional view into how well the proposed recommendations are enhancing employee experience, perceptions of leadership and the overall work environment over time. Both quantitative metrics and qualitative feedback loops offer important inputs to guide mid-course corrections that ensure initiatives fulfill their intended purpose of positively impacting engagement and ultimately strengthening employee retention.


Employee engagement surveys are one of the most common and useful tools for HR to measure engagement. Conducting periodic anonymous surveys allows employees to provide confidential feedback on their workplace experiences, how supported and valued they feel, their willingness to advocate for the company, and their overall satisfaction. Care should be taken to ensure the questions are meaningful and provide actionable data. Some examples include using a scale to rate agreement with statements about feeling pride in work, willing to go above and beyond, supported with training and resources to do their job well, treated fairly regardless of personal characteristics, etc. Comparing survey results over time can reveal improving or worsening trends. Benchmarks against other organizations in the same industry can also provide useful context.

Focus groups and exit interviews are another valuable qualitative method. Selecting a representative sample of employees for confidential small group discussions or one-on-one exit meetings allows deeper exploration of drivers of engagement. For example, participants could discuss what specific actions by managers, supervisors or the company most influence how they feel about their jobs. Common themes across responses can highlight organizational strengths to capitalize on and weaknesses to prioritize for improvement. Direct quotes from participants regarding their experiences also personalize the data in a compelling way to motivate action.

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) related to engagement such as absenteeism/tardiness rates, turnover rates, number of employee recognition awards, participation in optional development/training programs, can provide objective metrics of how engaged employees are feeling over time. Significant decreases in absence or turnover, or increases in recognition and development participation could suggest engagement initiatives are having a positive impact on employee behaviors and retention. These metrics are also useful for benchmarking against industry/competitor standards, or comparing different departments within the organization.

Monitoring internal communication channels is another effective way for HR to gauge engagement. For example, looking at viewership/readership rates of company newsletters, website, intranet, videos, etc. can provide valuable engagement indicators, particularly if there are year-over-year upward trends. Tracking mentions/shares of company posts on internal social networks demonstrates active participation, two-way communication and advocacy. HR may also consider conducting occasional employee Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys asking how likely employees are to recommend their employer to others – this can be a useful metric of discretionary effort and engagement levels.

Tracking key performance indicators related to the initiatives themselves is important too. For example, if the company has implemented a formal employee recognition program, HR should monitor metrics like the number of monthly/quarterly recognitions awarded across different teams/levels, compliance rates for managers in taking part, employee feedback about impact of recognition received. Analyzing utilization and dropout rates of any wellness/development programs introduced can also provide insights. Comparing pre/post engagement survey results can help determine impact, with statistically significant improvements directly tied to implemented initiatives.

Finally, HR should also consider some external validation of engagement efforts through third party employer branding surveys. Tools like Indeed’s annual ‘Employer Award’ rankings, Comparably’s workplace culture/compensation ratings, LinkedIn Top Companies lists etc. allow benchmarking engagement against peer organizations as perceived by both employees and job seekers. Significant jumps in external reputation ratings could reflect growing employee pride and advocacy for the employer brand – key outcomes of improved engagement.

Utilizing a blended approach incorporating surveys, focus groups, tracking of objective metrics, monitoring of internal communications, and external validation can provide HR with meaningful multi-dimensional data to benchmark, identify strengths/weaknesses, and truly understand the impact of employee engagement initiatives over time at their organization. With the right measurements in place, HR is better positioned to continuously enhance engagement strategies and optimize the employee experience.


Acme Corp implemented a comprehensive diversity and inclusion program three years ago with the goal of building a more inclusive culture where all employees feel respected and empowered. To measure the success of the program, Acme Corp utilized both quantitative and qualitative metrics.

Quantitatively, Acme Corp tracked key demographic data on its workforce. Prior to launching the program, only 23% of Acme’s employees were from underrepresented groups. This included only 13% women and 10% racial or ethnic minorities. Acme defined success as increasing representation of underrepresented groups to better reflect the demographics of its customer base and the communities where it operates. Each year, Acme analyzed its hiring, promotion and retention rates by gender and race/ethnicity. After three years, Acme saw the representation of underrepresented groups increase to 34% overall. Women now made up 21% of employees and racial/ethnic minorities accounted for 13%. While still room for improvement, Acme considered this a successful quantitative outcome from its diversity and inclusion efforts.

Qualitatively, Acme surveyed its employees annually and conducted focus groups to understand changes to the company culture and perceptions of inclusion. The surveys asked about employee comfort reporting incidents, how included and respected employees felt, and whether they believedAcme promoted diversity in a genuine way. Before launching the program, only 65% of employees agreed the culture was inclusive and made people feel respected. That number rose to 78% after the first year and stood at 85% after three years. The focus groups also provided valuable feedback each year on what was working well and what still needed improvement according to different employee demographic groups.

To understand the root causes driving these qualitative and quantitative changes, Acme analyzed specific aspects of its diversity and inclusion program:

Training – Acme required all employees to complete annual interactive training modules focusing on topics like unconscious bias, microaggressions, LGBTQ inclusion and allyship. Training evaluations showed understanding of these topics increased significantly year-over-year.

Accountability – Acme held all leaders accountable for achieving diversity goals through their performance reviews. It instituted policies against discrimination and harassment with clear reporting protocols and consequences for violating the policies. This sent a strong message that inclusion was a priority.

Visibility – Acme showcased underrepresented employee networks and stories on its internal channels. It also regularly shared quantitative diversity data and program updates with all employees to increase transparency. This helped underrepresented groups feel more visible in the company.

Recruiting – Acme worked with diverse professional organizations and targeted its job postings in communities of color to expand its hiring pools. It also implemented structured interview training for all hiring managers focused on mitigating bias. As a result, its hiring rates of underrepresented groups increased each year.

Mentoring – Acme launched formal mentoring programs pairing underrepresented employees with senior leaders. There was also sponsorship training to help advocates support high potential diverse talent. These programs aided in retention and advancement of underrepresented groups.

Resource Groups – Acme established and actively supported various employee resource groups like its Women’s Network, LatinX Affinity Group and Veterans Organization. This provided community and advocacy for diverse employees. Members saw these groups as invaluable for networking, development and inclusion.

Overall, Acme considered its diversity and inclusion program an unqualified success based on substantially improved quantitative representation goals as well as strongly positive qualitative perceptions of its culture from employee surveys and focus groups after three years. While Acme recognizes the work is never fully done, the comprehensive measurement of multiple diversity metrics demonstrated clear value from its efforts. Acme will continue building on progress to ensure all employees feel respected, included and able to achieve their full potential regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or other attributes.


Distributed leadership aims to share power and decision making responsibilities across multiple individuals rather than centering authority in a single leader. For distributed leadership to be effective, there needs to be coordination and collaboration between team members. Organizations can measure the effectiveness of distributed leadership in their teams through both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Qualitative measures provide insights into processes, perceptions, and relationships within the team. Some qualitative methods organizations can use include interviews, focus groups, observations, and surveys. Interviews with team members can uncover their perceptions of shared leadership, involvement in decisions, collaboration, effectiveness of coordination, levels of empowerment and buy-in to distributed leadership. Focus groups bring team members together to discuss similar topics in a group setting and can elicit richer discussion. Observational data from team meetings and interactions provides insights into real-time coordination, involvement of various members, and decision making dynamics. Surveys with questions on a scale can gauge agreement with statements about shared power, collaborative culture, accountability, and goal alignment.

In addition to qualitative measures, organizations should also track quantitative metrics that indicate the outputs and outcomes of distributed leadership. Key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the team’s goals provide objective measures of effectiveness. Output metrics may include numbers of ideas generated, problems solved, projects completed on time, and tasks accomplished. Outcome metrics assess the impact on broader business objectives such as customer satisfaction scores, revenue growth, quality improvements, cost reductions, innovation levels, and other strategic targets set for the team. Tracking these metrics over time shows whether performance is increasing with distributed leadership or if adjustments are needed.

Comparing quantitative results to qualitative perceptions also provides a more holistic view. For example, high customer satisfaction surveys could be aligned with strong qualitative agreement that the team works collaboratively to understand and resolve customer needs. Discrepancies between the two types of measures may indicate underlying issues. Low quantitative performance despite positive qualitative views would suggest a need to refocus collaborative efforts.

Other signs that distributed leadership is working effectively include high levels of employee engagement, motivation, and collaboration reported through surveys. Turnover rates and retention data provide insights into how empowered and invested team members feel. Diversity of perspectives and open exchange of ideas in meetings, as observed or reported, demonstrate involvement and input from across the group rather than a few dominant voices.

Organizations should also track qualitative and quantitative measures over long periods to account for change over time as distributed leadership evolves. Regular reviews of results can identify what is going well and adjustments that may be warranted to continuously improve the model. Bringing both leaders and employees together to jointly analyze and discuss the findings fosters transparency, accountability and collaborative solutions. With a multidimensional approach focusing on both outputs and outcomes through a mix of objective metrics and subjective perceptions, organizations can gain a comprehensive view into how distributed leadership is enhancing team effectiveness. Regular measurement ensures the approach remains on track to deliver ongoing benefits or indicates where mid-course corrections may be needed.

To effectively measure the impact of distributed leadership, organizations should gather both qualitative and quantitative data through various methods. Qualitative data provides insights into processes and perceptions, while quantitative metrics track outputs and outcomes related to goals and objectives. Comparing the results of different measures over time reveals trends and discrepancies to guide continuous improvement. Regular measurement and collaborative analysis keeps distributed leadership models accountable while fostering involvement, transparency and empowerment across teams.