Setting Effective Diversity Goals And How To Achieve Them

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The first step to achieving your organization’s diversity goals? Setting them. It’s an important process—and the sooner you start, the sooner you can begin taking the necessary actions to bring your diversity goals to fruition. This post outlines how to set diversity goals, how to achieve them, and a refresher on the importance of workplace diversity.

How To Set Effective Diversity Goals

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to setting diversity goals—and there shouldn’t be. The first step in setting effective diversity goals is taking an honest look at where your company currently stands. You should understand the context and breakdown of how your organization stacks up when it comes to a diverse workforce, as well as employee sentiment surrounding work that may have already been done. Consider an anonymous survey to properly gather and analyze this info. 

Once you have an idea of how your organization is doing, then you can move on to setting the actual diversity goals. And remember, while company-wide diversity goals are important, so are goals across different levels and departments. Look at employee level (junior, mid, senior, leadership) and see how diversity metrics vary across them. Similarly, measuring diversity across all departments is also an important piece. 

Another important consideration for setting diversity goals is to be realistic—but not complacent. You may not be able to hit equity immediately—but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for it. If you have big goals, consider breaking them up into realistic milestones so you can continually make progress. And, breaking down goals into small actions will help you build the practices for keeping diversity consistently at the forefront of your organization—not just as a checklist to get through. 

How To Achieve Diversity Goals

It may seem like a circular answer but to achieve diversity goals, you have to ensure that you’re setting the right ones. Don’t skip the factors outlined in the above section—the best way to achieve success is to set yourself up for success. 

Once you’ve set considered diversity goals, keep track of how you’re working toward them. Measure your progress over time, whether on monthly or quarterly cadences. Be transparent with your organization about how you are tracking toward your goals. The more transparent you are, the more likely you’ll be able to accurately identify any roadblocks you encounter. 

You’ll also want to ensure you have the tools and technology that can help you achieve your diversity goals. You may consider: 

And finally, ensure the company culture is one that fosters inclusivity. Making diverse hires is one thing; having a culture they feel comfortable in and want to remain in is another. Consider introducing employee resource groups and career pathing company-wide. Diversity goals should include retention as well as hiring. 

Why Are Diversity Goals Important?

Chances are if you’re reading this article you already know that diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important—you’re trying to achieve your diversity goals, after all. But as this post outlined, achieving these goals will require an investment of resources, both time and money. This means there are likely other stakeholders and approvals involved. Below are some key points around the importance of diversity in the workplace.

  • It fosters creativity and innovation by bringing together a variety of viewpoints 
  • Diversity in the workplace means that you’ll have a greater range of skills, sometimes not easily captured in a resume but valuable nonetheless
  • A diverse and inclusive workforce is one where your employees will be happier—meaning high performers are more likely to stick around
  • Diverse employees can help ensure your business positioning encompasses a variety of viewpoints, increasing business performance

While you should set goals to achieve, it’s important to remember this is more than merely a checklist. Building a diverse and inclusive workforce is as much about shifting the mindset in your organization as it is about setting goals. 

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