In this episode of Inclusion in Progress, we’re dissecting what success looks like for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as an industry. What should we be looking at as DEI facilitators, consultants and practitioners? What milestones or benchmarks should we be measured against or compared to? How can the organizations that hire us and put their trust in us to bring change to their environment obtain data or proof that what we’re doing is working? Those are just a few of the many questions we dive into in this episode. It’s time to determine what success really looks like, from the perspective of not only us as practitioners, but to the organizations, leaders, and their teams as well.
Not all diversity dimensions are easily detected, and in some cases they will go unnoticed entirely. Even the most seasoned practitioner needs to acknowledge their blind spots and ask for help when creating a DEI strategy that advocates for all. This episode shines a light on how you can assess where the opportunities are for creating greater access to opportunity in your organization, how to survey your team members to better understand what your talent is facing in a non-work capacity that may influence their experience in the workplace, and how to translate those metrics into initiatives that will position you as a DEI leader advocating for their collective well-being and advancement. We also dive into what we’re seeing from our client partners with regards to the hybrid work conversation and equity considerations to make for things like parental leave, neurodiversity, injury or illness related absences, geographically distributed multicultural workforces,and considerations to be made for those who choose to work from home to ensure that they won’t face more barriers than in an in-office setting.
Finally, Inclusion in Progress shares our thoughts on how to communicate progress on DEI for different levels of your organization, from your senior leaders, to your employees, to external stakeholders and future talent. Over the last two years, we’ve witnessed the ebbs and flows of the inclusion conversation on global teams. And we acknowledge how easy it is to get frustrated or feel burnt out by not seeing change move as quickly in our workplaces as we’d like. This episode was inspired by the many fellow practitioners, both working within and externally supporting companies, to serve as a guide to help you think about how you can meaningfully measure progress and keep forward momentum on building equitable workplaces that support everyone.
Welcome to the Inclusion in Progress podcast where we give you the ideas, actions and insights to help you build more equity at your workplace and in the world at large. I'm your host, Kay Fabella, international expert on diversity, equity and inclusion, a Filipina American living in Spain and your guide in navigating this DEI journey. Having worked with teams at companies such as Philips, the IMF, Red Hat, PepsiCo and more, I know firsthand that the work of inclusion only works when everyone has a seat at the table. Regardless of your personal entrypoint into this conversation: your race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, sexual orientation, country of origin, or educational background, we all have a role to play in creating inclusion for all and it starts with us having conversations we need to create the change we wish to see. So let's dive into today's episode.
Hello again and welcome to the show! And a warm welcome back to our repeat listeners - we have been very excited to hear how many of you who’ve reached out and are sharing that you've actually been circulating these episodes with your friends and colleagues, who are just as passionate about equity and inclusion work as we are. So, thank you for that. Every little bit helps to get the show out to the people who would most benefit from a more inclusive world!
Now, as spring rolls in here in the Northern hemisphere, where most of Team IIP and I are based, we have had plenty to keep us busy with client project kickoff calls and keynote talks and workshops and consulting, and so much more. But since it's also Mental Health Awareness Month in my birth country of the United States, I am also gently reminding us - and us means me, I'm including myself in that - to reserve time in our calendars for rest and recharge time, so that we can continue to model the type of well-being that we preach and really talk about to our clients. It's one of the reasons why rather than scaling up, we've decided to limit our Inclusion in Progress client roster to just 10 partners a year, which allows us to go deeper and wider in our work. And of course, to get to know our client partners' needs better in order to find solutions that are tailored to their teams’ needs, their organization's needs, and really just where they are at, at this moment in time.
So if you'd like to book a call with us before we close our client roster officially for 2022… or even to learn about how you can work with us in 2023… head to the link in the show notes to get in touch with our team. Now if you've been to our digital home, which is inclusioninprogress.com, you'll see that one of the big ways we've shifted our own workflow is only taking on those 10 client partners a year I mentioned, which allows us to, again, go wider and deeper with our relationships, while also giving our team a sustainable way to deliver the work we care about thoughtfully and intentionally. And as of the time of this recording, we only have three more clients bought for the year.
So if you are interested, please reach out at the link in the show notes or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a call and learn about how we could partner with you and your team in Q4 of 2022 or Q1 of 2023, and whether or not one of our services is a fit for your team's or organizational needs.
We're happy to discuss how our IIP framework that specializes in remote teams and cross-cultural communication, can help you to increase retention of your best people by prioritizing inclusion and support for remote workers across your organization.
So in continuation of our theme this season of psychological safety, based on our work with remote and cross-cultural teams, we really wanted to bring attention to a conversation that's been coming up quite often in our client work:
Specifically, what constitutes success in DEI, or diversity, equity and inclusion work?
Now, regardless of what you call it- if it's DEI, we've heard EDI, we've heard DEIA, DEIJ, and DEIB - this is one of those conversations that's been bubbling behind the scenes with practitioners and those who work with us for a while. And when I mean behind the scenes, I mean off of that, sort of, typical listicle article of “you should be doing this” posts, or “you should stop doing that” posts, and all of those articles that we see all over our feeds on LinkedIn. And I'm sure you know, the ones that I'm talking about.
And, really, it's because a lot of the subtleties and nuances of this conversation have had to happen offline… because we have to really confront now the nature of our industry, the effectiveness of our DEI work, especially for companies who are now looking two years in and trying to figure out whether or not the people that we're partnering with, or the practitioners that they're choosing to hire internally and externally, are driving change in the organization. And, at the same time, it's just as important for us as practitioners and those who are in this industry to be having this conversation, to be really understanding for ourselves… how can we move the needle forward in a meaningful way, while at the same time staying true to the intention of the work that we're doing?
Now, the dust has far from settled since 2020 where, as we all remember, we witnessed a mad dash to make sure everyone had a CDO or Chief Diversity Officer and a DEI statement in place. Unfortunately, far too many of the people that were hired as a result of the changing conversation around the workplace - and especially on race - have already been demoted, let go of, displaced, or even resigned. And some of those statements, those DEI statements, that came rushing out in the wake of George Floyd's murder have, unfortunately, remained just that: statements. Now, of course, that's a generalization... There have been many organizations that we’ve been really honored to work with and have witnessed actually putting in the work to turn those statements into reality. But, more than two years on, we can safely say that companies are reckoning with more questions than answers in our post-pandemic world… specifically, now that we're looking at how to create workforces that are equitable and inclusive within the existing constructs of our post-pandemic corporate landscape.
So we wanted to dedicate today's episode to this very important discussion, specifically geared towards DEI practitioners: those who are at the start of their journey, are taking on an unofficial diversity and inclusion role, or even seasoned practitioners who really inspired the heart of this episode today.
So the questions we want to look at are: two years after the renewed focus in companies, what constitutes success in DEI today? How do we know where and when we're moving the needle on DEI? What are the metrics that we need to measure to know if we are making progress? And how do DEI or People leaders report our results in a way that continues to support the forward movement of this work in our workplaces?
So that's quite a bit to dive into today. So let's go ahead and get started!
Let's start by looking at determining where we need to begin when looking at DEI metrics. Now, the first step to understanding what to measure would, of course, be to determine what your why is, what is the larger mission behind the work that you can use as a language and as an anchor point that will drive the mission behind DEI in your organization? We found by working with a lot of different client partners that having a purpose statement that's easy for people to come back to and anchor around really helps support setting up not just DEI strategies but also establishing the metrics associated with them.
Next, we need to look at understanding what to measure by determining who is considered underrepresented at your company and trying to think about it in a truly intersectional way. Now, obviously, as people who span the entire cross-cultural gamut, and now work in APAC, EMEA, and the Americas, a lot of the metrics that we know in DEI tend to focus very heavily on the North American conversation. And, while that has really given us a barometer to anchor a lot of our DEI conversations around globally, there is still a lot more that we need to do in terms of updating it for the current demographic landscape and the shifting mixed demographics and identities that are becoming even more important in the workplace. Because each employee or colleague that you work with has layers. They each have lots of different identities.
For example, as an Asian American woman, who very openly talks about living with anxiety and depression, May for me is important for being Mental Health Awareness Month, as well as Asian Pacific Islander [Native Hawaiian] Awareness Heritage Month in the United States. Those are two aspects of my identity that are just as important and to feel forced to choose one or the other as somebody who clearly identifies as both could be a real struggle for somebody like me in your organization.
Because remember, not all of these identities are obvious. Some aspects of our identities are not actively acknowledged and are often overlooked… such as faith and religion, as we discussed in Episode IIP088. When in doubt, you can seek out external practitioners who are subject-matter experts on topics, such as transgender or immigrant, or neurodivergent work experiences that can help you fill in the gaps when setting the foundation for your DEI surveys. We highly recommend working with subject-matter experts for this reason, who can help you build the nuance into the conversations of your metrics while at the same time also working with people who are on the ground, in the locales of where your offices are based, to help inform the cross-cultural side when you're creating these metrics for your surveys.
Another thing to consider in this conversation on metrics is the, of course, unfolding situation we have in front of us with hybrid or remote work. Things that we need to consider when creating metrics to measure DEI in this conversation can include things like… who gets to choose who works remotely? Another thing to also consider in the hybrid or remote work conversation is things along the lines of metrics that support whether or not DEI is continuing to be pushed forward, regardless of whether it's virtual or in-person. You could also be looking at things in the remote conversation, such as focusing on outcomes versus outputs, how effective managers are at fostering psychological safety, and the likelihood of their leadership leading to greater attention on your teams.
Now, when thinking about metrics - however you slice this - it's critical to look at how to measure DEI in a way that's appropriate for your workforce and for your unique goals as an organization. How you roll out a DEI strategy as a fast-growing, scale-up of 250 that's looking to focus on, say, recruiting more diverse candidates will be vastly different from how you apply DEI to your workforce of 250,000, that may be looking more at promotions and succession planning for future leaders.
With that in mind, your people will require different needs to achieve success at your company - which is where that E in DEI - for equity - comes in. Equity is about understanding what you need to do to raise the floor for people with different starting points, with different lived experiences, and, of course, the non-work roles and responsibilities that affect their performance, to achieve whatever success metric that you've defined for DEI in your organization. So let's take, for example, a key metric for many companies that we work with: promoting more women to senior positions at work, especially against the backdrop of The Great Reshuffling.
So, if we're looking at things like how to increase women, we say very broadly that there's many different ways you can slice it: How are we recruiting? How are we retaining them? How does our pipeline look like? And, of course, through this example, we can see that just by saying something as broad as increasing women that 1) there are many ways to measure that type of initiative or that type of metric for success, and 2) it's definitely not an overnight change, but one that you'll still have to measure regularly and thoughtfully to show progress. But then you slice it even further against different demographics and different lived experiences. So take for example, what does a cisgender white mother need to be able to achieve success to get to a place of promotion or a senior position in the workplace? We need to be looking at things that inform whether or not maternity leave or menopause support is something that's more valuable for the organization to actually retain that person to get to that place of leadership. If we're looking at a black woman, for example, maybe… to help her get to a place of leadership in the organization, we should be looking at designing things like a sponsorship program with a cohort of fellow women of color, based off of the metrics that we gather. Or, if we're looking specifically at how to support a disabled woman to achieve success in the workplace, we need to start measuring things like access to accessibility needs and the support that someone like her would need to move forward.
So this is just one very small example of a way that, by understanding who we're targeting, what we're trying to achieve, and looking at the different identities that sit within that… that we then not only establish those metrics but use them to support our hypotheses for what we need to do to move each of those individuals forward in our organization and remove barriers that prevent their advancement and the goal that we've set for that particular metric.
So once you identify which groups or populations are considered underrepresented in your company, and the goals you wish to achieve to support them in greater representation, then it's up to you to look at how to survey them ethically and establish a baseline that aligns with your DEI goals as an organization. Now, you'll use those initial results as a benchmark in future surveys to measure how far your equity and inclusion efforts have come.
So we've given some examples of DEI metrics, way back when in Episode IIP009, 3 Ways to Meaningfully Measure Inclusion, which you should definitely check out later after this episode. But, broadly speaking, most client partners that we work with tend to focus on one of the following R's in DEI for metrics: recruitment, retention, and representation across their company. But, ultimately, the metrics that you establish come down, again, to the cultural makeup and maturity level of DEI in your organization. In these cases, it helps to start with a personal statement, as I mentioned before, of what you would like to achieve with DEI. An example of this would be something like… “I want to create a workplace where people feel psychologically safe to share their best ideas, to communicate openly, and contribute their best work both virtually and in person.” So, with that type of personal statement in mind, an example metric would be… helping measure psychological safety with how individuals respond to the statement, “I feel safe to bring up problems or discuss challenges at my company,” and measuring that metric and those responses over a period of time. A metric that would help measure whether or not people feel like they can communicate openly, would be asking a question around whether or not your historically excluded talent groups are aware when internal promotion opportunities are available, as well as a metric such as the likelihood that their managers put their names forward for those opportunities. And a metric that would help measure if your teams are putting forward their best work from anywhere is measuring whether or not those who work in the office environment are more likely to have higher performance ratings than those who've chosen to work remotely full time.
This is just one example. Because perceptions of inclusion, as we know, are heavily rooted in each person's individual experience and their feeling of psychological safety in the workplace. We also know that perceptions of workplace culture can also differ dramatically from person to person, even if they're working in the same role or department. These types of perceptions aren't just challenging to monitor or qualify, they need to be regularly reassessed through things such as pulse surveys or small focus group follow-ups between your larger surveys… which is why this is an even more important thing to thoughtfully track and measure regularly after establishing key metrics early in your DEI journey. So, not only is it considered a best practice for you as a DEI or People lead to determine whether or not specific interventions are working, it's much easier for you as the person who then has to report that progress to demonstrate that forward movement and, therefore, build buy-in for future initiatives that will address what's come up in your DEI survey metrics.
So let's now look at what are other measures that you might need to consider beyond the basics that we just looked at. So once you've understood where your organization is on its DEI journey and started establishing metrics that will help you move the needle forward on those three R's - recruitment, retention, and representation - you can go as broad or as granular as you want, depending on the time and resources that you have available to you. So recruitment metrics can look like... how many partnerships you've built with talent sourcing or educational institutions that helped you reach underrepresented talent, and how many candidates you've successfully added to your pipeline as a result of those partnerships. Retention metrics can look like how your target groups rate on their belonging and psychological safety and performance scores, and how many of those groups are likely to stay at your organization beyond that critical 3-5 year mark. Representation metrics can look like how many women, people from the LGBTQ+community, people of color, immigrant and indigenous populations… how are they represented not only in your workforce and entry-level positions but also in your leadership and succession planning.
Now, a quick caveat here: we usually shy away from sharing survey templates or walking through an example of DEI metrics as in-depth as this episode today. Because, please remember, this show - Inclusion in Progress - is ultimately a free resource that we work really hard to make available to as many people as possible. But we also don't believe in providing solutions without truly understanding your needs and engaging in a meaningful client partnership with you that allows us to access not just your data, but also the subtleties and nuances of your conversation. Because to us, it's bad practice as consultants… not only does giving you this one-size-fits-all solution through a resource like this one mean that we're missing out on the specific needs of your company, it's irresponsible of us to give advice that we can't personally follow up with you on or support you in troubleshooting in real-time after we've made the recommendation. But again, this is in the interest of providing you with different options that we can share - very broadly - from observing trends in the wider market and therefore highlighting some other metrics that we've seen that might be of use to your company, depending on the stage it might be in its DEI journey… And for you to then evaluate accordingly what makes the most sense for you.
So without further ado, some of the other metrics that you can consider here include things like, broadly speaking, access to rooms and resources for your underrepresented talent groups. Now, when we work with clients to measure inclusion, and mapping out their 5-year DEI strategy, we look at 2 types of inclusion: behavioral and structural.
So, behavioral inclusion… as in, how we are measuring individuals' ability to recognize and overcome their own biases in favor of more inclusive behaviors in the workplace, things like allyship and engaging in difficult conversations and giving and receiving feedback. The key question that we look at here is, are we promoting and permitting behavior that allows everyone to access what they need to contribute their best work and ideas? And when we look at structural inclusion… as in, how are we actually making the systems and processes at work more equitable and transparent, to mitigate or even prevent bias from happening in the first place? Where we look at things like codes of conduct, company culture, channels to deliver anonymous feedback, if necessary… The key question here is, how are we correcting for and eliminating bias as a company to provide rooms and resources for all of our team members to be able to reach their full potential? Then we map out things like learning pathways that will support their organization in achieving said behavioral change, as well as specific interventions that we'll need to test, tweak and tailor to make the structures more conducive to equity and inclusion at work.
Some of the ways that you can consider measuring structural changes include things like… how are we incorporating more diverse perspectives in how we hire? From where we source our talent from, to how diverse our hiring panel of interviewers are. Or you could look at, how are we providing homogenous teams with the skills that they need to make space for diverse perspectives in their day-to-day collaboration, therefore laying the foundation as we are able to recruit more diversity and add those voices to our teams? We can also look at… how are we removing structural barriers to advance people across different employee identities that we have identified as underrepresented? And then looking at those types of questions and determining the tangible actions and outcomes that come from identifying those structural metrics for your DEI strategy.
Some of the ways that you can start measuring behavior change include things like, how many reported incidents of harassment or discrimination there are and whether or not they're falling from year to year at your company? Or how effective your company is at implementing inclusive language. For example, as we're seeing the ongoing conversation that's being led in the open-source community, in tech, and about removing language that is considered intrinsically exclusive. You can also look at how high is your team's tolerance for mistakes, how likely are individuals to acknowledge accountability when they make an error, which is critical to the psychological safety that teams need to share their ideas and innovate together. And then determining based off of those metrics, tangible actions and outcomes that come from identifying those types of behavioral metrics for DEI.
Finally, let's look at how you can measure metrics in an intersectional way by dialing into three core areas: team performance versus individual performance, cultures and geographies, and how hybrid and in-person workplaces can also affect perceptions of performance. Now, it's no secret here that one of the key measures that we use in DEI, specifically about whether or not a person is somebody that we should put forward for a promotion or advancement in the organization, is how we rate their performance. So if we look at the first thing here - team performance versus individual performance - we need to be understanding if we are accurately measuring equity and access to opportunity for individuals, or whether or not we need to look at how their team dynamic is working with each other and preventing them or promoting them as well. For instance, when we're looking at performance, specifically, depending on the different ways people prefer to work or present themselves in a one-on-one setting versus a team setting versus a virtual asynchronous setting, they may be comfortable with presenting a different version of who they are which affects others perceptions of their performance and therefore influences bias... Or depending on whether or not a team's identities include people with different physical abilities, lived experiences, such as those who are people of color or immigrants or have neurodivergent conditions, and how understanding that a combination of any of those things affects your style of communication in a work setting, which also affects perceptions of your performance. By really trying to get granular, and understanding the lived identities and experiences, those that we see and don't see, and the intersections of both of those in our teams, we can start looking at how we gather more accurate information and set meaningful metrics for DEI.
Now let's take a look at how cultures and geographies can affect how we measure performance. The question here is, are we accurately measuring equity and access to opportunity, or do we need to correct for cultural biases in our data? For example, the different ways that cultures and individuals respond to authority and whether or not they're accurately reporting performance metrics outside of the home country context of where the company is based. Those who are from North America tend to rate themselves and their direct reports higher on a 1-10 scale - with 10 being the highest rating - than someone from the APAC or EMEA region. Or another example, depending on where you are in the world, you may be less likely to insert yourself into an important team conversation if you're worried about interrupting someone, or you're less likely to contribute to a meeting without seeing an agenda beforehand, especially if you're coming from a different country or cultural or linguistic context, which will also affect whether or not someone accurately judges your performance and puts you forward for a promotion and your own career advancement. Now by partnering with someone or expanding an on-the-ground team who can inform you on the intersectional experiences of your talent with that cross-cultural or multi-geography lens, this is another way that you can correct for bias in your metrics and set meaningful metrics for increasing equity and inclusion at work.
Finally, let's take a look at how hybrid versus in-person workplaces can also affect perceptions of performance. So if we're looking at equity in the in-person work context, we need to be looking at things like… how are we making sure that our office environments are designed for accessibility, such as, there not being physical barriers or having the proper chair or desk arrangements is needed? And people being able to use the bathroom without concern and how that's affecting metrics of belonging and inclusion, and also their performance and those who perceive their performance in the workplace. If we're looking at things like the equity in remote work conversation, we need to be looking at making sure that it won't affect their career advancement if they're not there in person, such as mothers or caregivers being overlooked for promotions because they've chosen to work 100% remotely. By partnering with someone who specializes in hybrid or remote teams, you can be better informed on the intersectional experiences of your team to correct for that bias in your DEI metrics, and better and more accurately represent things that might be affecting perceptions of performance and, therefore, advancement in the organization.
Again, these are just three very broad examples that we're seeing. But they all draw from your employees multilayered identities, and the different contexts that they operate in, which contribute to whether or not your workforce experiences psychological safety, whether or not they will be promoted for advancement, and directly correlates to whether or not they will contribute to or choose to stay at your company.
Now, what we've learned from working with remote teams for the past 8 years is this: psychological safety is only achieved through regular intention, ideation, and implementation, especially when our teams are now either rarely or never seeing one another in the same physical environment as before. Many of the teams that we've worked with crave the psychological safety of knowing that their organizations will support their desire to work flexibly, to continue to advance their careers without sacrificing their non-work lives or responsibilities, and match them with opportunities that demonstrate their potential while being sponsored by leaders who will actually advocate for their advancement at work. So as a DEI leader who is already doing their utmost best to take care of your people, sometimes it helps to have an outside perspective from a specialist, someone who's tapped into the wider market, or to have access to a specific framework that simplifies your ability to create equity and inclusion by fostering an environment of psychological safety that allows everyone to show up and contribute as their best selves, no matter where they are, or where they choose to work.
Now more than ever, organizations need leaders like you with the integrity to tell the truth, with the vulnerability to say, “I don't know”, with the courage to accept help when they need it, and the guts to act in the interest of others. Promoting psychological safety isn't easy. But in Inclusion in Progress, we're here to help! Our 100% remote team spans APAC, EMEA, and the Americas, and we've worked with the likes of Red Hat, Instagram, the IMF, and Philips to support remote teams since well before the pandemic. Using our psychological safety framework for remote teams, we partner with DEI leaders to define and implement working agreements that foster inclusion for virtual workplaces, all while having an open discussion about what's necessary for your team to thrive. So if you'd like to learn more about how to utilize our psychological safety framework for remote teams as a client partner of ours, to help boost morale and engagement at a time where your people need it most, head to the link in the show notes to get in touch with our team or email us at email@example.com. We've just opened up slots for consulting and training for Q4 and Q1 in 2023. So before we close our calendar for the rest of 2022, we would love to share how we could partner with you this year to foster inclusion for your remote teams.
Last but not least, how do we measure and share progress on the metrics that we have? And of course, this comes down to first looking at what is a reasonable timeframe for us to be measuring these things. Depending on what your key focuses are, what metrics you're focusing on, and whether or not you've been able to successfully eradicate or remove potential bias and gathering those metrics, then you need to start looking at how often you're actually measuring, how often you will report, and how often you will actually make those results available.
So if we're looking at things like quarterly timeframes… some of the specific behavior interventions we can look at reporting quarterly, are things such as: how many employees have gone through anti-bias or bystander or allyship training? Specific structural interventions that we can look at on a quarterly basis include things like: how many managers have set, committed to, and achieved their DEI targets, particularly around putting people forward for promotions? If we're looking at things like yearly reports, this is where really leaning into our employee poll surveys, as well as our behavior interventions that we've decided to implement really comes into play. So for behavior interventions, we could look at things like active allyship actions demonstrated by our workforce, such as the number of underrepresented candidates that were referred to by your existing workforce, or examples of where you saw people actually implementing allyship and bystander training and incorporating that into their performance. Structural interventions that you can look at reporting yearly are things like: how many barriers have we removed in the recruitment, onboarding, and promotion process to pave the way for advancement for the groups that we're targeting for greater representation in our organization? And when we're looking at things like beyond every year, every 2-3 years, we can start to dial into specific behavioral interventions, such as: how our culture is shifting, how many leaders are modeling inclusion by participating in DEI initiatives, such as attending and advocating and promoting ERG groups and programming, or engaging actively in sponsoring or mentoring underrepresented candidates. If we're looking at things like structural interventions, we can start looking more broadly at how our efforts in terms of removing barriers to access are leading to greater numbers of historically-excluded groups represented in leadership and in our talent pipeline.
Now, in a future season, we'll dive into more around representation metrics, and specifically how those pieces will actually need to be either expanded or redefined as we consider the diversity, equity and inclusion conversation more globally, but hopefully even looking at these things such as timeframes, looking at interventions in the behavioral and structural context, will help give you an idea of a cadence that you can set for actually sharing these results with different stakeholders in your organization.
Then, of course, we have to look at how to communicate these metrics to your organization. So when we're looking at senior leaders, obviously, we have to come back to that original DEI strategy, that vision, that mission statement, even that personal statement that we mentioned from before, because that's, again, the barometer and the anchor point that your senior leaders will have to reconnect with when you're highlighting key outcomes that demonstrate the forward movement that they and the organization have achieved, and really highlighting for them where their leadership has been pivotal in achieving that progress. It's also important after doing so, to demonstrate the low lights and challenges, things that you can have honestly with them when there aren't other eyes, particularly from the rest of the organization looking at them, to not just show them how you're troubleshooting but where you need, not just their accountability, but also their buy-in to improve the structural and behavioral metrics that you're presenting to them in that moment. And then utilize the opportunity to show them that with the right resources, and with the right support, you can either expand your own internal team or partner with external suppliers who offer subject-matter expertise in the key areas that you would like to focus on in the next time period. And the next steps that they need to model as they actually share that messaging around equity and inclusion through the rest of your organization.
When you're looking at how to communicate your metrics internally to your organization, without outlining tangible actions that your company is taking to reach that common goal, employees are often left wondering what their role is in DEI and how they can influence the agenda in their companies. So when you're communicating internally, really use the opportunity to engage your employees and your different stakeholders to share their experiences, ideally through two-way dialogue opportunities that use things like team huddles and asynchronous channels or digital tools. And if you are going to highlight employee stories that are shared, that are examples of where you've achieved progress as an organization, this is where we suggest partnering with your Internal Comms, Marketing, PR, and other supporting teams to make sure that those stories don't verge on tokenization.
And, finally, when you're commuting your progress externally, make sure that whatever you're presenting is on-brand with your company values, with your company culture, and the language that you use already internally. Be very intentional about sharing your organization's starting point, progress, and goals, that increases - not just your organizational accountability to others who are, maybe, investors or future team members - but also those who are looking to your organization as an example for what to do in the industry around DEI. And here's where we also recommend creating a pro-active framework about DEI for when you're in times of crisis, to ensure that the messaging is timely and relevant, that highlights your metrics and the things that you're doing to make change, rather than being perceived as too slow and cautious about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and social justice issues, which will, unfortunately, lead to you moving the needle backward in terms of any progress that you've made as an organization.
So there you have it. Those are some of our key thoughts around the importance of DEI metrics and things that you should be looking at, the things that you should be measuring, some of our suggestions for best practices for what to consider from different perspectives as we move into our post-pandemic landscape of work, as well as different ways that you can consider communicating and measuring your progress across your organization to show forward momentum, while also increasing the level of accountability that people need. A big part of this conversation when we're looking at DEI and how we talk about metrics is relaying to people that they are in an environment, specifically within the organization, that fosters psychological safety. One that is committed to making sure that any barriers that are being placed for people from different backgrounds are being actively removed, and biases are being mitigated so that people can continue to contribute their best selves in the workplace.
What we've learned about working with remote teams for the past 8 years is that psychological safety is the core component within the DEI conversation, especially as we move away from all physical office environments to a hybrid or fully-remote future workplace. Many of the teams we've worked with crave that psychological safety. They want to know that you as a leader, and as an organization, will support their desire to work flexibly, will continue to advance their careers without forcing them to sacrifice any non-work life or responsibilities that they want to navigate, and match them with opportunities that truly tap into their potential, and with leaders that will sponsor and advocate for their advancement in the workplace.
Now, we know that DEI leaders are the real MVPs, some of the biggest heroes that we know, who are already doing their utmost best to take care of everyone. And, sometimes, with all of those things on your agenda, it's helpful to have an outside perspective from a specialist, someone who's already tapped into the wider market or can guide you through a specific framework that simplifies your role in creating equity and inclusion. The truth is, more than ever, organizations need leaders like you, with the integrity to tell the truth, with the ability to recognize when you don't know something, and with the courage to ask for help when you need it. Promoting psychological safety, as we know at Inclusion in Progress, isn't easy. But we're here to help! Using our framework for remote teams, we partner with DEI leaders like you to define and implement what psychological safety interventions, behaviorally and structurally, need to be implemented at your organization, to foster inclusion for your virtual workplaces, while having an open discussion about what's necessary for your team to thrive in the future of work.
So if you'd like to learn more about how to utilize our psychological safety framework for your remote teams as a client partner, head to the link in the show notes to get in touch with our team, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to share how we could partner with you this year to foster inclusion for your remote teams at a time that's critical for organizations as we navigate the future of work. So with that said, thank you so much for listening again to the podcast, wherever this finds you. We hope you're well! And, as always, please share with those who'd most benefit from a more inclusive world. Thanks so much for listening, and we'll see you next time on Inclusion in Progress!