KPI’s or KEY Performance Indicators are typically used around revenue, profit, and activities that lead to them. They may be used around sales activities that lead to closing a deal – like number of cold calls, number of appointments set, number of proposals initiated, etc.

How about using KPI’s to measure culture diversity?

Let’s talk about diversity. Diversity is not just about race and gender. Diversity is about thinking styles, age, socio economic status, native v. non-native speakers, able-bodied v. non-able bodied. Studies of companies with more diversity show a correlation with higher profitability. SO, if you are willing to accept the challenge, what are the steps you need to take.

  1. Decide what you are going to measure.
  2.  Measure what you have now.
  3.  Set goals for whatever periods make sense : quarterly, yearly, where you want to be in 3 years…
  4. Allocate resources to support this initiative.
  5. Publicize your goals and your KPI’s to the team, to partners, to the community.
  6. Incentivize your team to take the actions that will lead to success.
  7. Include diversity at all levels of your organization. in your management team as well as the front line.

Decide what would success look like. Like all KPI’s, make them realistic.

Let me say that this is NOT setting quotas. Hiring people who have been traditionally disadvantaged is not settling. It seems harder because anytime we have to change our patterns it IS hard. Thinking out of the box is often REALLY hard. And, we do it for all sorts of reasons. Let me just give you one: you will make more money if you have a diverse team.

In her book:What if I say the Wrong Thing? Verna A. Myers has a brilliant chart of all the ways people are one-up or one down that we may not be conscious of. A common example: is did you go to college? Then, what college you attended. Having attended a public university, I was out of the pool for elitist companies that only hire from the top private universities.

I saw it in interviews where it was clear that women were not included in the culture. That was 35 years ago. So, if you want to take up the challenge to become more diverse, pick your goals. Don’t just make a nice supportive statement. Set some KPI’s around cultural diversity and be a stand for performance.

Btw, if you have done a pretty good job in cultural diversity, share it. You can help others in the business community create strategies for success.