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Democratizing Access to People Data is Key To Drive Real Diversity & Inclusion Progress

2021-03-08
Democratizing Access to People Data is Key To Drive Real Diversity & Inclusion Progress

Note: This article is an excerpt from Panalyt’s detailed guide Accelerating Advancement of Diverse Talent With People Analytics & Organizational Network Analysis, which covers how companies can accelerate the advancement of diverse talent by leveraging People Analytics and Organizational Network Analysis to identify WHERE you need to intervene to ensure the success of your DEIB programs, coupled with practical advice on HOW you should intervene to drive results.

Given we now live in a world where the employer brand and consumer brand are becoming increasingly intertwined, and the rise of consumers/ retail investors and younger employees who’re extremely sensitive to societal ESG issues, building successful and sustainable Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) programs is now table-stakes for organizations, not just for attracting, engaging and retaining top talent, but also an issue which can have a direct impact on stock value, as has been made apparent in the wake of certain recent events.

Diversity data has traditionally been made available to just HR teams and Senior leadership, who’ve shied away from sharing data and controlling access, or on the extreme end of the spectrum, not even track D&I data, “It’s not a problem if we don’t know it exists”. This top-down approach is and has been highly ineffective in building a truly diverse and inclusive culture.

As companies attempt to approach DEIB with an intersectional lens, making the organization’s progress on improving Diversity & Inclusion visible to employees also helps build the trust required to disclose non-mandatory Diversity data. This approach works best when coupled with clear People Analytics Ethics Guidelines detailing what analyses employee data will and will not be used for.

While Diversity and Inclusion needs a top-down leadership-led approach, a lot of the interventions are bottoms up involving day-to-day interactions b/w managers and teams. It doesn’t help that in most cases managers might be unaware of their own biases and providing tools to managers to be able to understand their behaviors and course correct is key to the success of DEIB initiatives at a grass-roots level.

According to TI people’s “The State of Employee of Employee Experience 2020” report, an employee’s experience with their managers is amongst the most influential in driving an improved Employee Experience. The growing popularity of Employee-Experience(EX) centric companies is juxtaposed with the steady shrinking of HR headcount over the past decade, so it has been increasingly necessary for People Analytics to focus on empowering managers and HR Business Partners with insights into where and how they can improve daily People Management decisions, rather than using People Analytics as a purely strategic decision-making tool.

Source – TI people, The Manager – An Underleveraged Opportunity to Have Meaningful Impact on EX

Consequentially, it is of utmost importance to empower managers to identify points of intervention and take action by giving access to relevant, timely people data and insights, and the same applies to providing managers with the tools to identify potential biases preventing your culture from becoming truly diverse and inclusive. Our recommendation is for the D&I function to sit directly beneath the CEO if the CEO wants to highlight as a priority for the business, with the CEO communicating out the importance to his portfolio. This is what gave momentum to the D&I programs at several organizations including McKinsey, otherwise, D&I leaders face an uphill battle in getting priority and resources.

As for a diversity analytics function, which we predict will increasingly come to the fore in the coming years, we recommend this should sit within people analytics and report to the diversity leader, pretty much the same way recruitment analytics sits within people analytics but reports to the head of recruitment.


A Pressing Need For Practical People Analytics

First, a disclaimer: Data doesn’t tell you how to solve a problem but helps you ask more questions and raise awareness. Sometimes just knowing a data point is being tracked makes people behave differently and this is even more helpful when people can see the actual data and outcomes to know how the organization is responding to mitigating systemic biases.

To reach the aforementioned level of data democratization, companies need to embed people analytics at the core of their daily people decisions, rather than People Analytics teams just focussing on one-off strategic pieces of analysis.

Practical People Analytics (Consistent, Connected, Accessible and Repeatable) enables stakeholders across the organization to drive business performance & reduce bias through data-informed people decisions.

Getting down to a granular level is important to identify real problems – blanket interventions might be unnecessary or counterproductive – leading to a feeling of antagonism or a waste of time with managers. This leads to more criticism and backlash when people see pledges for change but real change is not happening- democratizing access to the results and progress of D&I initiatives can be a game-changer for winning over your employees to actively partake in ensuring your organization is promoting a culture of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging; especially when used to celebrate success by identifying and recognizing managers who are doing well.

A Few Applications of How People Analytics Can Help Your Diversity & Inclusion Efforts

Read Panalyt’s detailed guide Accelerating Advancement of Diverse Talent With People Analytics & Organizational Network Analysis to learn more about how People Analytics And Organizational Network Analysis can help you improve the success of your Diversity & Inclusion initiatives!


About Panalyt

Panalyt bridges the People-Data Gap, enabling real-time, uniform access to relevant people data, reports and insights for CxOs, HR and business managers.

People data, including employee interactions and connections is combined with business data empowering businesses to leapfrog to data-driven decision making, eliminating bias and improving engagement, sales effectiveness, productivity and, as a result, business performance.

Interested in a further discussion on how People Analytics and Relational Analytics can help you drive an improved employee and business outcomes? Book a 30-minute discovery call with our Panalyt co-founders to learn more!