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Getting performance gains from Return on Investment (ROI) Diversity

March 2010 Diversity & Inclusion Best Practice
Getting performance gains from Return on Investment (ROI) Diversity
Recently a client challenged IDC to help them obtain quantified gains from diversity. This, they said, would demonstrate the business case beyond doubt and they are right! The 6-stage process we follow to do this is:-
1.    Interview key managers across the client’s organisation to determine diversity ‘blindspots’ in workplace, marketplace, supplier, investor and community diversity. For example, as described in February’s best practice, in the workplace employees, who are not part of the historically dominant culture (usually white, masculine, physically able and middle aged) often experience unconscious bias. This can result in ethnic minority, older and younger and disabled people and women not feeling fully valued and respected and engaged in helping the organisation succeed. Consequently, these groups might, have higher turnover and absence rates. Hence, there can be significant productivity losses. In the marketplace, the sales force might be predominantly male and yet a high proportion of the customers might be women. This can result in a loss of sales revenue from the women’s market; because of the male sales force not having been trained to understand the requirements of women when selling to them and how best to do so.
2.    Quantify the ‘blindspot’ opportunities using the ROI Diversity financial modelling tool that IDC has developed. Our proprietary model assesses returns on investment (ROI) using benchmarks and targets.
3.    Prioritise the opportunities identified above and set profit generation, or efficiency gains, and targets against each of these opportunities.
4.    Establish a task force around each priority opportunity with the challenge of delivering the targeted performance gain.
5.    Provide the task forces with training and coaching to enable them to deliver against their targets.
6.    Measure progress against the targets and celebrate, and publicise, successes.
This is a powerful process for delivering performance gains from diversity and IDC would be pleased to discuss the approach with interested organisations. It also establishes diversity as a profit generator rather than a cost.
Dr Ian Dodds

26 Feb 2010


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