Case Study: Boosting Diversity and Inclusion ROI for a Hospitality Client
Our client was a multinational, highly matrixed Fortune 500 hotel chain that was seeing a dip in employee satisfaction, as well as higher attrition of minority employees across the organization. According to an employee engagement survey administered, employees felt that the organization and their teams were “diverse” but not necessarily “inclusive.” Despite meeting quotas, teams were largely siloed and there were clear divisions across IT and various business units based on gender and cultural identity, which reduced communication across these parts of the organization.
The goal was to bring employee satisfaction and engagement back to previous rates and reinvigorate the entire workforce around diversity and inclusion goals.
We started by combining survey data with quantitative HRIS data to glean insights on the impact of diversity and inclusion indicators on team performance indicators across 5 customer-facing teams. Thereafter, we worked with the client to develop a Diversity Council with representatives of each business unit to set a vision and overall strategy for incorporating diversity and inclusion as a part of everyday worklife, rather than as an afterthought. This began with a current state assessment which involved one-on-one laser interviews as well as focus groups to understand employee areas of concern more deeply, using our Change 360 Assessment ® tool.
The tool gave us several important insights across not just culture, but organizational design and tools, as well that we saw were impacting productivity and time-to-market. Employees across all strata reported that they felt strained and limited in communication opportunities as well as topics. Based on this data, we employed a multi-step diversity and inclusion strategy over a period of 4 months that included:
Incorporating in-person diversity workshops 1x a week within agile training sessions
Implementing customized micro-learning videos 2x a week to instill new behaviors and mindsets related to diversity
Enabling two-way communication and content sharing on Diversity through creating a Diversity portal within the company intranet addressing the issue of unconscious bias and discrimination
Launching a quarterly “Open Mic” session where employees were given the opportunity to share cultural stories related to specific themes and ask questions
Launching a bi-weekly opt-in program where employees were randomly matched across business units for lunch dates, subsidized by the company.
We took a pulse survey at 1.5 months and a full employee engagement survey at 4 months, with similar questions and measurement metrics to the first survey used by the company. The survey noted that all employees felt there were greater opportunities to connect across teams and get to know one another, noting that the intranet and workshops were “particularly impactful” in their experience. Minority employees, specifically women-of-color, felt there were more opportunities to share their heritage and culture and be accepted and included as an equal. Over 4 months, employee satisfaction scores increased as a whole by 16%, and among minority women employees by 23%. After 6 months, the company also saw a significant decrease in employee attrition and improved productivity metrics.