Can data help?
One way companies can improve their outcomes, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, is through better collection and use of data.
Better collection and use of data is something which Ashleigh Ainsley’s organisation, Colorintech, encourages in his clients, but which he says is often lacking – even among some of the bigger tech firms.
However, it is clear that HR and people teams are going to have to get used to installing and using workplace and people analytics tools more and more to manage a more distributed workforce.
Dig into the data
Thomas Davies at Temporall says that organisations can and should use data in a much more profound way still to better understand their workforce.
“So many companies don’t even know what they’ve already got,” he explains. “They’re unable to utilise what’s already theirs and I think that was our opportunity. Giving a company that ability to do real-time organisational intelligence can bring huge rewards for those people that understood how to do.”
This use of data to understand workers has huge real world applications in the new dispersed working environment. For example, Davies has clients who are making use of data analytics to assess employee isolation – a huge issue during the pandemic that seems, on the surface, to be far removed from data collection.
“So many companies don’t even know what they’ve already got.”
“Within this highly distributed workforce and environment we’re all working in, a company’s ability to stay connected and to drive connectedness to every single employee is a huge challenge.” Davies says this is particularly the case when “people are doing an awful lot of meetings and they're working an awful lot of hours”.
Working in isolation
According to Davies, the data increasingly shows the existence of groups and individuals that are becoming “isolated from the core business”, something which he believes is damaging for worker and employee alike.
He says: “That kind of intervention is now being driven by the CEO. That’s not an HR discussion; that is a CEO imperative saying ‘I have a duty of care to my organisation to get better insight that allows me to prevent that kind of situation’.”