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How to set diversity goals, the smart way.

How to set diversity goals, the smart way.

Effective diversity goals can direct efforts toward change and shift the makeup of your company. However, without the proper input, structure, and scope, you will struggle to reach them. This article will provide you with everything you need to set realistic and inspiring diversity goals.

Goals are inherently motivational. They focus attention on the gap between where we are now and where we want to be and help to direct efforts on getting there. Setting goals for diversity can help you achieve a fair representation of different groups at every level of your organisation.

Diversity goals aren’t easy. Have you found it challenging to strike the balance between aspirational and realistic targets? Does it feel like you’re plucking targets from thin air? These are common challenges to come up against.

To set goals that people connect to and feel motivated to work towards, they need to be realistic, specific, inspirational and inclusive


Checklist of actions:

  1. Think about what you want to change and where you want to be when it comes to diversity.
  2. Benchmark your company makeup to get meaningful input for your goals.
  3. Set goals for diversity that are specific, measurable, aspirational, relevant and time-bound.

1) Compare your company makeup

To set successful goals, you need to carefully consider the input. Goals need to be specific, but if numbers feel arbitrary, then you’ll struggle to meet them.

It’s important that your targets are aspirational enough to motivate people to work towards them. If they’re too easy, not much will change. If they’re too tough, people will feel like they’ve been set up for failure.

To set realistic and specific goals, you’ll need to do a bit of research. Benchmarking yourself against industry standards and the representation of your local community will help you understand what “good” looks like. It will give you a strong idea of what others have achieved and what you can aspire to.


2) Think about where you want to be in terms of diversity

Now that you have the data, you’ll have a good idea of where you want to get to and what diversity you want to achieve. You might set your sights high, but you should keep diversity goals focused. Spend a few hours brainstorming ideas with key stakeholders to discuss the remit of your goals.


3) Set your diversity goals

Now it’s time to think about how to get to where you want to be.

To keep goals inspirational and motivational, follow the SMART acronym. Goals should be SpecificMeasurableAttainableRelevant and Time-bound. If you tick all of these boxes, you’ll reduce all ambiguity and put the finish line in clear sight.