You've started a diversity program. But how do you know if it's having any effect?
Harvard Medical School has offered a voluntary diversity-training program every year since 2000. Immediately after each session, organizers asked how much volunteers liked learning about the importance of diversity for organizations. People said they did, but organizers did not investigate whether participants actually changed their behaviors, attitudes, or performance.
Increasingly, organizations are finding that "consciousness raising" alone isn't enough. In 2003, research by Thomas Kochan at Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that having diverse teams on board could indeed improve a company's performance and boost innovation - if diversity is managed effectively. (See "Diversity, The New Business Case" on p. 42.) Others have since confirmed the findings in a variety of settings. As a result, companies are increasingly testing strategies for measuring whether their diversity programs are helping employees work together...
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