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How to align your DEI programs with business strategy


Anthony Santa Maria

Making the business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can be a challenge. The complex and intangible nature of DEI goals, and the difficulty of measuring employee engagement and retention, can discourage companies from trying to make advances in equity and inclusion.

Especially in the midst of a challenging year for DEI, it’s more important than ever to showcase how your programs ladder up to organizational outcomes. DEI success is people success and people success is business success. Studies have shown that organizations that prioritize DEI see higher returns on engagement, retention, productivity, and innovation. The broad range of impact DEI can have on a business illustrates how DEI programs can serve as both a revenue generator and money saver in the long term. 

Moreover, with retention being the number one concern for business leaders, it’s essential to put in place strategies that engage and retain top diverse talent. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, businesses that emphasize inclusivity training for employees see increased employee satisfaction and outcompete their competitors by 36%

Making the business case for diversity: Connecting the dots with data

Mindful of these challenges, Praxis Labs has published a comprehensive 2024 DEI Blueprint Guide. With a focus on maximizing ROI (and measuring it), the guide gives leaders the tools to make the business case for diversity training. Readers will discover how to assess and improve their company’s culture of inclusivity and learn how new standards in technology are driving high performance.

Want to track DEI impact on your business, but not sure where to start? The 2023 DEI Training Guide gives you some helpful metrics to watch:

Recruitment and hiring metrics

Tracking the diversity of job applicants and new hires can help you assess the effectiveness of your recruitment and hiring processes. If you’ve rolled out an inclusive hiring program for hiring managers and talent acquisition teams, you can run a comparative analysis on your applicant tracking system (ATS) to understand if the training changed their behaviors. In particular, check new hire demographics before and after the training.

Employee engagement surveys

Regularly surveying employees to gauge their experiences and perceptions of the workplace can provide valuable insights into the success of your DEI programs. One of Praxis’ partners found that when compared to non-Praxis learners, Praxis learners displayed increased motivation (+8%), work engagement (+7%), decrease in alternate job seeking (-15%), and felt more respected (+7%).

Retention rates

Measuring the retention rate of employees from underrepresented groups can help you determine the effectiveness of your DEI initiatives in creating a supportive and inclusive workplace. More than 1 in 2 Praxis Labs learners report that they are more likely to stay at their company because of Praxis Labs training.

Business Growth

By not tailoring products and services to diverse populations, companies are missing out on opportunities to expand into new markets. Training your employees to better empathize and relate to people different from themselves can directly inform their day-to-day work.

Acquired competencies

Focus your training on core skills and competencies and then measure progress towards achieving them. When viewed on an aggregate level, skills-growth tracking can help you better understand how your upskilling and reskilling programs are performing at scale. Praxis Labs learners see a 72% growth in empathy after just 3 modules.

Knowledge retention     

Assess participants’ understanding of DEI concepts and principles before and after training. To see the long-term impacts of your training, conduct your surveys and measurement activities 6-12 months after the training. Especially when supplemented with more opportunities for continuous learning and skills reinforcement, you’re sure to see a lasting and meaningful impact.

One of our clients, a Fortune 100 Tech company, saw that even 8 months after completing Praxis Labs training, more than 75% of learners continue to take regular, informed action to create a more inclusive company, and over half noticed positive changes for equity and inclusion across their company.                  

The key to improving DEI outcomes across all of the metrics above? Immersive tech

Workplaces looking to translate DEI training into action are increasingly turning to immersive learning solutions to improve their DEI training outcomes. And the results speak for themselves. Designed to capitalize on knowledge and research about how people learn, immersive L&D solutions have been shown to increase knowledge retention by up to 75%.         

How can you leverage this new tech?                                                                                                  

While immersive learning can and should be applied to many types of skills development, it’s particularly useful for building core competencies for today’s modern workforce, such as empathy and inclusive leadership. Moreover, immersive learning is ideally suited to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training, about which much ink has been spilled but unfortunately rarely moves the needle as it should.

By harnessing immersive learning technology, there is immense potential in driving the self-awareness and understanding needed to propel tangible results for DEI. 

Driving DEI impact for your business

Optimizing for better DEI training outcomes is a proven way to differentiate yourself as a forward-thinking employer in the coming year and will help you make the business case for diversity initiatives in the future. With the knowledge and resources provided in our new DEI Training guide, companies can begin setting the foundation for improved employee engagement and long-term DEI success. 


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