Skip to main content

Key takeaways:

  • Empower decision-making through employee feedback: Leveraging employee insights, DEI leaders can drive accountability and shape their business goals by actively engaging their executives in strategic planning.
  • Align your DEI strategy with market trends: Adapting DEI goals to evolving market trends and technological advancements is key. It’s about staying agile and leveraging opportunities while maintaining a steady course toward impactful change.
  • Prioritize inclusive decision-making: The focus is not just on shifting strategies but also on understanding and addressing varied employee experiences. Balancing collective impact while respecting individual perspectives is crucial for sustained progress.

In a recent DEI Board panel discussion about planning for 2024, senior diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leaders discussed strategies for tying their initiatives to larger business goals.

Ashley Watson, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Danfoss, and Jim Chan, Global DEIB and Talent Strategy Manager at Prologis, discussed how they’re using employee feedback to help define their goals, creating DEI champions within leadership, and adjusting their goals to align with shifting business needs.

Let’s explore their insights and see how you can align your goals to overall business strategies and create accountability for DEI going into 2024.

Leverage Employee Feedback to Empower Your Executive Decision-Making

How Danfoss Uses Employee Input to Make a Greater Impact on Overall Business Strategies

During the panel, Ashley discussed the importance of employee input, emphasizing its value in shaping an inclusive business strategy that ties in DEI initiatives across the enterprise.

At Danfoss, Ashley said they had a strategic shift in their annual survey to focus on psychological safety and inclusiveness, which led to a 4% increase in response rates.

“Now that we see the results, leadership is ready to take accountability,” Ashley said. “They want to know how they can do better. We’ve put in different dashboards and health measure reports to show them how they can use pulse surveys and pulse check-ins with their employees over the next two years to tweak some of their actions moving forward.”

Ashley explained how DEI leaders should craft surveys that explicitly address inclusion, fostering an environment where employee voices drive actionable change.

“Now that we see the results, leadership is ready to take accountability. They want to know how they can do better.”

– Ashley Watson, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Danfoss

How Prologis Creates Accountability for DEI Goals Using Employee Feedback

Similarly to Danfoss, Jim said his team at Prologis uses employee feedback to create transparency and accountability within their executive team.

“We have an annual employee engagement survey across all countries translated in almost 14 different languages,” Jim said. “We make sure that in all of these questions, there’s a core set of questions focused on inclusion.”

Jim stressed the significance of this qualitative feedback, urging leaders to attentively review both positive and critical comments shared by employees. These insights are integrated into Prologis’ quarterly town hall discussions and are built into the performance reviews of business leaders.

He acknowledged the challenges inherent in managing a large workforce, stating that while efforts are made to enhance experiences for all, it’s crucial not to be solely focused on a few negative perspectives.

“We make sure that in all of these questions, there’s a core set of questions focused on inclusion.”

– Jim Chan, Global DEIB and Talent Strategy Manager at Prologis

Instead, he advocated for a balanced approach, striving to improve experiences overall while being mindful of varied individual experiences within the organization.

Jim noted that DEI leaders can embed their goals into business strategies by creating platforms that capture employee feedback and actively communicate the actions they’re taking to foster trust and transparency within the organization.

Adapting DEI Goals to Market Shifts and the Presence of AI

Our members highlighted the crucial balance between internal goals and external market trends, emphasizing the need to seize opportunities aligned with evolving industry priorities.

Ashley stressed the importance of looking beyond industry trends to forward-thinking companies, particularly in technology. She explained their process of “sparring,” where leaders discuss, scrutinize, and debate ideas to align strategies with their capabilities.

“Right now, technology is one of those big areas that we’re looking into,” Ashley said. “We’re testing out a couple of different things based on regulations. And we’re seeing how we can move the needle with technology and the presence of AI.”

Jim discussed Prologis’s proactive approach to AI integration, noting its use by the accounting team for brainstorming and employee engagement based on survey insights.

He highlighted their strategy of leveraging technological advancements to amplify impact without altering core objectives. For Prologis, technological evolution complements their goals, maximizing opportunities in the market for greater impact.

Jim emphasized a pragmatic stance amid diverse market conditions, urging DEI leaders to maintain focus on impactful strategies while acknowledging market shifts.

He underlined the importance of assessing global events, such as job market changes and legal impacts on DEI policies, like this year’s Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action.

Despite these shifts, he cautioned against immediate drastic changes to corporate DEI policies, advocating for thoughtful and informed decision-making in response to evolving circumstances.

Embed Your DEI Goals Across the Organization with Insights from Your Peers

Ashley and Jim shared crucial advice for DEI leaders seeking to integrate initiatives into broader business strategies.

Empowering employees through feedback, creating transparency, adapting strategies to market shifts, and employing balanced decision-making are key elements for embedding DEI across your company.

If you lead DEI at a billion-dollar company, you can join industry-leading leaders in the DEI Board for actionable insights and strategies on aligning your initiatives with business goals.

Our members meet weekly to benchmark their top strategies and priorities like 2024 strategic planning, supplier diversity enhancement, and elevating DEI reporting.

Interested in learning more?

As a leader, your mission is important. We’re here to help you win.

Apply to Join