Leveraging your AAP for Better Workforce Insights

This blog post continues our discussion regarding the trend of leading organizations to utilize their AAPs as a strategic driver to create better business outcomes and a more inclusive environment.

In our recent ebook, “9 Tools and Strategies to Take Your AA Program to the Next Level”, we described the tools and strategies necessary for HR and compliance teams to take their AAP to the next level. Our experts believe this transformation enables a fundamental change in how HR teams supporting Affirmative Action programs engage with leadership and the entire organization. They no longer just affirm compliance with regulatory provisions but become a leading voice in communicating critical workforce information and insights to leadership and across the organization.

The focal point for this shift is leveraging the wealth of critical workforce data available from affirmative action to diversity and other workforce programs. Platforms and tools are a vital part of enabling this change, but it is also dependent on new strategies and approaches.

We have found in working with our customers that these strategies require:

  1. Becoming an insight-driven organization
  2. Developing macro-level insights
  3. Creating a unified source of truth
  4. Data collecting beyond AAP requirements
  5. Utilizing both current and historical workforce data.

You might also like: ‘4 Key Components of an Affirmative Action Program’

Becoming an Insight-Driven Organization

Affirmity’s experience has repeatedly demonstrated that organizations which tailor workforce metrics, operate robust analytics platforms, and instill accountability in alignment with their structure and culture can better affect change. As our guidebook describes, this change starts with HR being a leader in moving to an insight-driven organization.

“Ultimately, taking your AAP to the next level is about transforming your HR teams into an insight-driven team. It requires more than putting numbers on a report; it involves asking the “what-if” questions, developing programs based on data-driven analysis, understanding how goals must evolve, and supporting stakeholder planning and execution. A 2019 study by Deloitte highlighted that an insight-driven organization is not due to one key element, but is multi-dimensional.

“For organizations to fully leverage the insights they derive and embed them into decisions and actions, a combination of three drivers is required: data and tools, talent, and culture.”

Below are the tenets of an insight-driven Affirmative Action program:

  • Proactively identify potential opportunities and manage risk
  • Identify focus areas through intelligent analytics
  • Focus on root causes with data-driven analysis
  • Enable with consistent reporting and interactive dashboards.

More from the blog: ‘Avoiding Bias and Discrimination in Downsizing Decisions’

Changing the Conversation

Numerous surveys have shown that HR groups tasked with affirmative action and D&I programs struggle with communicating and providing meaningful, actionable insights to leadership. To change the conversation and improve the business value of these programs requires a combination of shifting paradigms, improving analytics, and enhancing the workforce data set.

The paradigm change that can be the most challenging for HR teams is transforming from the reactive nature of OFCCP requirements and requests, and instead taking a proactive approach to highlighting areas of risk, weakness, and opportunity. Making this change impactful requires increasing the cadence and quality of workforce reporting and insights to leadership and stakeholders. Next-level organizations are also focused on proactive measures, such as performing risk mitigation and other advanced workforce analysis, across the talent lifecycle.

Changing the conversation with leadership means HR teams are directly contributing to the achievement of business goals, including increasing innovation and collaboration and improving recruitment, retention, and succession planning.

Read our ebook, “9 Tools and Strategies to Take Your AA Program to the Next Level”, to see how Affirmity can help your HR team take your affirmative action program to the next level and change the conversation with your senior leadership.

Jeffery D. Lewis is co-managing director for Affirmity. He oversees professional services and sales for Affirmity’s affirmative action consulting services and diversity planning programs. He leads teams of consultants who deliver services spanning affirmative action, EEO compliance, and diversity planning. He also oversees a team of experts who specialize in evaluating allegations of discriminatory employment practices.