Many of our clients ask about benchmarks because their leaders often want to know how they compare with other companies, as benchmarking against their competitors can be a useful motivation. While providing context, external benchmarks can also undermine commitment and progress (see NOTE below). We do provide a high level external benchmark but focus more on internal benchmarks. Here is Pulsely’s unique approach to benchmarks that has proven most useful for our clients:
EXTERNAL BENCHMARKS: For overall inclusion pillar scores, Pulsely provides your organization’s percentile score. Grades for each pillar are based on percentiles of all employees participating in Pulsely's assessments; the mean response of your employees is compared to the mean response of employee responses globally. Overall grades are important, but the patterns of experiences among groups will indicate organizational strengths and inclusion gaps. Identifying and addressing those inequities before they become a liability is a priority.
INTERNAL BENCHMARKS: In the work of DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion), our analysis of equity focuses on internal benchmarks within your workforce. It is not unusual to see variations in workplace experiences among employees. However, when there are variations that uniquely impact specific demographic segments, it is important to evaluate where organizational solutions are needed. As such, our priority is to highlight the patterns of responses across demographic groups at your company. We will identify how inclusion scores vary among different segments that you prioritize (e.g., gender, level, etc.).
After implementing solutions, you will then measure your progress toward closing those internal gaps and continue to monitor and re-prioritize your other metrics. Making progress toward your goals is the ultimate purpose of benchmarking.
NOTE: We do not provide more specific external benchmarking because we have seen that when leaders are provided with external benchmarks, one of three things usually happens: • If your scores surpass the benchmarks, results can provide a false sense of reassurance and “mission accomplished” when there is still work to be done. (And if you are in an industry that is lagging in general, being a leader in this situation is nothing to brag about. All it takes is one committed competitor to make progress and you have lost your advantage; without momentum it may take you longer than you expect to regain your leadership position.) • If your scores align with the benchmarks, leaders can lose a sense of urgency. • If your scores are below the benchmarks, leaders will always find a way to doubt the relevance of the benchmarks to their business blaming region, size, industry, timing, etc.