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DE&I OKRs: Why You Need Them

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6 min read
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What are DE&I OKRs?

Key takeaway: DE&I OKRs (objectives and key results) provide a powerful framework for organizations to effectively plan, execute, and measure their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. By leveraging the flexibility, measurability, accountability, and alignment of OKRs, companies can foster an inclusive and purpose-filled work environment while driving progress towards their DE&I goals.

DE&I initiatives are top of mind for many businesses right now, yet companies are often unsure how to approach them. Using a goal-setting method such as OKRs (objectives and key results), you can ensure your company is on track to progressively cultivating a DE&I culture. 

OKRs are a collaborative goal-setting framework that organizations can use to establish aspirational goals. When used across your organization, OKRs can facilitate high output management, team alignment, and enhanced communication. 

DE&I OKRs are particularly powerful if you’re looking to foster an inclusive and purpose-filled work environment. 

Not convinced? Read on to find out:

  • The benefits of DE&I OKRs
  • How to write and implement DE&I OKRs
  • DE&I OKR examples to inspire your own 

The benefits of DE&I OKRs

DE&I OKRs can help you plan and execute your DE&I strategy in a highly effective way. This is because they offer a couple of key benefits:

DE&I OKRs provide flexibility

OKRs are highly flexible. They allow you to tackle DE&I from multiple angles and cover all grounds. For example, you can create separate DE&I OKRs for: 

  • Recruiting diverse talent
  • Attendance for DE&I training programs
  • Promoting a welcoming and inclusive work culture
  • Establishing inclusive performance and promotion processes

Moreover, you can continuously update your DE&I OKRs as you see fit. If a key result proves irrelevant or you aren’t progressing as expected, you can easily change your OKRs to suit the current environment.

DE&I OKRs help you take measurable steps towards DE&I 

DE&I OKRs clearly depict what you need to do to achieve your goals. As objectives are end goals and key results act as measurable stepping stones, OKRs break down the final goal into successive tasks. This makes setting DE&I goals simple, actionable, and straightforward. 

DE&I OKRs hold leaders accountable  

As each OKR belongs to an individual owner, each DE&I OKR can help establish leadership around DE&I objectives. They keep leaders accountable for their DE&I goals, ensuring that DE&I isn’t just lip service to keep people happy. Instead, leaders must show results when spearheading DE&I OKRs and advancing DE&I in the workplace. 

DE&I OKRs keep teams aligned

You need a solid communication strategy to successfully implement DE&I across your organization. Effectively communicating with teams and individuals in your company is vital to internal alignment, ensuring everyone is on track and up to date with DE&I developments. Using clear and concise DE&I OKRs, you can clarify what your organization is striving to achieve. This way, teams and individuals can work separately (but in alignment) to ensure DE&I goals are achieved. 

DE&I OKRs keep employees engaged

Integrating DE&I in the workplace via DE&I OKRs requires a community of invested employees, where joint efforts contribute to a DE&I culture. DE&I OKRs can help your employees visualize what they need to do and how close they are to achieving their objectives. This keeps them motivated and engaged as they see how their efforts play a part in DE&I goals. 

How to write DE&I OKRs

OKRs are designed to facilitate goal-setting for companies of all sizes. Given the broad scope of OKRs, individual employees, teams, and departments can also use OKRs to get results. When it comes to writing incredible DE&I OKRs, you can use the following formula:  

OKR formula illustration: We will (objective) as measured by (key results)

Objectives need to be qualitative, actionable, ambitious, and time-bound. On the other hand, as key results are used to indicate whether an objective has been attained, they should be quantifiable, measurable, and time-bound, making it easy to gauge progress. 

How to implement DE&I OKRs

Once you've written your DE&I OKRs, you must implement these within your organization. 

To effectively implement DE&I OKRs in your organization, you must cultivate a company culture that values OKRs, requiring buy-in and an openness to change. This serves as the foundation for understanding OKR processes and overcoming challenges. 

Once you've established a suitable company culture, you need to work on your rollout plan — what does your OKR cycle look like? Will you start with an OKR pilot? Are you going to use OKR software to streamline implementation? Answering these questions can paint a clearer picture of the actionable steps you'll take toward OKR implementation.

After polishing the ‘how,' you must inform, educate, and train your teams on OKRs. You can do this using OKR champions, OKR consulting services, or OKR training programs.

Lastly, OKR implementation involves keeping up with your OKRs. People responsible for managing and working on DE&I OKRs should assess progress regularly (e.g., weekly) and hold retrospective meetings at the end of the OKR period (typically a quarter) to see what worked and what didn’t. 

For best results, make DE&I OKRs a collaborative process. Using brainstorming sessions, you can engage your team, provide a sense of ownership, and drive accountability for each DE&I OKR. Ultimately, the goal-setting process should encourage groups and individuals to care about and work towards DE&I OKRs.

Get an in-depth look at the 4 steps of OKR implementation

an illustration of sliding disks with check mark next to one disk illustrating how to Implement OKRs

DE&I OKR examples

Establishing DE&I OKRs as part of your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives can help you develop the company culture you envision. 

To inspire you, we’ve compiled a list of DE&I OKR examples you can look over when writing OKRs for your teams, departments, or company. 

DE&I OKR Example 1 

  • Objective: Enhance our company’s reputation to reflect an open and accepting workplace 
  • Key result 1: Gain responses from 80% or more of the company in an initial benchmark survey
  • Key result 2: Hold three diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings with an attendance rate of 100%
  • Key result 3: Improve the number of diverse candidates in the pipeline by 20%
  • Key result 4: Publish three blog posts about diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to our culture per quarter  

DE&I OKR Example 2  

  • Objective: Dramatically improve diversity in our organization 
  • Key result 1: Overhaul 100% of our job descriptions with inclusive language
  • Key result 2: Increase the percentage of diverse employees from X% to Y%
  • Key result 3: Increase the percentage of women in leadership positions from X% to Y%
  • Key result 4: Increase the percentage of underrepresented minorities in tech roles from X% to Y%
  • Key result 5: Increase the percentage of minority internships from X% to Y%

DE&I OKR Example 3  

  • Objective: Enhance our stance on DE&I in the workplace — both internally and externally 
  • Key result 1: Post five blogs about DE&I in Q3
  • Key result 2: Edit our existing policy on DE&I as part of our internal code of conduct
  • Key result 3: Conduct an internal DE&I survey and attain a response rate of greater than 95%
  • Key result 4: Complete an internal assessment of current employees, separating employees by roles and publishing findings internally
  • Key result 5: Implement a new mentor program targeting underrepresented minorities, with at least 70% participation by managers and senior engineers   

DE&I OKR Example 4 

  • Objective: Educate employees on diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Key result 1: 100% participation in DE&I sensitivity training
  • Key result 2: 100% participation in DE&I unconscious bias training
  • Key result 3: 100% of hiring managers complete interview training
An image showing a DEI OKR example for educating employees on DE&I

Using OKR software to create DE&I OKRs

Having the right OKR software tool in place can simplify the creation of DE&I OKRs, making the communication, monitoring, and alignment of DE&I goals effortless. 

When looking for the right OKR software to help you create DE&I OKRs, ensure it offers: 

  • Organization-wide alignment among departments, teams, and employees
  • An intuitive approach to OKRs, making it easy to use for the whole organization
  • Customizability, where OKRs can quickly be updated as new data emerges
  • Scalability to enable OKRs for growing individual groups
  • Data visualization for better data comprehension
  • Integrability for seamless communication between applications

With these features, your OKR software can fit seamlessly into your existing tech stack, helping your organization set DE&I OKRs, unite efforts, and cultivate a culture of DE&I in a manageable way. 

Quantive empowers modern organizations to turn their ambitions into reality through strategic agility. It's where strategy, teams, and data come together to drive effective decision-making, streamline execution, and maximize performance.  

As your company navigates today’s competitive landscape, you need an Always-On Strategy to continuously bridge the gap between current and desired business outcomes. Quantive brings together the technology, expertise, and passion to transform your strategy from a static plan to a feedback-driven engine for growth.  

Whether you’re a visionary start-up, a mid-market business looking to conquer, or a large enterprise facing disruption, Quantive keeps you ahead — every step of the way. For more information, visit www.quantive.com

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