The Diversity X-Factor: Managers

August 12, 2020

Leaders are making commitments to diversity. But, it’s managers’ actions that matter more than you may realize.


2020 has been a year of defining events that became worldwide shared experiences. While we collectively grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic and living within a patchwork of governmental advisories and work from home arrangements, we witnessed appalling injustices, including George Floyd’s tragic death. Those events sparked national protests which raised awareness of racial injustices. 

As protestors flooded the streets demanding civic and social changes to equalize Black Lives, many companies joined the chorus for justice by making public commitments to diversity, adding visible – and influential – support. But what about the diversity and inclusion efforts within companies? Do the public statements also ring true to employees?

Not always. Our Talmetrix Employee Experience study compared results over March and June 2020 and they demonstrated that more work is needed to make those promises authentic to people of color.

Our findings showed that in most of the factors related to employee engagement, engagement sentiment is dropping for people of color. What’s more, most of the factors on decline are most influenced by managers. Leaders are planning and making the commitments, but those commitments – and any significant changes – require active and effective participation on the part of managers.

To summarize one of our key findings: if your organization truly wants inclusion and equality to matter, the behavior of your managers matters.

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In Talmetrix, Employee Experience, Diversity, Racism, Managers