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How To Set REALISTIC Goals For 2022

First published on LinkedIn.

How excited are you to return to work? Last week I asked you all on Instagram about how you felt about the start of the New Year. Kick off 2022 with the RIGHT expectations.

Welcome back, everyone!!! It's now 2022 (or 2020, too!!), and another iconic year behind us. I've put a lot of thought into how to set the tone for another year while dealing with COVID-19 and all of its variants. Many of us thought that by now we'd 'exit' the pandemic, but it's effects are truly here to stay, in one form or another. And speaking of permanence, another dramatic change that is here to stay is the increased efforts around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB). On one hand, we're more isolated than ever because of Covid-19, but we're also more connected than ever because of work. So, now that the excitement of the holidays has simmered down a little, let's talk about how we can truly begin the work and meaningfully set targets.

Step Back: Don't focus on being 'diverse'.

When we think about Diversity in DEIB, we often think of it through the lens of race and gender. What we don't account for when we talk about 'diversifying hiring efforts' or including 'diverse candidates' is the intent. Are you looking to increase the diverse perspectives and voices? Do you already have diversity within your organization? Why aren't you tapping into that internal talent pool? It has many forms and sometimes they aren't visible identity traits. For instance, in organizations with higher headcount of differently abled individuals, the acronym reflects their workforce: DEIA meaning Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access.

Reevaluate: Reverse engineer your workforce.

As part of the thought process, I tell my clients to get into the habit of rationalizing the numbers based on areas of growth. Many organizations think "doubling our headcount from 2 to 4 percent should be easy," but before setting such aggressive targets, we have to look at all the decision-making that ultimately impacts these numbers. How are new markets going to influence your workforce demographics? Consider the Intersectionality of the individual as well. It's going to take a lot more time, effort and intention to find – for instance – a female person of color for an executive/C-suite level role. Make sure to look at retention, employee experience, hiring pipelines and don't forget about your current talent pool.

Communicate: Set the right expectations.

At this point, whether or not you've kick-started these efforts, your team is probably antsy (if not frustrated). Make sure you are having continuous conversations with your team members on progress. Involving them in the process ensures as a leader, you not only hear them, but you want them to be part of the process – and that really is the essence of DEIB.

Keep in mind that any goals or targets set in Q1 are meant to be carried throughout 2022 and possibly even into 2023. I tell my clients, "it's a marathon... not a sprint!" so there will be obstacles along the way. Focus on the small wins because small moments will keep the team invigorated and going on this continuous journey. As one of my business coaches told me years ago, "Small hinges open big doors!" I'm also with my clients throughout the entire process so I understand the pains (& gains) along the way.

Until next month... Stay safe, be well & stay healthy!


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