2023 Top 50: Using Data to Be Proactive About Your Company’s Skills Development Strategy

According to Tellis Bethel, Group Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Toyota North America (No. 4 on the Fair360, formerly DiversityInc 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list), “What gets measured gets done.” 

“There are so many things that come across, whether it’s social innovation or partners in human resources, in which we have to decide which direction to go,” he said. “Having data to inform your strategy allows us to do things in a more systematic fashion. Otherwise, we won’t know where to spend all of our energy.” 

This message fit perfectly with the theme of Fair360’s (formerly Fair360, formerly DiversityInc) 2023 Top 50 event, “The Link Between Leadership Accountability and Data Standardization,” which took place on May 2 in New York City. Bethel spoke to the importance of data and how it informs company strategy decisions during a panel with Senior Business Writer Linda Bell titled “Using Data to Be Proactive About Your Company’s Skills Development Strategy.” 

To ensure a company is making progress Bethel said it’s important to measure the data to see if you are on track, falling behind or need to change course. According to Bethel, leaders must balance being responsive to the data while committing to long-term strategies. They must not be reactionary, but proactive in identifying and addressing root causes. This is particularly important in industries where trends can change rapidly and staying ahead of the curve is essential to remain competitive. 

Bethel said today’s business world also calls for building a conscious environment of learning and development, which is especially important when it comes to employee engagement and retention. Leaders must ensure that their employees feel empowered and have the tools they need to succeed. This can be achieved through continuous feedback, team member engagement surveys and by focusing on the top two or three priorities that have been identified by the team. 

Bell and Bethel also discussed the importance of trust between leaders and employees to retain top talent and foster a more positive work environment. Managers must communicate effectively and build strong relationships with their employees, especially Black and brown workers who have a higher turnover rate than their white counterparts.  

Click here for more articles, videos and photos from the 2023 Top 50 event.  Check back early next week to view the full video recording of the session. 


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