Inclusion is fundamental in a diverse workplace because it ultimately means that despite their differences, employees feel a sense of belonging. However, when it comes to measuring inclusion in a workplace, employers often struggle because it’s invisible. Inclusion relates to thoughts, feelings and attitudes rather than a more objective metric. Not measuring inclusion can be damaging to an organisation because it is by nature changeable and fluctuating. Not having a finger on the pulse of whether employees are feeling a genuine sense of belonging at work could lead to poor retention and poor employee wellbeing.
Despite the difficulty of measuring how inclusive a workplace is, it is possible. One of the most effective ways to measure inclusion is through an inclusion survey. This could be a stand-alone survey that is conducted yearly, quarterly, or whatever frequency suits the business the best. It could also be an additional section in a broader employee engagement survey. Either way, encouraging employees to engage with questions relating to diversity and inclusion and offer their honest opinions, thoughts, feelings, and suggestions is key for not only increasing and supporting diversity but also for sustaining inclusion as a result of more diversity.
Diversity and inclusion can be a sensitive topic. Employees may not feel comfortable approaching leadership or HR with diversity and inclusion concerns or feedback. Surveys are a great way to encourage feedback because they can be anonymous and employees may feel like they are a safe space, to be honest, and open. An effective inclusion survey should include a variety of questions that cover topics such as:
Here are our top 20 survey questions to effectively measure inclusion in a workplace:
1. What could we do to improve diversity and inclusion in our workplace?
2. What do you believe makes a comfortable working environment?
3. What behaviours do people need to see from leadership to believe an inclusive culture is a high priority?
The following group of questions should have strongly agreed, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree and strongly disagree options.
4. I trust this organisation to treat all employees with fairness.
5. This organisation demonstrates a strong commitment to meeting the needs of employees with disabilities.
6. People of all cultures and backgrounds are valued and respected at this organisation.
7. I feel comfortable discussing my background, beliefs, and cultural experiences with my colleagues.
8. I am included in any business decisions that impact my work
9. The people I work with are respectful to one another
10. This organisation provides an environment for the free and open expression of ideas, opinions and beliefs.
11. Senior leadership are prepared to manage a diverse workforce.
12. I believe this organisation would take appropriate action if an instance of harassment or discrimination was reported.
13. Everyone has access to equal employment opportunities regardless of their differences.
14. I know how to report instances of harassment or discrimination
15. As part of this organisation, I feel I can achieve success as my authentic self.
16. My opinion is valued.
17. This organisation encourages a good balance between personal and work life.
18. At this organisation, there are career development opportunities for everyone regardless of differences.
19. Decisions about promotions are made fairly at this organisation.
20. This organisation values diverse opinions and ideas.
Whilst this is not an exhaustive list of questions, there are issues and discussions prompted by these questions such as accessibility provisions, response to harassment, and equal opportunities that are key markers of inclusion and should be continuously monitored by employers.
Ultimately, a survey is an authentic way to measure inclusion because Involving employees in the decisions that impact diversity in the place they work is one of the most effective ways to foster a truly inclusive environment.
To read more about the ways employers can proactively commit to diversity and inclusion, click here.