Responsible for building a D&I strategy? Want to create a culture of inclusion? Wondering why your diversity initiatives fail, and your ‘diverse hires’ leave? Addressing all those points starts with an assessment of D&I in your organisation right now. This article will explain why a DEI survey is the best first step, whatever your D&I goals.
Diversity audit questions or inclusion questionnaire: what do you want to know?First things first, when it comes to running an employee survey: what do you actually want to know? Are you only measuring demographic numbers – the number of LGBTQ+ employees, for examples – or do you want to understand inclusion levels? The most useful DEI employee survey will effectively do both, allowing you to see ‘inclusion scores’ from different groups of people. That means you can identify any problem areas, and work on improving things generally. What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion? Diversity is the goal, inclusion is the method. In other words: you could have the most culturally and socially diverse workforce in the world, but it doesn’t mean everyone feels included. And if certain groups don’t feel included, they’ll leave. That means your organisation won’t be ‘diverse’ for long.
A DEIIt’s a sensitive topic, inclusion. You can ask people for honest feedback on whether they feel safe and accepted but if they don’t, would they feel able to tell you? That’s one reason you should allow anonymous answers. Using a generic survey link reassures people that their answers won’t be matched back to them using your employee database. Within the survey, you can still collect the demographic data you need – such as ethnicity, sex, and sexual orientation – but in a way that doesn’t expose anyone. should allow anonymous answers: how will you handle this?
Inclusion survey questions: what will motivate your employees to answer honestly?Even if you do use an anonymous survey, how can you make sure people respond honestly? That all comes down to building trust, and there are two ways to accomplish this:
- Survey communications
- Acting on the results
If you’re sending a D&I survey, what questions should you ask? It can be hard to get sign-off – which is why we’ve created a research-led question set for you – but here are some handy dos and don’ts: Don’t…
- Ask only yes/no or closed-text questions: inclusion is about feelings. Quantitative measures are helpful to set a benchmark, but aren’t enough to give you the full story.
- Demand identifiable details without reassurance: you want demographic information to get a real understanding of inclusion, but consider how much detail you need – and how it’s requested.
- Include too many questions asking for advice: employees from minority groups often report feeling pressure to fix inclusion issues themselves, so don’t expect them to have all the answers.
- Ask open-text questions to gather experiences: to get a full measure of how inclusive your workplace is, ask for written feedback too – this adds context and meaning.
- Focus on multiple areas of inclusion: inclusion is complex, and made up of various aspects – from a sense of ‘belonging’ to ‘safety’. Be mindful of covering all your bases.
- Include questions about coworkers and leadership: don’t assume that your leadership team isn’t potentially causing inclusion issues – ask questions about experiences with them too.