A Leader’s Guide to Measuring Workplace InclusionBy Courtney Godfrey, Client Experience Leader
Diversity, equality, inclusion. Words that have been buzzing around now more than ever. Not only do these words elicit feelings and experiences that are as diverse as the people feeling them, but there is actually a business case for their importance in our organizations. According to a recent McKinsey report, the greater the diversity within organizations the higher the likelihood of increasing financial performance, up to 36% more.
If you recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion from both a betterment of humanity and business perspective, how do you actually know how your organization is measuring in these areas? And better yet, how do you set clear goals to improve? Diversity is arguably more tangible to measure – race, gender, socioeconomic background – and most organizations have a structure in place to quantify this. But how do organizations measure inclusion? For many, this can feel overwhelming and intangible.
Inclusion, defined as “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure,” is felt due to a sum of behaviors and actions surrounding said group or structure. And just like improving your organization’s culture, there are key behaviors and actions leaders can take to ensure inclusion is seen and felt.
One of the ways you can assess inclusive behaviors is to lean into conversations with your team. Recognizing your role as a leader is to create the environment in which each person feels safe and inspired to share their contributions, and as a leader, you get to go first and model this with your teams. To consider the actions you can take at work today, we’ve created a Caring Conversation Guide to walk you through opportunities to build trust, listen to your team, and create more inclusive spaces.
While committing to improving these one on one and team relationships through conversations, there is also an opportunity to gain clear and measurable insight into inclusivity at work. From academic and industry experience, here are some examples of survey questions asked to understand your current state of inclusion and identify significant opportunities for change:
- Do members of this organization actively seek to develop relationships with others who are different from them?
- Are decisions made independent of bias or favoritism?
- Do I feel I can share my opinion without fear of negative consequences?
- Can I be my authentic self at work?
Once you gain a baseline understanding through conversations and/or a survey, the next step is taking action. In a time where changes are spinning around you, you do have control of these things: showing up and committing to asking challenging questions, acknowledging where change is needed, and taking actionable steps to do so.