While diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a term that is commonly thrown around among HR professionals in the corporate world, it is much more than a human resource program. Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that diversity and inclusion provide multiple benefits to organizations and the employees, which is why many experts believe it is a critical business strategy that every organization should implement.
On that end, a diversity and inclusion survey becomes essential for companies that wish to understand where they stand. Your diversity and inclusion survey questions, when properly formulated, help you gain in-depth insight into whether your company is making people from all backgrounds feeling accepted and welcomed, and whether they are receiving and fair opportunities without any discrimination.
Moreover, a diversity survey can help you uncover the many ways you can leverage your diverse workforce to your advantage while ensuring that your employees receive the benefits.
Today, the need for a diverse and inclusive workplace is more pertinent than ever. As our society becomes more connected, it is clear that organizations need to cater to different groups of people with varying backgrounds and accept the elements that make individuals different and unique from one another.
When the workplace becomes a hub of innovation where people from all backgrounds come together, misunderstandings and conflicts are bound to happen one way or another. It is much more likely that you will be able to find solutions quickly and efficiently when you have a company culture that respects diversity and inclusion, and your employees can respect each other and acknowledge other people’s differences.
What is diversity?
Diversity in the workplace refers to the practice of accepting, welcoming, understanding, and valuing the differences between people in regard to their cultural backgrounds, religion, race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, skill sets and experiences, disability, etc.
By allowing your employees to explore the various dimensions of their differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing professional environment, it is possible to create a conducive environment for inclusivity.
It is essential that an organization accurately reflects and represents the larger society in which it exists and operates. By running a diversity and inclusion survey, you gain an understanding of just how accepted, understood, and valued your employees of varying backgrounds feel, where your strengths and opportunities lie, and where you need to make improvements.
An interesting finding by Deloitte suggests revealed that there is a significant generational difference in the way diversity is perceived. For millennials, diversity in the workplace refers to organizations combining people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, and they believe that innovation can result from making the most of these differences.
On the other hand, older generations such as boomers and Gen Xers, believe that diversity in the workplace refers to the equal and fair representation irrespective of demographics. This also means that they don’t necessarily equate business results with the diversity of the workforce.
At TalenX, we help you grow a diverse workforce by using revolutionary industrial occupational psychology technology that removes biases and gives every candidate a fair chance.
What is inclusion?
Although the term “diversity and inclusion” is often used together and interchangeably, they are not the same. To create an environment where you can make the most out of each of these, you must understand the differences between them. Although it is often used in tandem with diversity, inclusion is actually a concept in itself.
Inclusion refers to the creation of a work environment that is positive, collaborative, respectful, supportive, and welcoming so that all employees can participate and contribute as much as they can to the success of the organization. All employees, regardless of their backgrounds, have equal access to the opportunities and resources the organization provides.
On top of this, the creation of an inclusive work culture will bring about many benefits for employee engagement and productivity. So, in other words, inclusion is the process of creating a work environment and culture where diversity can thrive. It brings together different elements of diversity and harnesses them in such a way that the organization, as well as the individual employees, receive the benefits.
Simply put, inclusion refers to the norms and culture of an organization that makes it possible for people of all backgrounds to come together so that the richness of experiences, perspectives, and consequently, ideas can be harnessed for the success of the company.
An inclusion survey can thus help you understand just how inclusive your organization is and whether employees feel that they have equal access to resources and opportunities.
Why are diversity and inclusion important?
Now that you understand what diversity and inclusion mean, it is not difficult to grasp why they are so important for the success of any business, regardless of which industry you may belong to and why running a diversity and inclusion survey is a must.
Firstly, diversity and inclusion pave the way for more creativity and innovation, owing to the range of people you have working in your company. Each of them brings their own unique experiences, beliefs, skill sets, and perspectives to the table – many of which you would have never thought of or considered had you not employed them.
Think about it. If you only have people from the same background who share the same experiences and beliefs, there is little to no room for the generation of new ideas.
Secondly, a diverse and inclusive workspace means a respectful and tolerant workspace where employees feel welcomed and valued. This results in loyalty to the organization, and employees are much more likely to align the organizational goals with their personal goals.
Such an environment is also conducive to fewer arguments and conflicts, and even if they do happen, they can be resolved quickly and peacefully because employees are mutually respectful and understanding of each other.
A workplace that does not subscribe to the ideals of diversity and inclusion can lead to the creation of a toxic and xenophobic environment where employees share unhealthy relationships with each other.
It is important for companies to understand that diversity in the workplace goes beyond just visible factors. The ideals should be embodied in the very structure and strategy of your business, and in the everyday decisions that you make.
You should also keep in mind that by including certain minority demographics, you are making an implicit promise that your organization is ready to have a conversation and take actions that will provide them with a disparate experience.
Top 10 diversity and inclusion questions
In the business world, you cannot change something unless you can measure it first. This applies to every aspect of a business – from your marketing efforts, lead conversion, sales, and more. A common misconception is that diversity and inclusion cannot be measured, when in fact, they can be.
A diversity and inclusion survey is a great way to gauge where your company currently stands on your journey of creating and more inclusive and diverse workspace. By carefully structuring your diversity survey questions, it is possible to extract important data from your employees. This data will then help you shine a light on a complex topic, allowing you to measure your performance on diversity and inclusion and what you can do better.
Thus, the insight into how and where different groups of employees are experiencing your company culture serves as a metric for diversity and inclusion.
Here are the 10 most important diversity and inclusion survey questions that your organization must include.
- This organization cultivates a culture where people of all backgrounds are welcomed and valued.
- I can freely express my ideas, opinions, and beliefs, and I feel heard.
- Inappropriate jokes on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disabilities are not tolerated in this organization.
- I feel that I can voice an opposing view or argument without fear or consequences.
- This organization always takes strict action against any kind of intolerance and/or discrimination.
- I am comfortable discussing my background and cultural experiences with my co-workers.
- I can approach my manager about any concern I may have regarding diversity and inclusion matters, and they will handle it appropriately.
- This organization demonstrates a strong commitment to meeting the needs of employees with disabilities.
- This organization publicly expresses and communicates its goals and strategies for diversity and inclusion.
- This organization always informs me about how diverse our employees, management, and leadership teams are.
Diversity and inclusion is an essential commitment that every modern-day business needs to make. Today, it is more than just an HR buzzword that is passed around. It has become a critical component of every successful business strategy and an important factor in the fight towards creating a more respectful, tolerant, understanding, and supportive society.
With a well-developed diversity survey, you can be confident that you will have the data you need to better understand a complex topic that could lead to business-changing results.
At TalenX, we understand just how essential it is to not just build a diverse workforce, but also ensure that the right people are recruited for the right jobs. We can make that happen. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.