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DEI Surveys: Measuring Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Workplace

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Live events are back! Okay, not entirely, but many places around the world are getting “back to normal,” and that means a return to live events. If this means you’re preparing to host your first live event or simply get back in the habit of it, this is one post you won’t want to miss. Today, we’re going to tell you why live events and audience polling are one combination you’ll wish you discovered long ago!

In 2021, you’ve been hearing the words diversity, equity, and inclusion in conjunction with one another more than ever before. And for good reason! It’s more important than ever for workplaces to get on board with creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s also an important factor in employee retention and satisfaction. With that in mind, we’re going to tell you about measuring these qualities with DEI surveys. 

Understanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We’ll get to our tips for creating DEI surveys in a moment. But let’s begin with definitions of each of these terms to make sure we’re on the same page about what these surveys are meant to measure. 

Independent Sector offers helpful definitions of each term using language from the D5 Coalition, Racial Equity Tools Glossary, and UC Berkeley:

Diversity

This “includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. Our definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values. We also recognize that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.”

Equity

Next, equity refers to “the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.”

Inclusion

Finally, inclusion means “the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. It’s important to note that while an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. Increasingly, recognition of unconscious or ‘implicit bias’ helps organizations to be deliberate about addressing issues of inclusivity.”

Using DEI Surveys

Now we know what DEI surveys are meant to measure. So, let’s go over a variety of uses for these surveys.

In addition to gauging how your employees feel about matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion, their feedback can be useful for a number of other purposes. Of course, the benchmark these surveys provide is valuable on its own. But when you can use the data to create an even more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace? Even better! 

For starters, if your organization is working on implementing a new DEI program, the data you collect from DEI surveys will be invaluable. It allows you to spot (and subsequently address) any potential vulnerabilities in your current program, or issues in your workplace. 

Additionally, if you already have a program in place or have recently implemented one, a DEI survey can help you determine how successful it is. This data lets you know what’s working, what’s not, and what you can do to improve. 

(Employee feedback, on DEI and a number of other topics, is always valuable. Click here to find out why) 

Tips for Creating DEI Surveys

Next, here are some tips for creating DEI surveys for your organization. 

  • Enable anonymity: Your employees should be given the opportunity to take part in these surveys without sharing their identity. This can increase their willingness to be open and honest. 
  • Use skip logic: With the help of skip logic, your employees can opt out of certain survey questions. Whether they simply don’t know what to answer or aren’t comfortable answering, this allows them to still take part in the rest of the survey. 
  • Let your team know why you’re conducting the survey: We mentioned the different uses for DEI surveys. It’s important to share the specific purpose for your own survey with your team right off the bat. When they know why you’re asking these questions, they can answer with your intentions in mind. It can also motivate them to answer more thoughtfully and comprehensively. 

Finally, it’s also important to share the results of these surveys with your team members. Not only is it helpful to share the actual responses with your employees but a number of other data points as well. Be sure to let them know survey participation rates, key findings, and also how this data compares to that of previous surveys. 

(Participation rates not where you hope? Learn about using survey incentives in this post)

Ready to start creating surveys for your own organization? Click here to learn about launching polls and surveys in just a few clicks!

 

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