As organizations are witnessing the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, many organizations have come forward and taken up varied surveys, or initiatives in lines with diversity and inclusion. But it is also evident that not every organization is ready to deep dive and it is essential to understand where you are as an organization before planning any intervention.
For that very reason, to gauge the level of readiness of an organization in terms of diversity & inclusion there are certain questions or surveys that helps in understanding the readiness and planning the entire initiative basis the need of the hour.
At face level, sometimes organizations would like to believe they are diverse in nature and their practices are inclusive. But in reality, there could be a trouble in sustaining employees from diverse backgrounds due to varied reasons. In order to understand the actual scenario, it is essential to delve deep. For this, surveys will be handy, and they also give a perspective of the readiness of the employees and their expectations from the initiative.
It is not essential that these surveys need to be sent across as separate ones. These could be incorporated as part of the engagement surveys for instance.
Simple questions to start with would be:
- Do you feel a sense of belongingness with this organization? – Many research studies have found that for diversity and inclusion one factor that was crucial was belongingness. This is because belonging as a factor has been unfailingly a predictor of higher employee engagement and better diversity and inclusion standard.
- Do you feel safe to voice an opposite opinion without worry of dreadful outcomes? – It is well known act that diverse teams bring in better productivity but for that here should be an environment that promotes different opinions and ideas. This also indicates the level of psychological safety in the team – the environment to speak or put forth one’s ideas and suggestions without any apprehension about the consequences. Without the freedom to discuss, only having a highly diverse culture may not be effective for the organization.
- Do you feel involved in the decision-making process? – It is difficult to involve everyone in every decision-making process. But as long as employees feel there is equal representation of different people in the decision-making process they tend to commit more to the decisions. It is about including or hearing out varied perspectives and not about choosing or implementing my decision. The decision can be anything but was the process of decision-making fair is what will make the difference.
- Does the management or leadership team hear us out? – For any initiative to be a fruitful one, it is essential to get a buy-in from the top management. Thus, it is crucial to understand their level of readiness and hear out their opinions on diversity and inclusion. Once their buy-in is in place then it is easier to go ahead with the next steps.
These four questions help in understanding the need of the hour and provides a direction to the organization’s diversity and inclusion initiative.