Bringing Metrics to the Unquantifiable: How to Measure Inclusion

How do you measure something unquanifiable like Inclusion? It needs to be a company wide conversation. And it’s an important one – If people don’t feel empowered to voice contrary opinions, how can you trust that they’ll speak up about potential business mistakes? How many great ideas might never get raised? How many people may lose enthusiasm for their day-to-day work?


The full article by Becky Cantieri, Chief People Officer at Survey Monkey can be read here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/diversity-and-inclusion-guide/


Diversity is easy to break down into metrics—hiring numbers, promotion statistics, demographics. But many companies neglect the “I” part of “D&I” and risk alienating and disempowering their employees. Hiring people from underrepresented groups isn’t enough—those new hires need to feel safe and respected, and they need to genuinely believe they can have a successful career path at your company. According to SurveyMonkey research, many don’t.


In July of 2018, SurveyMonkey partnered with Paradigm, a consulting firm that specializes in diversity and inclusion. Together, we created a survey template designed to investigate the many different layers of inclusion in the workplace. We used the template to survey 843 working Americans, and the results were telling:

  1. 44% of employees didn’t feel that they could express a contrary opinion at work without fearing negative consequences.
  2. 32% did not feel that their opinion was valued.
  3. 60% of employees say their compensation is fair relative to others at their company. But only 48% of Black workers agree with this statement.
  4. In every single case, the percentages were lower for people from the underrepresented communities that we checked for (women, Black, and Latinx.)


The business significance of these findings is profound. If employees are feeling stifled or disrespected, your retention will suffer and you may tarnish your chances to attract new hires. This type of environment will also affect your employees’ ability to perform—if people don’t feel empowered to voice contrary opinions, how can you trust that they’ll speak up about potential business mistakes? How many great ideas might never get raised? How many people may lose enthusiasm for their day-to-day work?


Many leaders have begun to argue that an inclusive culture is more impactful for retention than offering expensive perks. According to PR specialist Sarah Stoddard, of Glassdoor:


Employers need to work a little harder to find and retain talent. And when you boil it down to what employees are really looking for, it is traditional benefits with a strong company culture—one that really values employees.


The importance of inclusion is easy to understand, but the layers of company culture that make up “inclusion” aren’t. Unlike diversity, inclusion is heavily rooted in employees’ individual experiences—which aren’t easy to monitor or quantify. And perception of culture can differ dramatically from person to person. Leaders, for example, might see things differently than the people who work for them: Our research for Harvard Business Review found that 83% of executives think they encourage curiosity at work, but only 52% of employees agreed.


The only way to address inclusivity in your organization is to turn it into a company-wide conversation.

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