How to Measure Diversity and Inclusion Using Engagement Survey Data

How to Measure D&I with Engagement SurveyThere’s a lot on the line when trying to make sense of your D&I initiatives. Especially when 61% of employees think diversity and inclusion is important. And it can be overwhelming to try and gather more information from your employees.

But we’ve got good news! You don't have to start from scratch in order to measure diversity and inclusion.


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For some organizations, diversity and inclusion programs can seem big and complex. Many times, they look at overall favorability or average response but get stuck at the surface level differences in their employee engagement data. If you’re doing an employee engagement survey, you already have a lot of information right at your fingertips.

Here are three steps to help you break down your engagement survey data to better understand your diversity and inclusion efforts and tell a much bigger story.


Step 1: Look at your recent engagement survey results.


You don’t have to launch a new diversity or inclusion survey to start painting picture of D&I in your organization. Your employee engagement survey can help you understand the impact. Start here to discover where you are doing well and where you could improve. Here are some survey question examples that can help you measure diversity and inclusion.

  • The survey question: My opinions seem to count at work
  • What it tells you: Based on who I am I feel heard
  • The survey question: The people I work with treat each other with respect
  • What it tells you: Based on who I am I feel respected
  • The survey question: If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized
  • What it tells you: Based on who I am I feel valued

You can use engagement survey questions like these to see what’s happening big picture. But the best insights will surface when you take time to dig deeper. Consider diving into specific demographics like gender, age, race, and disability status. You have a lot of diversity metrics available if you are ready to take a people-first approach to your analytics. Your organization might not have a variety of demographics represented, but your employees are unique.


Step 2: Consider intersectionality.


Intersectionality is the theory of how different types of discrimination interact. As a human being, it matters not only what gender, age, and race we are, but all three of those things combined that influence our experience. When you are looking at your data, you might compare peer demographics. But it can be helpful if you combine demographics to gain further insights.

Take a look at a combination like position level by gender within your engagement survey data. Here you can look at your data and understand the diverse perceptions of female leaders, male leaders, female individual contributors, and male individual contributors. Likely, each intersection of individuals feels very different from the next. You might already have this data, but are you looking at it? If you are, what are you doing with it?


Step 3: Use your data to decide what to do next.


There should always be a purpose for your engagement survey. You shouldn’t look for answers you are trying to solve after you’ve collected your data. When launching an employee engagement survey, you should have an idea of what you are looking for beforehand. Once complete, analyze your survey at face value and always follow-up. Here are some next steps to consider when following up on your annual survey.


Launch a pulse survey about diversity and inclusion.

To gather more information about a topic like diversity and inclusion, you can use a pulse survey. Pulses are fast and easy surveys to find out more about a topic, from a particular group, at any time. These surveys dive deeper into employee opinions which can help you with your D&I efforts. Once you understand how a specific demographic is feeling, you can begin to understand how to improve.


Hold a focus group with employees.

The best way to understand how your employees are feeling is to ask them. Running an effective employee focus group can give you qualitative information to support your survey results. This allows your employees to further discuss trends in your data and provide context to specific topics. Your employees can help you uncover ways to improve and help you develop solutions.


Find ways to support your managers.

Managers are on the front-line of your engagement initiatives. When rolling out a new program, your managers can be your greatest advocates or your biggest roadblocks. Make sure you are providing them with the right training necessary to be effective. Their job is to connect and build relationships with their employees. Consider how they approach 1-on-1 conversations and be sure they understand how to avoid unconscious bias in performance reviews.



Putting an emphasis on D&I in your organization is worth it. Get our latest research, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace, to understand what it is, why it matters, and how to make it a priority.

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