The world of work is complicated, but we don’t have to navigate it alone. As someone who is incredibly passionate about helping people feel more fulfilled by their work and helping create better workplaces, I am launching this advice column to share my knowledge with the community.
I am an organizational psychologist, president of QuestionPro Workforce, a podcaster, a mom of an amazing 4-year-old. Ask me anything work related and I will draw on all my experience to give you the best advice I know.
Question: I want to put more energy behind our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. We have asked some basic questions on annual surveys so far, but have not taken much action on it. I am so excited about getting going, but it also feels like a really big undertaking. What should I keep in mind as I get started?
I’m so glad that you are putting more energy into D&I in your organization! Here are several recommendations I would make as you get started.
- If you are looking to narrow down which part of the employee lifecycle to focus on, we found that retention is usually the biggest challenge for organizations when it comes to D&I, more so than recruiting. If you have some relevant existing data you can check if this applies to your organization as well, but if you don’t have clear data on this yet, retention related questions are a good place to start.
- Focus on asking questions that you feel like you can take immediate action on. Especially if this is your first opportunity for a more thorough D&I survey you might be tempted to ask a lot of questions, but your colleagues will expect actions for the areas they were asked input on, so the more focused the better. Also, staying concise will help make sure you get a greater survey completion rate.
- Measure your baseline, but tailor the wording more to ask more “how satisfied are you with XYZ” vs “how are we performing on XYZ.” Most leaders on your part of the journey don’t want to be asked about how they are performing as it’s not quite fair to be “evaluated” on something you have not focused on improving yet.
- Ask more questions about an individual’s personal experience rather than their perception of the organization overall. Questions like “I feel comfortable sharing my opinions in meetings” can be more useful than “Our culture allows everyone to voice their opinions in meetings.”
Of course there is a lot to consider when starting any survey project, especially something as big and important as D&I. I hope this helps get you going, and if you have any follow-up questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.