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How to Measure Inclusion in the Workplace




While organizations increasingly see programming and trainings that foster inclusion as important tools for maximizing recruitment, retention, and productivity, many find it challenging to gain initial traction, while others struggle to measure impact. Having a clear sense of how your organization plans to measure inclusion is a necessary first step toward building, not just a strong DEI program, but an inclusive culture. 

Why Is It Important to Measure Inclusion?

What gets measured gets noticed, according to Dr. Taylor Peyton, BiasSync’s senior organizational psychologist. While many organizations are diligent about tracking quantitative business data, it is also important to measure the “people side” – voice, psychological safety, and other human-focused aspects that lead to building culture. This helps build accountability and ownership of the company mission.

If organizations are not measuring inclusion levels, they risk investing on the wrong pieces of the puzzle, slowing progress, adding expense, and lowering morale.

Companies that fail to explicitly measure levels of inclusion may not know how low their inclusion levels are – and run the risk of missing out on the benefits of an inclusive culture. Additionally, companies that make diverse hires without supporting and measuring inclusion alongside these efforts are more likely to be perceived as performative rather than authentically invested in their DEIA efforts. Without metrics, it is especially difficult to build and maintain buy-in so companies that do not measure inclusion run the very real risk of losing resources to support their initiatives.

How Can You Measure Inclusion in the Workplace?

Using employee feedback and scientifically-validated surveys and assessments helps to set a baseline and propel organizational leaders to take action. Forward-looking organizations should take employee personal experience and perception about the organization into consideration, while being careful to measure inclusion separately from other elements of DEI, such as equity.

Survey questions should be designed to be qualitatively useful, and triangulate information. This is why Dr. Crystal Miller, BiasSync’s Chief Learning Officer and Organizational Strategist, recommends building multiple layers of analysis into the assessment tools.

Inclusivity assessments should be science-based and statistically valid and focus on analyzing developmental phases instead of benchmarks.

For organizations that do not have sophisticated assessment design capabilities in-house, it can be helpful to outsource this function – however choosing the right individual or tool is critical. In addition to expertise in psychometrics, survey design, and test-validation, inclusion assessments are best designed by content experts in the DEIA space. Too often, organizations deploy assessments that miss the mark either on scientific validation or miss the nuances specific to the DEIA space, rendering the entire process useless.

The best solutions provide the right kind of meaningful insights and are built by experts in the fields of industrial or organizational psychology with deep knowledge of statistics and social science. The most effective measures of inclusion are also built by experts who emphasize survey design and methodology research. These solutions differentiate between inclusion and other DEIA elements, such as organizational equity. And, since inclusion involves the relationship – and distinction – of constructs related to beliefs, values, and behavior, it is also important to select assessments designed by experts who have strong experience in quantitative and mixed methodologies. When selecting a vendor, be sure to ask questions regarding assessment methodology and architecture – as well as the science underpinning the solution’s approach and the actionability of results.

What are Common Pitfalls when Inclusion is Measured in Organizations?

Frequently obstacles in measuring organizational inclusion include delays in implementing action plans, looking only at hotspots and not the entire organization, failing to share survey results and action plans with stakeholders, and confusing the presence of diverse employees with the existence of an inclusive work environment. Another frequently observed issue is when leaders who don’t have the right professional experience request to change assessment questions, or individuals without a background in organizational psychology are tasked with writing the questions. At other times, people developing the surveys might not understand the importance of certain issues.

How Can BiasSync Help?

BiasSync helps organizations address the barriers to equity and inclusion at the root, with specific, ready-to-deploy tools designed by organizational Ph.D.s that measure inclusion in the workplace.  All BiasSync tools are designed from scientifically validated components. BiasSync’s behavior change platform goes beyond measurement to help organizations foster inclusion and build more fair and respectful workplaces. Our assessment information can be triangulated against proprietary unconscious bias assessments for more targeted, focused DEIA recommendations and strategies.

By partnering with BiasSync, people in a given company can feel safe voicing their concerns and seeing concrete results. As Dr. Miller puts it, “BiasSync is not a training organization; it is a behavior-changing organization. It helps companies to understand how they need transformation and provides the transparency to achieve it.”

If you are interested in learning more about BiasSync, we encourage you to contact our team. For more information on conscious inclusion in the workplace, we encourage you to watch the webinar or join us for one of our upcoming expert-led virtual conversations.

Updated: 01/2023

Not just diversity. Inclusion.

Diversity is not just about numbers. It’s about people’s experiences in the workplace. If you’re ready to understand how bias impacts your company—with data to make effective changes, contact us now.