How to measure inclusion in your company

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How to measure inclusion in your company

For several years, companies have been stepping up their efforts in terms of diversity and inclusion policies. Improved working conditions, better performance, employee commitment... The benefits are numerous! 

Yet companies find it difficult to measure the impact of their efforts. In this article, we will look at some good practices for measuring inclusion in your company. 

Why measure inclusion?

Often confused with diversity, inclusion offers companies great prospects for performance. 

Inclusion and diversity: two distinct but complementary concepts

Diversity is the representation of a multitude of different profiles within a group: age, gender, social origin, ethnic origin, disability, etc. Differences can be both visible and invisible. 

Inclusion, however, is a sense of belonging, where everyone feels they belong and are free to express themselves in a climate of psychological safety. It is the exact opposite of discrimination. 

It can be summarised as follows: diversity is a recruitment issue, residing in the choice of profiles present in the company. Inclusion, on the other hand, is a matter of management and corporate culture, which must be taken into account from the moment the employee arrives in the company until they leave. 

"Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being invited to dance." Verna Myers, author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing

A company can choose to recruit very different employee profiles without being inclusive on a daily basis. Examples: 

  • In a team with many women, they suffer from a lack of consideration and feel they cannot progress in their careers the same way as men. 
  • The company's profiles are clearly diverse in age, ethnicity, and social background, but some employees feel obliged to hide elements of their personal lives in order to feel respected.

To ensure a healthy and caring environment for all employees, inclusion must be included in the corporate culture, along with diversity

Fostering inclusion and diversity leads to greater productivity

In addition to complying with the law (a company that discriminates in hiring can be fined up to €225,000), policies in favour of diversity and inclusion have the advantage of making the company more efficient

According to the BCG study "Inclusive Cultures Have Healthier and Happier Workers", companies with above-average diversity in their leadership teams are 19% more innovative than others and have Ebit margins 9 percentage points higher than companies with less diverse teams.

These differences can be explained in two ways: 

  • Diversity in a company means hiring employees according to their skills and not their level of education, social background, professional network, etc. This way, the company only recruits the best profiles on the market and ultimately builds a high-performance team. 
  • Inclusion fosters team cohesion and enhances the value of everyone's ideas. By integrating each employee, the company will keep retention rates high while continuously innovating, while reducing the costs associated with turnover.  

However, despite these now well-documented advantages, French companies still have progress to make in terms of diversity and inclusion. According to an IFOP study published in 2021 and reported by Le Monde, "job applicants whose identity suggests North African origin are 31.5% less likely to be contacted by recruiters than those with a first and last name of French origin".

Also, despite recent progress, the gender pay gap is still a problem:

"1 in 2 women leave tech after 8 years of experience because of discrimination, particularly in terms of pay", says Caroline Ramade, CEO of 50inTech.

Measuring inclusiveness through employee feedback

Unlike diversity which is easily quantifiable, inclusion is difficult to measure because it is intangible. To identify your shortcomings and improve, regularly asking for feedback from your employees is essential. 

The value of an inclusion-specific survey

Your company may already conduct an annual employee satisfaction survey. However, there is a need for another approach to measuring inclusiveness in your company. It should be : 

  • Regular: In an ever-changing work environment, you need to take the pulse of your organisation's inclusion frequently. Rather than lengthy surveys, focus on quick surveys. Tools such as OfficeVibe or TINYpulse can help you collect feedback in an automated way.  
  • Universal: To get a good sense of how your employees feel, ask the same questions to everyone, regardless of their department or seniority level. This way, you measure the same data across your entire organisation. 

Ask the right questions

To measure inclusion in your company, it is not enough to ask employees whether they feel sufficiently taken into account. 

Indeed, everyone has their own definition of inclusion, especially as it can cover a wide range of criteria from one person to another. In its Inclusion Index, Gartner proposes seven dimensions that employers can take into account when creating their inclusion questionnaire:

  • Equal treatment: Employees of my company are rewarded and recognised fairly for their work.
  • Taking into account disparities: They respect and value each other's opinions.
  • Decision-making: Before making a decision, they take everyone's ideas and suggestions into account in the same way.
  • Feeling of psychological safety: They feel free to express their opinions and ideas at work.
  • Trust in the company: Management's communication with employees is transparent and open.
  • Sense of belonging: Employees take care of each other. 
  • Diversity of profiles: The profiles of the employees are diverse, from management to operational teams.

The more your employees agree with the above statements, the more inclusive your company is. These areas and definitions can form the basis for your inclusion questionnaire. It will then be easier for you to identify your areas of improvement and gaps in order to take concrete action on the inclusion of your company. 

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