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Metrics for measuring inclusion & belonging

As a followup to last week’s post about measuring inclusion, we wanted to dive a bit deeper into some important metrics you should consider tracking to build a more welcoming and supportive workplace for all employees. Inclusion, belonging, and even engagement can seem like nebulous and tricky concepts to measure, but as the saying goes, ‘what gets measured, gets managed’. The reverse is certainly true, so if we want to see legitimate progress on inclusion in our workplaces, we have to start by assessing where we are today, and setting concrete, measurable goals for where we want to go.

We’re going to focus on four key metrics in this post, but keep in mind that these may or may not be the right indicators for your organization. While the items below are pretty broad-based measures that should apply across most industries, a truly successful approach to inclusion and belonging will always be tailored specifically to your company. As we covered in our post last week, the best first step you can take towards making your company more inclusive is to talk to your employees. Armed with their input, consider tracking some version of the categories below to ensure your program is driving impact.

Engagement

Engagement is a critical measure that many companies already assess via annual or bi-annual surveys, as it has far-reaching effects on productivity and revenue. Ultimately though, if you’re not digging sufficiently into your data to determine how engagement varies across demographic groups, you’re missing 90% of the picture. Feeling included is a big factor in engagement, so while there are a number of reasons why engagement might vary, if you’re finding that underrepresented folx have significantly lower scores, exclusionary experiences may be partially to blame.

Retention

A significant piece of the puzzle as to why we haven’t been able to move the needle on building more diverse organizations is that while companies have made efforts to diversify their hires, many folx from underrepresented groups elect not to stay after coming onboard. If you examine your retention data and find that you’re losing folx from underrepresented groups at a higher rate than their peers with more prevalent identities, focus on designing your exit interviews to truly find out why. Odds are, exclusion and discrimination are contributors.

Happiness

Employee happiness is often viewed as unscientific, but the numbers don’t lie: ” One study found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. When it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 37%.” Measuring employee happiness as part of regular surveying efforts can help expose which segments of your workforce may be struggling with exclusion.

Inclusion & Belonging

Last but certainly not least, you can actually measure inclusion and belonging directly. Ask your employees to rate how strongly they agree with statements such as:

  • I feel like I belong at my company.
  • Perspectives like mine are included in decision-making.
  • I can voice honest feedback and be taken seriously without fear of backlash.

Do this regularly and monitor how changes to your programming correlate with changes to employee responses. As with the other metrics, be sure that you’re segmenting the data in order to surface all of the insights from different groups within your company.

Inclusion can be a difficult thing to influence, especially when your company may not have actively paid attention to it in the past. It can help to have a proven partner to align and guide your process. Workrowd automates ongoing surveys while also providing tailored recommendations and programming support to help you launch initiatives that actually drive change within your organization. If you’d like more information on the content of this post, or about Workrowd, reach out to us at hello@workrowd.com.