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Best Practices to Implement DEI Surveys Effectively

When seeking to build Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity policies and expectations for your organization, it is critical to begin with the right data.

Simply pushing through a policy change that doesn't consider employee feedback is unlikely to yield positive results. A lack of communication or advertising related to the policy can create an air of distrust and resentment within your team.

DEI surveys are the first step to help you understand your organization's culture and its problems.

As with most things, preparation is key. Before diving into the world of DEI surveys, certain best practices can assist in a successful implementation. As you prepare to develop your DEI survey, here are best practices to help you move forward effectively:

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Don’t Exclude White Individuals From Your DEI Surveys

In an effort to elevate minority voices, don't make the mistake of excluding white individuals from your DEI surveys.

While this tactic may increase the response rate from under-represented groups, it eliminates a key demographic of your organization who may be able to offer valuable insight and feedback on DEI.

Take the necessary steps to ensure that white individuals feel included and valued in this process.

Understand Those Who Set The Tone Organizationally

Before creating your DEI survey, it's critical to understand the specific individuals who set the tone for equality and inclusivity within your organization. Is there a particular individual who sets an example of how diversity should be embraced? Chances are, you may not know.

To discover these influencers, ask yourself: Who is leading by example within your organization? If you're unclear, it's time to do some reconnaissance.

The organizational leaders who hold themselves up to their own standards and expectations are more likely to proactively implement DEI policies and lead the way in terms of equality and inclusivity. Although it can be uncomfortable, get to know your leader's views on diversity by simply asking them.

Allow Leaders To Drive Change In Your Organization

Not only should you gain an understanding of organizational tone-setters, but you should then empower those individuals or teams to drive change in your organization.

This tactic aims to allow leaders who are passionate about diversity to drive the conversation and lead the way in terms of equality. This strategy is more likely to help you avoid bureaucracy or stagnation when it comes to implementing DEI.

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Listen To Your Audience When Building Surveys

While leaning on institutional leaders is critical, don't forget to listen to your ultimate audience - your employees.

After all, your employees are the ones tasked with living out these policies every day. When creating DEI surveys, take time to ask employees what would make their work lives easier and more inclusive. It's also critical not to assume that you know best -- so get out there and listen!

Make A Plan

The DEI survey is your first step to creating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Don't jump the gun just because you have an idea for a policy. Take time to create an action plan that includes specific goals, timelines, and measurable results.

This helps to ensure accountability throughout the entire process while also ensuring you've taken the necessary steps to engage your employees.

Make Sure To Ask The Right Questions

When creating DEI surveys, it's important not to ask leading questions or ones that will unintentionally skew results.

Many organizations make the mistake of only asking questions pertaining to race, gender, and sexual orientation. However, it is critical to assess all areas of diversity including disabilities, veterans status, spiritual beliefs, socio-economic standing, and more.

By focusing on these specific groups and gauging their experiences in the workplace through DEI surveys, organizations can begin to successfully move the needle toward a culture of equality and inclusion.

Don't Forget To Add Context to Your DEI Surveys

Be transparent and add context to your DEI survey questions. Without the proper context, answers might not make a ton of sense.

Make sure to provide employees with examples that help them identify discrimination, harassment, and microaggressions - which are all an inevitable reality in today's workforce.

This is key for ensuring that employees understand how to answer the questions posed in the DEI survey.

Michael Ogunsanya standing in front of a screen with the MindStand logo

Are Your DEI Surveys Creating Less Diversity and Inclusion?

The success of a DEI process within an organization rises and falls on the design of the DEI survey. If your surveys don't give you the most accurate read on your employees' experiences, you will never be able to achieve equality in the workplace.

Start with asking the right questions, setting timelines for implementation with measurable results, and allowing organizational leaders to drive change themselves. With these steps in mind, your organization is well on its way to developing a successful, meaningful DEI process.

At MindStand Technologies, our team of data-driven DEI experts has created methods to help you gather data on your organization's demographics, philosophy, and workforce while also providing you with actionable steps to create an inclusive culture.

MindStand Technologies is a global leader in delivering diversity and inclusion solutions within the workforce. We leverage our leading-edge technology and data science expertise to deliver deep insights into your company's demographics so that you can implement data-driven DEI processes.

For more information about MindStand, visit us online and schedule a consultation to learn how our technology can help your organization reach new heights in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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