Tips for building DEI surveys image featuring Michael Ogunsanya

Strategies for DEI Surveys that Drive Real Change

For companies to implement effective DEI strategies, starting with a data-driven, employee-centric DEI survey is key. With the right survey, you'll get fast, concise employee feedback that can help you make better decisions about your DEI strategy.

Successful surveys are dependent on the right questions. If questions don't yield useful data, then their inclusion is a waste of time and resources.

Quality DEI surveys aim to collect demographic and lived experience results - without asking too many questions. If a survey goes on for too long, the respondent may lose interest and neglect to finish it. To avoid this from happening, try to keep your DEI survey short and simple!

When creating a DEI survey, make sure you ask the right questions. Here is our short guide to developing a DEI survey that performs excellently across your organization:

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1. Don't Forget Inclusion

When developing your DEI survey, don't forget to ask about inclusion. Many surveys are built around the concepts of diversity and equity, which can be summed up as the acknowledgment, celebration, and respect for individual differences. Inclusion is a part of this concept. 

Simply put, inclusion is the idea that every member of your organization should feel welcomed and have equal opportunities to succeed.

To encourage inclusion in your company, make sure you survey all members about their experiences with diversity and equity. This will help you understand your organization's actions to create a more inclusive environment.

2. Offer a Variety of DEI Surveys Styles

It's important to offer a variety of DEI survey styles, including multiple-choice questions and open-ended responses.

For example, when surveying your employees about their experiences with inclusion, you can create two separate questionnaires - one that asks for written feedback in the comment section and another that asks participants to select from options given in response to the question.

This type of variety will allow you to get different types of data from your employees, which is especially important if you want to generate actionable insights that can be used to improve diversity and equity strategies in the workplace.

3. Avoid Alienating Employees in Your Survey

Your DEI survey should be an experience that encourages employees to speak openly and honestly - even if they have negative things to say about your company's diversity and inclusion initiatives.

If you only ask questions about the good experiences of your employees, you risk alienating those who may want to voice their displeasure with your current policies or actions around diversity and inclusion.

4. Be Careful with Labels

In the past, DEI surveys have been criticized for including labels that may not represent everyone equally. For example, some people don't identify as either "male" or "female."

When creating your survey, avoid questions and options that involve the use of labels. Instead, try to keep your questions focused on the lived experience of your employees.

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5. Keep your DEI Surveys Anonymous

While many would agree that keeping surveys anonymous is the right step, many organizations fail to keep anonymity when announcing results or offering feedback.

When including the data in your reports, avoid attaching specific names or identifying information. This will allow you to keep anonymity while still communicating valuable results back to each employee.

6. Communicate the Goals of Your DEI Survey

Before you launch your DEI surveys, it's essential to communicate the goals of the project to both employees and stakeholders. By keeping everyone on board with your ideas beforehand, you can guarantee that surveys will be given more attention and completed by staff members who are truly invested in sharing their thoughts for improvement.

7. Consider Using Scaled Questions

Scaled questions are helpful for getting more detailed information from your employees. When asking multiple-choice or open-ended questions, you can provide a scale on the side of the survey that allows individuals to rank how strongly they agree or disagree with each statement.

When using scaled questions in your DEI surveys, make sure you analyze responses by looking at the individual results instead of creating blanket statements about the entire group.

8. Ask Open-Ended Questions about DEI Initiatives

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.

9. Don't Be Afraid of Negative Responses

It's important to remember that not every response you get will be positive, especially when asking about issues relating to diversity and inclusion.

When sharing the results of your DEI surveys with managers and other leaders, avoid focusing too heavily on the positive responses. This will ensure that you're getting all types of feedback and that negative and positive ideas are considered.

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Implement DEI Surveys Strategically for Real Results

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion surveys will set you on a path towards creating an inclusive and productive workplace.

Before you implement DEI surveys on your own, consider partnering with MindStand Technologies. At MindStand, we will help you get the most out of every survey while still ensuring that each voice is heard and understood. Combining effective surveys with data-driven reporting gives managers and employees alike a complete picture of your team's experiences.

To learn more about our data-driven DEI technologies, contact MindStand today!

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