New Survey Template Measures Employee Belonging, Inclusion

The template helps companies determine areas of focus to foster an inclusive workplace for underrepresented groups across race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and more.

A new survey template for companies to take a data-driven approach to measuring inclusion is being made available by SurveyMonkey in partnership with Paradigm Strategy Inc. Drawing on behavioral science, the Belonging & Inclusion template is designed to help companies determine areas of focus to foster an inclusive workplace for underrepresented groups across race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and more.

employee inclusion
(Credit: Digital Vision)

“For diversity and inclusion efforts to succeed, we must look beyond demographics and focus on creating an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive,” said Becky Cantieri, Chief People Officer, SurveyMonkey. “At SurveyMonkey, we are committed to creating a workplace where all employees have a true sense of belonging, and believe data is a valuable way to get us there. This is incredibly important for us as a company, and it’s equally important for us to pay it forward by sharing this template with the world.”

“You can’t change what you don’t measure,” said Joelle Emerson, CEO, Paradigm. “While a growing number of organizations have committed to analyzing and addressing diversity, there’s a common misconception that inclusion can’t be measured. It can. By measuring key factors like objectivity, voice, and belonging, organizations can get a clear sense of opportunities to build a more inclusive culture.”

Leveraging social science research from pioneers at Stanford University, including professors Carol Dweck, Greg Walton, and Geoffrey Cohen, SurveyMonkey and Paradigm collaborated on a set of measures to best assess an employee’s sense of inclusion in the workplace. After testing the methodology and survey questions with over 10,000 people employed in the U.S., the companies found three key areas that impact whether underrepresented groups feel included in the workplace.

  1. Growth Mindset: A growth mindset is the belief that people can evolve and learn, while a fixed mindset suggests talent, abilities, and intelligence are fixed. A company with a fixed mindset creates a “culture of genius,” or a workplace that views talent as critical to success, and where talent is either something you have, or you don’t have. In our findings, one in five employees (21 percent) said their company believes people have a certain amount of talent and they can’t do much to change it. The number is even greater for underrepresented groups – nearly three in 10 Black and Hispanic employees (28 percent versus 17 percent of white workers). The perception that success depends on special talents that can’t be learned can hinder feelings of belonging and growth.
  2. Belonging Uncertainty: Belonging uncertainty is the state of wondering whether others will include, value, and respect you. When an employee feels like they don’t belong it can be incredibly taxing. A quarter of workers feel like they don’t belong at their company, and that jumps to nearly one in three for black workers.
  3. Objectivity: Objectivity is the perception that advancement is based on fair and transparent criteria. While 60 percent of employees across the country say their compensation is fair relative to others at their company, less than half of black workers (48 percent) agree with that statement.

The questions in the Belonging & Inclusion template are designed to measure sentiment in these three areas. The survey template will be available as part of SurveyMonkey’s template library to help individuals and organizations capture the voices and opinions of employees, customers, and the market to drive positive change. SurveyMonkey’s library of over 200 templates includes employee surveys to help measure employee engagement and performance, satisfaction with benefits and compensation, and more.

“The benefits of a diverse workforce are clear, but are only realized if companies focus on retaining talent – our research found that people who anticipate staying at their company for the next two years are more than twice as likely to feel they belong than employees who plan to leave,” said Sarah Cho, Research Director, SurveyMonkey. “Having a way to measure sentiment is key in helping organizations to break down the divide about whether there are still significant obstacles facing racial and ethnic minorities and women, and to understand what is driving those employee experiences.”

“We have a shared love of using data to inspire action. Together we can help companies develop a better understanding of their specific barriers to inclusion. With these insights in hand, companies will be far better equipped to develop and execute strategies to address these barriers,” added Emerson, CEO, Paradigm.