Blog > inclusion policies

How inclusive is your organisation?

How inclusive is your organisation?

Inclusion in practice

According to psychological theories, people evaluate their social environment to determine how they "fit." Workplace inclusion occurs when individuals feel respected and included in their group and the larger organisation without feeling pressured to fit in.

No matter their circumstances or background, employees are supported by inclusive organisations to succeed at work. They must do this by putting procedures in place to remove obstacles to inclusion and, most importantly, by valuing diversity.

Organizations that want to be more inclusive must be aware of the situation in their industry, highlight good work, and respond to complaints.

Assessing inclusion

Whilst diversity and inclusion often go hand in hand, inclusion is different to diversity, so it requires separate measurement. To get an accurate picture of workplace inclusion, organisations need to think about employee perceptions of inclusion, as well as evaluating people management practices and line management capability.

Here are some approaches we suggest organisations take to comprehensively measure inclusion:

  • Create a bespoke survey to collect inclusion data, measuring individual-level perceptions of inclusion at multiple levels. 

  • Add inclusion questions to existing organisational surveys on key areas of inclusion.

  • Make use of existing data, such as culture and engagement surveys, which may already touch on practices related to inclusion.

  • Run focus groups or employee feedback sessions to get an employee view on practices, policies and organisational norms.

  • Analyse existing workforce data to uncover barriers to inclusion. For example, compare promotion rates between demographic groups or 360-degree feedback data to understand employee and line manager behaviours related to inclusion.

Taking action to build inclusive workplaces

Being more inclusive benefits both employees and employers because research has shown a correlation between it and increased employee satisfaction, increased creativity, and decreased absenteeism. To achieve this, organisations must implement focused D&I strategies and acknowledge that inclusion affects every employee in the company. In fact, according to research, there are five areas where action is required:

  1. employee behaviour
  2. line manager capability
  3. senior leadership
  4. policies and wider people management practices
  5. organisational culture, climate and values.

Additionally, organisations must take a broader perspective; inclusion entails more than just "including" diversity; it also entails valuing each individual's experience, work, and perspective while fostering a supportive environment.

Utilizing the knowledge and viewpoints of every employee will only improve decision-making and customer understanding, both of which are essential for businesses to survive and innovate in the long run.

Whichever approach you take, make sure you:

  • clearly communicate why the data is being collected, and what action will be taken off the back of it

  • ensure there are multiple ways to provide feedback (online or through another mechanism if employees don’t have access to work devices)

  • use the data to guide action, identifying the barriers to inclusion in your organisation, and how they can be tackled.