Take the pulse of your organization’s diversity and inclusion
It’s no secret that companies are recognizing the value of a diverse workforce and their responsibility to provide employees with an inclusive work environment.
But how can you know if your company is doing the right things to create a diverse and inclusive work environment, or if there’s room for immediate improvement?
An effective way of reviewing your current practices is to use an Inclusive Practices Index to assess your activities in the six key areas that have the greatest impact on inclusion in your organization.
By going through each of the practices in the index and honestly evaluating where your organization ranks, you can quickly identify areas that need improvement.
Inclusive Practices Index
TRIEC has created an Inclusive Practices Index, which outlines various practices that can form part of your diversity and inclusion work, in areas including recruitment, communication, leadership and employee development.
Businesses can use this checklist as a starting point to assess where they’re at on their diversity and inclusion journey. It can act both as a measurement tool, a catalyst for discussion, as well as a roadmap for your organization’s journey.
How does it work?
The index asks users to refer to a rating scale for each practice in order to paint a more honest and accurate picture of where the organization sits in its efforts.
Those that rank themselves lower on the scale (1 or 2) will see that their efforts need to be improved in those areas. Conversely, for practices that are ranked higher (3, 4 or 5), businesses can determine which areas are performing better and might not need as much focus.
TRIEC’s rating scale for assessing diversity and inclusion in the workplace is adapted from the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks (GDIB) as follows:
- Inactive: Very little or no work has begun in this area
- Reactive: Ad hoc activities or a compliance mindset (i.e. actions in this area are primarily the bare minimum of what is required to comply with relevant laws or social pressures). The organization only acts in response to situations as they arise
- Proactive: Intentional practices and actions that show a clear awareness of the value of diversity and inclusion, such as starting to proactively implement diversity and inclusion initiatives
- Progressive: Implementing diversity and inclusion systemically and tracking to see improved results and outcomes
- Best practice: Demonstrating current best practices in this aspect of diversity and inclusion and performing higher in this area than other comparable organizations
After reviewing the rating scale above, you can then proceed to review the statements from the checklist below and assign a numerical value for each (from 1 to 5). These questions should be answered honestly in order to paint a true picture of your organization.
- Our communications are clear, and free of jargon and unintended bias
- Internally, we highlight the benefits of aspects of diversity and having diverse talent within the organization
- Externally, we highlight the benefits of aspects of diversity and having diverse talent within the organization
- We have a clear and well-understood process for employees to communicate their concerns about diversity issues
- We engage in two-way communication with staff around diversity and inclusion
- We engage in two-way communication with external stakeholders, clients, customers, and/or suppliers
- We have intentional outreach and job posting in place to attract diverse applicants
- We have recruitment practices in place to remove barriers that may keep qualified individuals from applying or qualifying for positions
- Our recruiters and interviewers receive training on bias-awareness in recruitment, selection and hiring
- We have onboarding practices that are designed specifically to help create an inclusive and welcoming environment for new hires who will have a range of characteristics
- Our retention and development practices have been explicitly designed and implemented to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace
- All our employees have the opportunity to develop their skills both for their current position and longer-term growth
- We monitor the application of our inclusive recruitment and development practices and take corrective action where needed
Employee Development: Diversity and Inclusion
- We help all our employees to develop an understanding of why diversity and inclusion-related actions matter in their daily work and how they apply to them
- Our people management processes set out clear expectations regarding inclusive skills and behaviours
- We provide our employees with the support to develop their skills to work inclusively (e.g., intercultural competence)
Leadership and Accountability
- Leaders and board members view diversity and inclusion goals and objectives as an important part of their responsibilities
- Our senior leaders are accountable for implementing the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and reporting regularly (at least annually) on progress
- Our leaders demonstrate the competencies required for an inclusive workplace
- Our leaders are active change agents and role models for fostering an inclusive workplace
Organizational Support and Commitment
- We have policies in place to reduce barriers and foster a respectful workplace
- We have designated support for implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives/activities that is appropriate to the size and goals of our organization (e.g., staff with diversity and inclusion expertise and responsibility; budget and staff resources; diversity committee or council; employee networks).
- Diversity and inclusion progress and outcomes are regularly and systematically assessed and acted upon
- We have a strategy that clearly positions diversity and inclusion as a priority tied to our mission
- We review our systems, practices and organizational culture to eliminate unintended bias and reduce barriers to inclusion. Diversity and inclusion is defined broadly to include a wide range of characteristics
- Our diversity strategy includes specific objectives and performance indicators
Download TRIEC’s full Inclusive Practices Index here.
Assessing your organization
After assigning your organization a rating for each of the above questions, you’ll quickly be able to assess your inclusion practices quantitatively and get a picture of where you’re at. It is particularly effective if you ask a group of colleagues from various levels and departments to fill the index out on their own and then review and discuss it with them as a group. This will be a powerful starting point for making meaningful change.
Ready to improve your inclusion practices?
There are many useful resources on best practices in diversity and inclusion that can help you bring your organization up to a higher standard.
Check out the resources on TRIEC’s learning platform at trieclearning.ca.