What Diversity-Management Questions Should Be on Employee Surveys?

Diversity-management questions on employee surveys are a key way to gain critical feedback. What questions deliver results?

Photo by Shutterstock


Photo by Shutterstock

Question on diversity management: We're looking to post employee polling questions on our diversity and inclusion website. Do you have tested questions that might be probing and relevant to our company?

Answer: Diversity-management questions on employee surveys are a key way to gain critical feedback on the impact of your company's diversity initiatives. All of the DiversityInc Top 50 companies include questions specific to diversity in their employee surveys. These questions also serve to increase knowledge of engagement and awareness.

The DiversityInc Top 50 companies also use these questions to drive specific diversity-management results, such as increasing participation in mentoring and resource-group programs.

Take Sodexo, No. 2 in The 2012 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity. The company uses employee-engagement surveys to measure the effectiveness of its IMPACT cross-cultural mentoring program. Participants are polled twice throughout the one-year program—at the midway mark and at the end. Questions are designed around engagement, job satisfaction, performance and retention.

Results showed that the top three intangible benefits of the IMPACT mentoring program for mentees and mentors were increased communications, job satisfaction and organizational commitment. More than three-quarters of each group attested that the program increased their desire to stay with the company. Sodexo also uses results from the surveys to constantly refine its mentoring programs. For more about Sodexo's mentoring program and results from its employee-engagement surveys,  read Mentoring Roundtable: How Mentoring Improves Retention, Engagement & Promotions. Also watch our mentoring web seminar.

For one DiversityInc Top 50 company, diversity surveys increase awareness of and participation in its resource groups. This company surveyed employees in its resource groups and those not in its resource groups. On a year-to-year basis, employee engagement increased considerably more for those in resource groups.

Start by creating specific questions to gauge the effectiveness of your diversity-management programs, such as mentoring, resource groups and diversity training. Asking questions around the importance of those programs to one's career development is critical. For mentoring, you want to focus on the relationship between mentor and mentee and if the programs are easily accessible. Finally, look to gain perspective from employees on whether the mentoring or resource-group programs are effective in recruiting, advancing and retaining talent at the company.

Ask DiversityInc is a forum for companies to pose diversity-management questions to our expert team of benchmarking analysts. Our analysts base their responses on 12 years of data collected for The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity survey. If you have a question, please email us at askDiversityInc@DiversityInc.com

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