One of the most difficult things in our line of work is differentiating between diversity and inclusion. Diversity is seen as easier because it typically involves measuring representation metrics. Inclusion is harder because you have to do something to be inclusive. Measuring a culture of inclusion is very similar to measuring great leadership. It's critically important and can be seen in how someone interacts with others—their behaviors, skills, and competencies.
What Does Inclusion "Look Like"?
From the beginning of our inclusion work we have asked, "What does it look like to create a culture of inclusion? What do I do? What are inclusion behaviors?" We asked those questions in our inclusion and diversity current state analyses (customized web-based surveys, focus groups, and interviews that we conducted with employees in client locations). We explored answers to questions like: "When do you feel most included?" "When do you feel most excluded?"
Interestingly enough, the same behaviors kept showing up over and over again. We were able to validate inclusion behaviors throughout the U.S. with over 300,000 cross-industry employees at all levels within their organizations. We realized, though, that the majority of our work had been within the U.S. We needed global validation.
Global Validation for Our Work
To gain that global perspective we partnered with the Cox Executive Education Department and Dr. Miguel Quińones to create the Global Inclusion Index™ (G2I) to measure inclusion behaviors in a global environment. Those behaviors were then cross-referenced with return on investment (ROI) questions (self-reported retention, engagement, productivity, and innovation questions. The G2I is use to establish a baseline of metrics on inclusion, by site or by business unit?Region, when conducted on an enterprise basis. Disparities between behavior importance and frequency, and also across specific groups, were identified as issue indicators.
Real Results: Yes, Inclusion Makes a Difference
Here are the stunning results of that work in terms of the positive impact that feeling included actually has:
- An increase of 25 percent in employee likelihood of being motivated by their jobs
- A reduction of 15 percent in the number of employees likely to leave within the next year
- An increase of 12 percent in likelihood of employees to share ideas and to think of ways to improve the workplace
- An increase of 5 percent in employees likely to report being productive
Inclusion matters in real, meaningful, and bottom-line impacting ways. How well are you creating an environment where your employees feel included?Related: Attention Venture Capitalists: Are Women and People of Color on Your Radar?