DEI Survey Questions To Ask (Complete Guide)

Welcome to the essential guide on DEI survey questions. In today’s workplace, understanding and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential and necessary. DEI surveys are powerful tools in this journey, offering insights into how diverse and inclusive your organization is. 

They are the starting point for meaningful change, providing every employee a voice and helping pinpoint areas that need attention.

Whether you’re a seasoned HR professional or just starting to explore DEI, this guide will help you navigate the complexities of creating a DEI survey that genuinely makes a difference.

Remember, it’s not just about asking questions; it’s about asking the right questions.

What is a DEI survey?

A DEI survey is an essential tool in the modern organizational toolkit. At its core, it’s designed to assess and analyze the diversity, equity, and inclusion levels within a workplace. Think of it as a health check-up for your company’s culture and practices.

The Importance of the DEI survey

The significance of DEI surveys in today’s work environment cannot be overstated. They are instrumental in shaping a workplace that is not just diverse but also equitable and inclusive.

  • Uncovering realities: DEI surveys bring to light the experiences & perceptions of employees, offering valuable insights that might otherwise go unnoticed. This aspect is crucial, as studies show that diverse companies are more likely to be profitable, with those having diverse management teams seeing 19% higher revenue.
  • Driving change: The feedback from DEI surveys is vital for initiating change. It helps identify areas where the organization is performing well & those that require improvement. For instance, these surveys can highlight issues like unequal representation in leadership roles, as currently, only 1 in 4 C-suite leaders is a woman, & just 5% of these are women of color.
  • Enhancing employee engagement: When employees see that their opinions are sought and valued through these surveys, it boosts their engagement & sense of belonging. This is particularly important considering that, as per Gallup, DEI initiatives should focus on progress, not perfection, & ensure every voice is heard & respected.

6 Questions to ask in a DEI survey

When constructing a DEI survey, asking questions that delve into various aspects of the workplace environment is essential. Here’s a list of critical questions that can provide valuable insights:

  1. Representation in leadership:
    • “How would you rate the diversity of our leadership team in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, & other backgrounds?”

This question helps gauge perceptions of diversity at higher levels of the organization.

  1. Opportunities for growth & advancement:
    • “Do you feel that all employees have equal access to opportunities for professional growth & promotion within our company?”

This question addresses the fairness in career advancement opportunities.

  1. Inclusivity in the workplace:
    • “On a scale of 1-10, how included & valued do you feel within your team & the organization?”

This question assesses the level of inclusivity & belonging felt by employees.

  1. Work-Life balance & flexibility:
    • “Does our organization’s policy on work flexibility meet your individual needs?”

This seeks feedback on the organization’s support for work-life balance & flexible working arrangements.

  1. Safety & comfort in the workplace:
    • “Do you feel safe & respected in our workplace, free from harassment & discrimination?”

This question is critical for understanding employees’ safety & comfort levels at work.

  1. Perceptions of DEI initiatives:
    • “How effective do you believe our DEI initiatives are in creating a more diverse, equitable, & inclusive workplace?”

This aims to gather opinions on the effectiveness of current DEI efforts.

By carefully analyzing the responses to these questions, organizations can gain deep insights into the various dimensions of their workplace culture. Understanding these perspectives can shape and adjust initiatives for a more inclusive environment.

At the end of a comprehensive DEI survey, tools like the Diversio Platform can be instrumental in interpreting these responses, providing a nuanced understanding of the workplace dynamics and guiding impactful DEI strategies.

10 Tips to create an efficient DEI survey campaign

Designing and executing a DEI survey campaign requires careful planning to ensure maximum engagement and accurate results. Here are some actionable tips to help you create an effective DEI survey:

  1. Ensure anonymity & confidentiality: Ensure employees know their responses will be anonymous & confidential. This encourages honesty & increases participation rates.
  2. Keep it relevant & concise: Design questions directly pertinent to your organization’s DEI goals. Avoid overly lengthy surveys to maintain respondent engagement.
  3. Use clear & inclusive language: Ensure that the language used in the survey is transparent, unbiased, & inclusive. Avoid jargon or terms that might be misunderstood or offensive.
  4. Include a mix of question types: Use various question types (like multiple-choice, Likert scale, & open-ended questions) to gather quantitative & qualitative data.
  5. Test the survey before launching: Conduct a pilot test with a small group to identify any confusing questions or technical issues.
  6. Communicate the purpose & importance: Before distributing the survey, clearly communicate its purpose & how the results will be used to improve the workplace. This helps in building trust & encouraging participation.
  7. Offer multiple channels for completion: Provide the survey in various formats (online, paper, etc.) & through different channels to make it easily accessible to all employees.
  8. Analyze & share the results transparently: After conducting the survey, analyze the data thoroughly & share the findings with the workforce. This demonstrates transparency & commitment to action based on the survey results.
  9. Follow-up with action plans: Develop & communicate a clear action plan based on the survey findings. Show the employees that their feedback leads to real change.
  10. Regularly repeat the survey: DEI is an ongoing effort. Periodically repeating the survey helps track progress & evolving employee sentiments over time.

By following these tips, your DEI survey can effectively gauge your organization’s current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion and guide you in implementing impactful DEI strategies. Remember, the goal is to collect and use data as a foundation for meaningful change.

What’s next?

With this guide, you can design and implement a DEI survey that can truly make a difference in your organization. Remember, conducting a DEI survey is just the beginning. The real work starts with what you do with the insights you gather.

Kate Stone
Kate Stone
Kate Stone leads marketing at Diversio, a technology startup that uses data analytics to help companies and investors unlock diversity for improved performance. Diversio works with clients in 30 countries across the world and has been featured at global events like the G20 and Davos.
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"We needed to slice and dice the data in multiple ways and visualize the data in clear and accessible ways and you know Diversio’s survey and platform ticked all the boxes."
Ekua Quansah
Head of EDI, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Diversio helps companies become 43% more profitable and reduce employee turnover by 23%

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