New Data: Inclusive Decision-Making Drives Engagement
Can you name the three things your company is doing to ensure your decision-making is inclusive? If you can’t, then it’s likely your decision-making process is unconsciously exclusive. However, there are key steps you can take to right this issue and enhance your organization’s employee experience.
Four years ago, the team at Culture Amp partnered with Paradigm to release the industry’s first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Survey. The survey is designed to analyze the employee experience across seven measures of diversity and inclusion.
In our most recent Workplace Diversity, Inclusion, and Intersectionality report, our data showed that inclusivity in decision-making is a top driver of engagement. This means improving the inclusiveness of the decision-making process can create a more engaged workforce.
Here’s how you can get a head start to ensure inclusive decision-making at your company, and in turn, support a highly engaged and diverse organization.
What the data on decision-making tells us
Over 165 organizations from around the world, representing a range of industries including Technology, Non-Profit, Education, Media, and Professional Services have used the Diversity and Inclusion Survey to collect feedback through the Culture Amp platform.
The analysis of our diversity and inclusion data showed:
- Of our top ten Diversity and Inclusion drivers most highly correlated with engagement, three of these questions are about decision-making:
- I am satisfied with how decisions are made
- Perspectives like mine are included in the decision-making at my company
- I am included in decisions that affect my work
- 21% of all ideas or “inspirations” for addressing specific focus areas related to employee experiences on our Diversity & Inclusion survey were related to decision-making.
- Decision-making was the lowest-scoring factor in Culture Amp’s 2019 Diversity & Inclusion benchmark by favorability. Just 59% of respondents answered the questions in this factor favorably.
Take small steps to make decisions more inclusive
One of our key insights from the report suggests that tailored small wins can lead to greater change. Oftentimes, improving employee engagement or diversity and inclusion can seem like a daunting task. To solve them, people think big reforms are the answer. However, small steps can have a great impact as well.
Create a transparent decision-making framework
We found that when teams take a “small wins” approach tailored to their unique needs, they can expect to see a 4–8% uplift on scores related to their areas of focus. We define a small win as a concrete, implemented outcome, such as increased transparency in decision-making.
Culture Amp’s in-platform Inspiration Engine is essentially a library of small wins. It is a curated list of micro learnings — easy-to-digest ideas and actions that our customers and others in our People Geek community have used with their employees.
For example, one of our top diversity and inclusion inspirations for decision-making is creating a transparent decision-making framework.
Once you’ve documented your decision-making process, you’re able to share it with everyone in your company. You can include the objectives, risks, and alternatives, and anything else that impacted your decision. People get insight into what options and consequences were considered and will be more informed to ask thoughtful questions with context.
Udemy’s courses on Mastering Your Decision-Making Skills and Diversity & Inclusion: A Beginner’s Guide are great primers for those looking to learn how to create a more inclusive decision-making process.
Get more diverse voices in the room
One of the main benefits of having a diverse workforce is to ensure you have diverse decision-making processes. If a homogenous group of people consistently makes all of the key business decisions, you’re missing opportunities to make smarter, more innovative moves as a company.
To get a range of different opinions contributing to decisions, consider encouraging your teams to have more skip-level meetings. A skip-level meeting occurs between a people leader and someone (or a group) two levels below them — without the manager who those people report to attending.
When a level of management is skipped, it can allow employees to have conversations they wouldn’t normally be involved in, and also communicate with higher-ups who don’t often hear their opinions.
Moreover, getting a more diverse collection of voices into the room where decisions happen can result in more effective and inclusive initiatives in other areas.
Explore more data on workplace diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality
In addition to the importance of decision-making on inclusion and engagement, our 2019 Workplace Diversity, Inclusion, and Intersectionality Report provides data on employee representation and experience, and details the importance of considering intersectionality when reading data related to diversity and inclusion.
The more organizations can consistently measure demographics of race, ethnicity, parental status, or disability in addition to the traditionally gathered demographics of gender and age, the richer our data and insights will become.