Develop a data-driven approach to diversity and inclusion
Edward Partridge, Senior Vice President at Marsh Commercial, shares his insight on the importance of data-driven approach to diversity and inclusion.
A new report from the management consulting firm Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB), shows that investors, customers and employees are unanimous in their call for greater emphasis on long-term sustainability, elements of which include:
- employee wellbeing
- flexible working and other organisational structures
- diversity and inclusion for Black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) groups and genders.
If diversity is high on your agenda for 2022, efforts to develop an inclusive work culture should receive just as much attention. Inclusion is an essential element in driving diversity.
What do we mean by diversity?
Individuals from all backgrounds, with different life experiences and beliefs are recognised and respected as well as valued for the different perspectives they offer.
What do we mean by inclusion?
All employees are given equal opportunity to be their true selves at work and contribute to the success of the business regardless of their background, beliefs and life experiences.
Psychological theories suggest people assess their social environment to understand how they 'fit'. Workplace inclusion is when people feel valued and accepted in their team and in the wider organisation, without having to conform. An inclusive workplace supports employees to thrive regardless of background. It celebrates difference and breaks down barriers to inclusion.
Access to available data has been understood as a key driver of progress on diversity and inclusion. To get started, find out what data is available to help you better understand employee perception of inclusion in your organisation. Some approaches you could use to measure include:
- creating a bespoke survey to collect inclusion data, measuring individual perceptions of inclusion at multiple levels.
- adding inclusion questions to existing organisational surveys.
- making use of existing data, such as culture and engagement surveys, which may already touch on practices related to inclusion.
- running focus groups or employee feedback sessions to get an employee view on practices, policies and organisational norms.
- analysing existing workforce data to uncover barriers to inclusion. For example, compare promotion rates between demographic groups or 360-degree feedback data to understand employee and line manager behaviours related to inclusion.
Are your employees hesitant to contribute their data?
If diversity and inclusion is a new focus for your business, you might experience some resistance from colleagues who feel data collection is too intrusive. This can be a common reaction to a new process. The longer diversity and inclusion remains a key focus and priority, the more people will come to understand the objective.
To help improve levels of feedback, make sure you clearly communicate why the data is being collected, and what action will be taken off the back of it. Remember to provide multiple channels for feedback, so people can choose a method they’re most comfortable with. Add questions to entry and exit interviews and surveys to gain a new perspective on your company’s culture.
Use the data collected to set up focus groups where necessary – taking a deeper dive into some of the common themes. Finally, guide action, identifying the barriers to inclusion in your organisation and make a plan to tackle them.
About Marsh Commercial
Marsh Commercial is the preferred insurance broker for ICAS Evolve member firms. It offers a full range of insurance solutions to ensure you have the right protection in place to carry out your work with confidence.
For more information, visit https://www.marshcommercial.co.uk/for-business/associations-and-schemes/icas/, call the team on 0330 175 5876, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
Ed Partridge has 18 years’ experience in the insurance market, specialising in partnerships, working with organisations to develop and deliver bespoke insurance solutions for their members and clients. Most recently, Ed has taken the role of Senior Vice President at Marsh Commercial and looks after the Bristol Centre of Excellence, which has a core specialism in professional indemnity insurance (PII) for accountants.
This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.