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I’m working on a diversity and inclusion survey. Interest in workplace surveys can be low, but I’d love to see high engagement on this one as it will help us understand where we can improve...(cont)

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Most people don’t think they matter b/c 99% of the time they don’t. The c-suite does whatever they want anyway, which is nothing. Especially when it comes to diversity. The only things these surveys accomplish is leadership being able to check off a box that says, “see, we care about diversity.” This is about as progressive as rolling out a POC for a company LinkedIn post during the month of February. It’s the sad reality... and saddens me to say b/c you sound really earnest in your assignment. I applaud your efforts, but history has proven that corporate leadership never listens or even cares. It’s merely internal PR.

likesmart

Awwww thanks @ACD1. I try.

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Surveys tend to be boring full of technical lingo and very long. Make it short and informal and people will be more willing to answer.

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Very fair point. I don’t like answering surveys like that either.

Sometimes surveys are not as confidential as it seems and responses could be used against the surveyors. Especially when surveys asks what's your title and office location, makes it real easy to drill down to who it may be. Forget the survey, and have one on ones with people. Have a heart to heart. It takes more time but this topic is way more complicated and a survey would simplify it too much.

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Interesting! I thought people might feel less safe in a one on one setting. Your points are very fair and honestly it makes me feel sad that this is a thing people feel they have to worry about.

One of the biggest problems is subconscious bias. If your survey doesn’t ask the right questions, the answers might be meaningless, because people will answer what they think reflects better on themselves. Plus people assume they are less biased than they really are.

likesmart

Though I completely understand that people’s biases will still come into play and perceptions won’t always reflect reality.

Make it clear it’s anonymous. Agree with CD1. Make as many questions optional as you can. There may be a reason why someone does not or cannot answer some of your questions.

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I wouldn’t take a survey if I don’t believe anything will come out of it. I would also share what you will do with the results (action plan,) what timeframe you will share the results by, etc. This makes it more likely that the survey results will go somewhere. Also, agree with the points about survey length and anonymity.

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I tend to avoid D&I surveys because I am black (the only black persons in my practice) and it becomes very clear which responses are mine. It’s simply not anonymous unless there’s already a substantial amount of BIPOC who are responding to the same survey. It may not be worth the potential retaliation which actually happened to me at my previous agency.

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I think your response makes complete sense. It saddens me on multiple levels (being the only black person in a practice) to fearing retaliation. Neither is ok.

Cont...I’d love to know, what is a reason you WOULDN’T participate in something like this and is there anything that could be done or said that would make you want to?

I would love to see an employee survey where the data is handled by a third party with a clear firewall in place so no one is at risk of having someone in the company see their responses. In addition, I would love for a question that prompts people to describe any negative experiences they have had so the company can understand concretely what needs to be fixed. The latter requires that the survey is conducted by a third party and would only work with high completion rates. Collecting open-ended suggestions could help.

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