Knowledge is power. And when it comes to moving the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion, a diversity and inclusion questionnaire can offer you much-needed data to assess your starting point, inform your strategy, and optimize your next steps.
To make the most of questionnaires as a tool for DEI strategy, ensure you’re choosing the right questions to ask employees about diversity and inclusion. Ahead, we’ll walk you through how to lay the groundwork for diversity and inclusion survey questions and outline sample questions to inspire your survey.
Ready to craft your questionnaire on cultural diversity at the workplace? Let’s get started.
Laying the groundwork for diversity and inclusion survey questions
Whether crafting your own questionnaire on cultural diversity in the workplace or outsourcing it, there are a couple fundamental steps you can take to set you and your team up for success.
Start a dialogue about diversity
A diversity and inclusion questionnaire that pops up unexpectedly in an inbox is unlikely to garner the type of honest, thoughtful answers you’re looking for. Instead, start conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion before issuing your survey. That way, folks can start thinking through their lived experiences in the workplace and provide meaningful information accordingly. Initiating a dialogue can be as simple as engaging in a one-on-one conversation, chatting about a piece of news related to DEI, or even discussing the how, when, and why of the forthcoming DEI survey in a team meeting.
Plan your post-survey steps
Follow-up is everything. Before commissioning your survey, start thinking through what you’ll do with the information you receive. Whether it’s connecting with a DEI consultant to share your diversity and inclusion questionnaire results, researching implicit bias training programs, or identifying books and resources that may be helpful for your team, having a plan in place can take you from performative to productive. Lastly, make plans to share the survey results. This creates accountability and invites team members into the process of building an inclusive work environment.
Sample diversity and inclusion survey questions
Assess the current cultural climate
Start your questionnaire on cultural diversity at the workplace with questions that help you get a pulse on your office culture. Even the best diversity initiatives can falter if not backed up by a workplace culture that embraces “the inclusion of differences in perspectives, life experience and knowledge that individuals bring to the institution,” according to researchers with Academic Medicine. Without such, “the full potential of diversity cannot be realized.” The following questions can help you start assessing how team members characterize your institutional culture.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
- To what extent do you believe the organization lives up to its stated ideals or values?
- How aligned do you feel with the organization’s mission or purpose?
- How diverse do you think the leadership is?
- How culturally competent do you think the leadership is?
- How diverse do you think the workforce is?
- How comfortable do you feel talking about your cultural background at work?
- Do you feel comfortable expressing your concerns in the workplace?
- Do you think people are treated fairly?
- Do you believe diversity is a barrier to advancement in this workplace? And if so, to what extent?
Uncover the individual experience
This section of your diversity and inclusion questionnaire can help you shed light on whether employees experience a personal or professional sense of belonging in the workplace. One benefit of conducting a questionnaire on cultural diversity in the workplace is offering team members a space to be open and honest about realities that may be difficult or even awkward to talk about. Here are some sample diversity and inclusion survey questions to get you started:
On a scale of 1 to 10:
- How optimistic do you feel about your career growth or trajectory at this organization?
- How would you describe your access to growth opportunities at work?
- Do you believe the opportunities available for career advancement are fair or equitable? And if so, to what extent?
- What level of mentorship have you received in your tenure here?
- Do you feel respected by colleagues?
- Do you believe your thoughts, opinions, and feedback are valued and respected?
- Do you believe your individual attributes or strengths are appreciated?
Create space for expression
Incorporating open-ended inquiries into your diversity and inclusion survey questions can offer an opportunity for team members to freely express their experiences. Some open-ended diversity and inclusion survey questions include:
- How would you describe the workplace’s cultural climate?
- What qualities or attributes do you believe the organization values at this point in time?
- What type of mentorship, training, or development would you like to have access to as it pertains to your professional development?
- What would feeling a sense of belonging and inclusion at work look like for you?
- What are some ways in which the organization can become more diverse going forward?
- Did this survey feel helpful?
- What diversity and inclusion survey questions would you like to see in the future?
Foster inclusion alongside AboveBoard
Measuring the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in your workplace is just the start. From here, let your diversity and inclusion questionnaire results guide you toward a comprehensive strategy that incorporates team feedback and promotes access and transparency.
At AboveBoard, we believe in the power of access and transparency to drive change from the top, from diversifying pipelines and innovating C-suites to creating inclusive workplaces and empowering underrepresented executives. AboveBoard’s executive platform and community shifts the power dynamics of executive search, creating an entirely new model where seasoned executives can confidentially access opportunities that are typically hidden, while also offering companies connectivity to an untapped network of top tier candidates.
Ready to take your next step toward diversity, equity, and inclusion? Partner with AboveBoard today.