Deciding to prioritize and invest in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives is a significant first step toward improving company culture, but it is still only a starting point. To effect real change, policies must be developed and implemented. Your company's first action should be assessing where your company currently is. A preliminary D&I assessment is essential as it allows you to understand your company's current attitudes towards diversity and inclusion. If you have a strong knowledge of existing D&I strengths and problem areas, you will be much better equipped to create efficient, targeted polices and practices. This will lead to more successful D&I initiatives and, ultimately, a more diverse and inclusive company culture.
Therefore, it is vital to create an effective, targeted D&I assessment for your company. Many companies choose to develop and administer their own assessments, but this approach has its drawbacks. Firstly, employees are often worried that their responses may be used against them. Anonymity is not assured, and employees may stay silent about their experiences and feelings due to a fear of retribution or punishment. This leads to false results, making company-created surveys less helpful when creating new D&I policies and plans. Company-created D&I assessments are also not standardized. An essential part of these assessments is comparing the results and findings to similar companies, and it's nearly impossible to do that when each company uses different questions and metrics.
Companies can avoid these issues by using a third party to create and administer D&I assessments. In contrast to company-developed assessments, third-party questionnaires are thoroughly researched to provide useful, accurate results. They are also closely aligned with standardized criteria, so company leadership can see where their company stands against competitors and industry leaders. In addition, using a third-party to administer assessments encourages employees to be honest about their experiences, as they can be sure that their answers will remain confidential.
For all of the reasons noted above, it's crucial to find a quality D&I consulting company. Working with local D&I businesses can be very beneficial, as they best know the unique challenges facing companies and employees in a given area. At Level, our understanding of diversity and inclusion includes a global, national, and local perspective. This allows us to ensure that the companies we consult with exceed industry-leading businesses' diversity goals while also enabling us to apply our knowledge of regional demographics and attitudes, ensuring our policies are as effective as possible.
Creating and administering an accurate, actionable D&I assessment is a critical first step on your company's journey toward a more equitable and inclusive company culture. While D&I evaluations must be undertaken intentionally to ensure the information gathered is precise and applicable, they should also be seen as a positive initiative that will help your company target discrimination and ensure that all employees feel included. Once you understand your companies D&I strengths and problem areas, effective policies can be put in place, and diversity plans can be implemented.