How Employers Can Measure Inclusion at Work (and Why)

Written by Luke Kitchen
Last updated October 4, 2022

Equality, diversity and inclusion are hugely important topics in the workplace right now. This we already know. Employers all across the world are trying to make an effort to increase and improve the levels of EDI in their businesses. Which is a wonderful thing for us all. However, the tricky part arrives when we want to accurately measure this process and define results. 

This is particularly tricky when it comes to inclusion. Diversity and equality are slightly easier to measure and define. Looking at demographic ratios, promotion statistics, and pay scales are all quite simple ways of measuring diversity and equality at work. Inclusion is harder to pin down. 

When it comes to measuring how inclusion is, or isn’t, functioning in the workplace, we need a tailored approach. It is important that we ask the right questions in the right way to ensure we are getting the information we need. Inclusion at work is critical, employers need to lift the lid and see what is happening in their own space.

In this blog, we are going to talk about how employers can measure inclusion. And a little more about why it is so important to do so. 

First up, let’s answer this question…

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion is simply the act of including every person regardless of who they are in an equal way. The Gartner Inclusion Index includes 7 main principles of inclusion in the workplace, which are: 

  1. Fair treatment
  2. Integrating differences
  3. Decision making
  4. Psychological safety
  5. Trust
  6. Belonging
  7. Diversity

For people of all groups to feel actively included at work, each of these principles needs to be effectively managed. Everyone needs to feel that, with respect to these principles, they are treated equally as all of their counterparts, regardless of their faith, race, age, gender, and so on. 

Why Do We Need to Measure Inclusion?

You might think that it would be easy to know whether your workplace is inclusive or not. If you have some training sessions on inclusivity, a couple of cultural days, and an HR manager, you might think that your company is inclusive enough already. However, this is not the case. 

Inclusion needs a delicate and specific approach in order to be measured. If we aren’t doing so, we could easily be allowing exclusion and discrimination to happen right under our noses. Sometimes these issues aren’t as easy to spot as we might think they would be. Unconscious bias and hidden discrimination are big problems in the workplace. Ones that can easily take hold if we aren’t aware of them and actively tackling them. 

Every employee deserves to feel safe and included at work. Every employer should make this a top priority. The more that inclusion is working effectively in the workplace, the happier, healthier and safer everyone can be at work. 

Effective Methods to Measure Inclusion:

Now that we know what inclusion is and why we should be measuring it, we need to think about how to do it. If we don’t measure inclusion in the right way, we may easily get false results that don’t give us an accurate reflection of what is going on.

The following are the most effective methods employers can follow to measure inclusion:

Comparison of Recruitment vs. Employment D

To get a good indication of how different groups of people are being included in your workplace, you can analyse your recruitment and employment figures. If your recruitment pools consist of 80 black people, 72 Asian people, and 20 white people, and then your employment catchment includes 15 white people, 2 Asian people and 1 black person, it is highly likely that bias is occurring. Exclusion can happen before employees even step foot into the office. Start by looking there. 


Surveys are the easiest and most comprehensive way to gather and analyse inclusion metrics. Gathering feedback from your staff regarding their opinions and experience of inclusion at work is crucial. You need to how everyone feels and not just the top level of management. To make sure that you are getting authentic survey responses, you can make them anonymous. Some people may not feel comfortable speaking up and may think they will be judged or harassed afterwards. You can use external parties to help you with this and make sure it is ethical. 

Focus Groups

If handled in a diverse and inclusive way, focus groups can be a good method for gathering employee feedback and consensus. Giving your employees a platform to be listened to is also inclusive in itself, so it hits two nails on the head at once. Listen to everyone openly, make sure the groups are handled inclusively, and make sure everyone is heard. Centring your questions around the inclusion principles we talked about above is the perfect way to get the information you need from these groups. 

Anonymous Whistleblower Service

To make sure that incidents of exclusion and discrimination are not kept hidden, you can offer an anonymous whistleblower service. This may be through a physical dropbox or via a phoneline handled by an external party. Either way, making sure that your employees have a safe and anonymous way to report exclusion is essential. If it isn’t reported, it can’t be handled.

Analysis of Internal Statistics

Staff metrics such as retention levels, absences, and disciplinary measures can tell you a lot about your inclusion strategies. Taking some time to gather this data and analysis it with inclusion in mind can be very demonstrative. Metrics don’t lie and they can help you match up the statistics with what employees have already disclosed to get a fuller picture. It might help to work with a neutral, external party in this too so you can remain unbiased in your analysis of the data.

Once we measure inclusion and get a picture of how it is or isn’t working in our workplace. Then it is our job to get started on fixing and rooting out any issues. To find out more about this, check out this guide on our site. 

How to Become an Inclusive Employer 

Measuring inclusion is only one aspect of becoming an inclusive employer. There are many components of being an equal, diverse, and inclusive employer and it can be difficult to even know where to start. 

At Aspiring to Include, we can be your inclusivity partner. We help employers get everything right, all the way from recruitment to disciplinaries/dismissals. Our resources help you to understand the ins and outs of EDI and how to correctly implement them at every stage of your employment process. 

We offer a range of services for employers to do so and you can check them out right here. 

If you want to connect with a huge pool of diverse jobseekers through our live job board, give them the right opportunities, and reap all the benefits of being an inclusive employer, you can do it with us.

Check out our site and get in touch directly if you have any more questions. 

We would love to have you join our inclusive directory. 

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Last Updated: Sunday October 23 2022
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