It still amazes me how little some businesses know about their workforce, or how the workforce is experiencing working for the business. So today we are going to tackle two of my #22WaysToBeConsciouslyInclusiveIn2022
𝗡𝘂𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟭𝟭 – 𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝗴𝗿𝗶𝗽 𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗮. Some of the most important data to help you build inclusive workplaces is the data that people seem to be least keen on collecting! For example, who is leaving and why (I know exit interviews are time consuming and imperfect, but it’s important to know why people are leaving, and to be able to know if there are any particular patterns. If you are trying to understand your recruitment patterns, data at all stages of recruitment (applications, shortlisting/interview AND appointment) will help you target actions in the right place.
For example, it’s no good putting out really good inclusive adverts in lots of places if your human (or otherwise) sift process is biases. Conversely, investing in additional mandatory #UnconsciousBias training may not be worth it if a lack of diversity is already present at the application stage. You’d be better off changing who you approach and how you approach them.
Maybe you do have this data but you can’t use it as fully as you would like to in terms of becoming more #inclusive because you didn’t collect (or connect) demographic data to it? The types of questions you ask here, and how you ask it, do need some thought, especially if you work across countries and/or cultures. It’s also a good idea to think about how you are going to use what you collect (and only collect that which you can use), and to give examples of how you will use the data to make changes. Also consider going beyond the compliance focus of protected characteristics and checking on things such as caring responsibility. It can be a challenge to persuade people to give this data up to an “HR system” and there are definitely confidentiality issues that you will need to think about.
One occasion when you can collect bulk demographic data is if you do inclusive culture (or staff engagement or wellbeing or happiness) surveys. These surveys can be a way to 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 (𝗡𝘂𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟭𝟮) – but it’s worth trying to maximise participation by tailoring the survey to your setting and your staff. You’ll also need a strong communication plan for before, during and after the survey and sponsorship from the top as well as local champions at all levels.
There are other ways to start listening of course – the common ones being formal and informal discussion groups, online suggestion boxes, focus groups, structured 1-2-1 interviews. But this is an opportunity to be more creative could you get people to use art or music to describe their experiences or their dreams for the business and themselves? I’d love to hear about this kind of example!