DEIB in the Workplace: What It is and How to Measure It
Improving diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is a corporate priority for a reason. Without it, companies risk attrition and are unable to grow sustainably. The $8 million spent annually on diversity training is a testament to its importance.
Traditionally, corporate HR teams have focused on DEI, but today that acronym has grown to include B for belonging. Why add it on? Well, it’s a valuable indicator of how accepted and valued employees feel. In turn, it has great value for HR planning and initiatives designed to drive retention and sustainable growth.
To harness the power of DEIB, you first need to be able to measure it. In this primer, we’ll bring you up to speed on what DEIB is and we’ll break down how you can measure and analyze DEIB risks within your organization.
What is DEIB?
DEIB stands for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the original DEI principles, and belonging has since been added.
Understanding all four principles will help you grasp why DEIB is essential and how to measure it.
D is for diversity
A diverse workplace is one that employs people from the entire spectrum of races, sexes, sexual orientations, ages, physical capabilities, and other characteristics.
Race and sex tend to get the most attention in diversity initiatives, but be mindful of the many other characteristics that make up a diverse workforce, as every demographic brings value to the table.
E is for equity
An equitable workplace ensures that every employee is treated impartially and fairly, and that everyone has the same opportunities to grow and develop their career.
Addressing inequities in pay among your employees is a smart step. However, achieving equity also means equitably distributing performance reviews, skip-level 1-on-1 reviews, and other personal and cultural opportunities.
I is for inclusion
An inclusive workplace makes people feel valued and celebrated, never separated.
Inclusion is a step beyond diversity and equity in that it’s more than making sure you have all types of people in your company and that they’re being treated fairly. Inclusion means that everyone has opportunities to be heard, contribute their ideas, and receive consideration in strategic and tactical decisions.
B is for Belonging
Belonging is the holistic goal of DEI programs. With DEI alone, belonging is an implicit aim. Adding belonging creates an explicit, overarching goal to your DEI efforts.
A workplace that has achieved belonging is one where everyone feels represented, gets treated fairly, and is included in a way that makes them feel connected to their peers and the company. With properly targeted DEI initiatives, each employee understands that they are an integral part of the organization.
Why is DEIB important?
DEIB helps you build better DEI programs. The product of diversity, equity, and inclusion should be a strong sense of belonging among your workforce. Therefore, it’s sensible to add belonging as a core principle in DEI.
At its heart, a strong sense of belonging produces a better employee experience and makes your company a better place to work. This is better for employees, but it’s also good for your business.
Studies have found that experiences of inclusion account for 20% of an employee’s intent to stay with a company and 35% of an employee’s engagement with their work.
Data from McKinsey shows that companies with diverse executive teams were as much as 25% more likely to deliver above-average profitability.
Ultimately, DEIB gives your DEI programs a more tangible end state that you can use to make sure your diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are actually helping your employees love working for your company. That way your organization reaps the productivity and financial benefits of achieving DEI goals.
How to measure DEIB
Traditionally, companies would rely on surveys to measure DEIB. However, modern technologies such as artificial intelligence have made it possible to measure DEIB with data analysis.
A contemporary approach to measuring DEIB can use both surveys and data analysis, but one of these methods has distinct advantages in tracking metrics related to DEIB.
How to measure sense of belonging
Belonging is very subjective. This adds complexity, regardless of whether you measure belonging with surveys or data analysis.
However, data analysis handles these complexities better because it minimizes the impact of bias and human factors such as comfort-giving critique.
The three standard employee surveys—engagement, pulse, and exit surveys—are enough to gather the employee insights you need for measuring DEIB.
Unfortunately, survey responses themselves are subjective, which puts surveys at a disadvantage for measuring belonging. This lack of precision can distort any conclusions you draw from survey data.
People don’t always answer survey questions honestly. They may feel pressured to give positive responses or might not want to take the time to respond thoughtfully, since surveys can feel like a chore.
Surveys still have a place. They’re useful for gathering qualitative feedback about the employee experience, but they should be supported with robust data analysis.
Thorough data analysis enables you to use objective metrics as proxies for measuring a sense of belonging among your employees. Data analysis is more precise than surveys because it looks at employee behavior to infer a sense of belonging, and behavior is much less subject to honesty and other factors that can make survey responses misleading.
Additionally, psychological safety is a major indicator of an authentic sense of belonging, and there are several employee behaviors that reveal how psychologically safe team members feel.
- Learning activities. Employees who go beyond their normal duties to learn about having tough conversations or acquire additional skills demonstrate a strong connection to their peers and the company. For managers, learning activities usually produce a reduced voluntary attrition rate among the teams they supervise, which is a trackable metric.
- Internal mobility. Internal mobility is a strong proxy for belonging because employees who feel a lack of belonging are more likely to seek a job change as a method of career advancement, rather than moving up within your company.
- Attrition among new hires. A diverse company, with a strong culture of inclusion, will feel welcoming to new employees and quickly foster a sense of belonging, which increases the chances that new employees will stay for the long haul.
- Leadership diversity. People need to see themselves represented in the upper levels of the organization. Again, leadership diversity is a trackable metric and serves as a strong proxy for a sense of belonging among the workforce.
Although these metrics are proxies, they give a clear indication of how much belonging your organization fosters, when taken in aggregate. If the metrics for measuring diversity, equity, and inclusion are also positive, it’s most likely that there’s a strong sense of belonging among your employees.
How to measure DEI
Measuring DEI can rely on more objective metrics than belonging because it’s relatively easy to gather data on compensation, job positions, and employee participation. These are the metrics Praisidio focuses on for measuring DEI:
- Meeting participation by gender and ethnicity
- Skip-level 1:1 per job role by gender and ethnicity
- Manager span of control by gender and ethnicity
- Attrition rate by gender and ethnicity per job role
- Headcount per job title compared by gender and ethnicity
- Headcount per location compared by gender and ethnicity
- Growth and promotion rate by gender and ethnicity
- Compa-ratio by gender and ethnicity
- Race, ethnicity, and sex imbalances across cohorts
Check our full article on how to measure diversity, equity, and inclusion for complete info on how to capture and analyze these metrics.
Start measuring and improving your DEIB
Praisidio makes it easy to identify and solve DEIB risks within your organization. Praisidio plugs into your existing internally-public data and gives you real-time insights and analysis into DEIB across individuals, teams, and cohorts.
To help you solve risks as they appear, Praisidio also provides easy-to-action recommendations in real-time so you can intervene early and effectively, potentially saving you millions in DEIB programs and employee attrition.
Book a demo to see how Praisidio can help your organization understand and solve DEIB risks without stretching your team.
A quick rundown of the most common questions asked about DEIB.
What’s the difference between DEI and DEIB
Although DEIB stands for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, a more exact formulation is DEI = B. If your diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are working, they should produce a sense of belonging. DEIB simply makes the goal of belonging explicit, instead of implied.
The DEI metrics above give you the insights you need to create efficient DEI programs. The metrics above for measuring belonging validate whether or not your DEI programs are achieving the intended outcomes.
What are DEIB initiatives?
DEI initiatives create a diverse workforce that operates with an inclusive culture and ensures your employees are being compensated and treated fairly. DEIB initiatives go the extra mile and incorporate additional data analysis to verify that your employee experience truly boosts innovation, productivity, and team dynamics.
DEIB initiatives are more comprehensive than DEI initiatives, although the two are similar.
What is a DEIB statement?
A DEIB statement demonstrates a company’s commitment to creating a workplace that’s welcoming to people of all demographics, backgrounds, and physical ability levels. Additionally, a DEIB statement should outline how your company achieves these goals, to make the commitment to DEI concrete for employees and potential employees.