A majority of companies have employee inclusion strategies in place to engage with ever-diversifying workforces, but many have yet to figure out a way to measure the success of such programs, according to the latest study released today by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).
Nearly half (47%) of the companies who participated in the study, which was conducted on behalf of several i4cp member organizations, said that inclusion is a part of their diversity initiatives, and 19% said inclusion was treated as a separate talent management initiative. Another 17% said they plan to implement inclusion strategies in the near future. Inclusion is defined as creating an environment in which employees share a sense of belonging, mutual respect and commitment from others so that they can do their best work.
Why are companies focusing on employee inclusion? The study found that inclusion strategies support talent acquisition and retention efforts as well as increase the productivity and engagement of current employees. Successful inclusion also positively affects employment brand and the public image of the organization. Nearly 75% of high-performance organizations - companies who have outperformed their competitors over the last five years - indicated that, to a high or very high extent, inclusion benefited recruiting and retention efforts, compared to 62% of lower performing companies. Improved productivity and engagement had similar breakdowns, with 72% of high performers saying this was a driver compared to 59% of lower performers.
Despite these drivers, only a third of high-performance organizations reported that their inclusion initiatives were highly or very highly effective, though this was much higher than the 18% of lower performing companies that said the same.
More telling is that only 21% of companies said they attempt to quantify the effects of inclusion strategies to a high or very high extent, while nearly half of all companies (46%) said they only attempt to measure inclusion to a small extent, or not at all.
The i4cp Inclusion Measurement study also examined the methods companies use to measure the success of inclusion efforts. These practices, along with interactive tools to explore the research in more detail, are available exclusively to i4cp corporate members.