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The Results Are In … Now What?: Do’'s, Don'ts, And Best Practices When Analyzing DEI Survey Findings

The Gallup Guide to Employee Engagement says measurement through survey usage is fundamental to employee engagement. Given the many bumps (i.e., lingering impacts of a pandemic, the Great Resignation, the need to engage and create cultural harmony, adapting to continual inclusion challenges, and quiet quitting), the workplace must pay attention to employee engagement for continued success. The Society for Human Resources Management concurs that workplaces can uncover many data points on how they are faring by leveraging engagement surveys. That said, surveys are expanding focus to monitoring diversity, equity, and inclusion progress closely. Companies must ensure that a plan is in place for what happens after employee feedback is received. This article provides numerous tips on making effective use of survey results.


  1. Communicate and confirm that employees have been heard loud and clear. Doing so sends the message that the company appreciates employees' time. Ensure there is a celebration of progress validated by employees. For it can be easy to focus on the misses alone.

  2. Make a plan for prioritizing and addressing results. Review and answer the following questions and then communicate the plan to employees.

  3. What are the overarching themes that surfaced in the survey results? What are the wins? What are the opportunities?

  4. What are the solutions to address opportunity areas?

  5. What is the organization's commitment to remedying those reported insights that need intervention and correction?

  6. Who needs to be involved in the implementation of solutions?

  7. When will solutions be delivered?

  8. Provide accountability for implementation—over-communicate progress. Ensure checks and balances are in place to ensure surveying was not for naught.

  9. Ask for employee support to complete the circle. The implementation team should have representation from employees who have provided insights. Employees have a vested interest in seeing change occur. They, in turn, can be ambassadors that provide ongoing transparent feedback to remaining employees on organization commitment and actions.

  10. Partner with those committed to progress on the DEI journey. Leverage assistance to reflect on triggering feedback that could stall progress if mishandled. Take advantage of training opportunities where appropriate.


  1. Feedback can be prickly and land as a wound, prompting companies or leaders to defend the company's position so much that it overpowers employee feedback. The consequence of such a stance is a perception that employee input is not valid or welcomed, and worse, it leads to exits.

  2. Asking questions that undermine survey findings and reaffirm the company for good efforts is a form of confirmation bias.

  3. Attacking deliverers of information is not a sound strategy and will not provide improvement solutions.

  4. Avoiding necessary prework to determine risk tolerance can stall efforts to transform the workplace. Being dishonest about commitments and investments to effectuate change will also impact desired progress to improve workplace culture.

  5. Being less transparent about company commitment to action will impact credibility and undermine future opportunities to gain employee insights

What's the bottom line? Continue leveraging surveys to improve the workplace. With time, this investment pays off and supports recruitment, retention, and employer branding efforts. Partnering with employees is the way to go, so be sure to do regular temperature checks on how the workplace is doing.

This article was originally published in Forbes.



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