Identifying areas of improvement is necessary in order to develop a strategic approach to organizational diversity initiatives. We provide organizational assessments through both quantitative and qualitative measures. We work with the appropriate leadership in the organization to identify what is to be measured and how measurement will be most efficiently and effectively achieved.
Executive Diversity Services’ (EDS) believes the goal of an organizational assessment is multi-fold. Most obvious is the desire to gather data that can be used to assess cultural health and identify organizational issues in order to increase the value of diversity, strengthen inclusion and increase the cultural competency of an organizations’ workforce. Nested within these goals for the assessment process is a valuable opportunity to lay the groundwork for organizational development and begin to engage stakeholders in taking ownership and responsibility for contributing to the creation of an inclusive environment that embraces the rich diversity of the organization and the growing diversity of the community. Our Inclusive Circles™ approach to organizational development is ideally designed to achieve both outcomes and is grounded in proven principles of staff engagement.
The core organizing principle of our work is partnership with clients, therefore we initially meet with the appropriate management and staff to deepen our understanding of the outcomes the organization seeks and any potential organizational challenges it currently faces in order to identify data that would best serve the organization’s needs. This continuing collaboration includes: identifying sources of data and collection methods most appropriate to the organizations culture and customization of structured interview and focus group questions and survey items.
We believe that an assessment design that maximizes opportunities for participation creates the strongest data and most effective engagement. We employ multiple assessment methods to assess cultural competence of an organization including interviews, focus groups, and surveys to maximize opportunities for participation.
We use interviews with key leaders and staff and focus groups with at least 10% of the workforce. Interviews provide leaders and other key staff with confidential settings that encourage greater candor and provide interviewers with opportunities to drill down through the data to achieve in-depth understanding of issues. We conduct focus groups, sorted by demographic populations to create safe environments for participants to share their perspectives. Both interviews and focus groups use structured questions in order to produce common data sets.
We employ a survey instrument, when appropriate; to give every employee an opportunity to provide input in a way that protects their anonymity. The survey reduces barriers to participation by providing an opportunity for input that does not require the time, scheduling, or visibility of focus group or interview participation. We use online surveys where appropriate and pen and paper where that is the most user-friendly.
We believe pro-actively addressing barriers to participation increases the amount and quality of participation. We employ several strategies to reduce barriers. These include work with the process sponsor to develop a “Sponsor’s Launch Letter” for the assessment process that identifies the purpose, process activities and desired outcomes of the assessment and that answers the questions participants frequently have yet may seldom ask.