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DE&I and Market Research
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is an essential topic for any company. In fact, it’s one of the top priorities for many businesses today. DE&I initiatives focus on policies, practices, and culture that promote equal opportunities for all employees regardless of race, gender, or other factors. Technology giant Apple has made diversity one of its top priorities: “We’re continuing to build a culture where everybody belongs. That’s what sparks our innovation. And our progress toward a more inclusive workforce and a better world.”
DE&I is more than just a box to check for businesses; however, it’s an essential factor for many job seekers. 76% report that a diverse workforce is critical when evaluating companies and job offers. Research shows that companies with a more diverse workforce are also more productive and profitable. So, how can your business craft the right DE&I program? It’s simple with the help of market research. Let us explain.
Creating An Inclusive Workplace With Market Research
Diversity is one of the most important aspects of any company’s culture. Diversity can be defined as having people from different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, ages, and genders working together in one place. When you have people from different backgrounds working together, they bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. This helps spark creativity and innovation in your business.
Market research plays an integral part in supporting companies’ DE&I efforts by identifying and prioritizing opportunities for improvement. Market research can help you understand your customers’ needs and wants and your competition and even identify areas where employees may require additional training or resources.
Employee surveys are critical for businesses looking to create an inclusive, diverse culture. Surveys can help you understand what your employees want from their jobs and how they feel about your company’s values. Publishing check-in surveys to your online employee community is a great way to get real-time feedback. It also shows employees that you’re listening and working toward creating a culture that inspires diversity and inclusion.
Diversity studies like employee engagement surveys can help companies better understand how well their current DE&I efforts are working. They can give insight into what barriers exist within an organization and the benefits of DE&I in general or within specific departments or company roles. These surveys allow employees to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on topics that matter most to them as they relate to workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives.
You can use your survey results to identify issues in your organization, allowing you to address those issues through training or other programs. This can be particularly helpful when dealing with unconscious bias or microaggressions in the workplace.
3D prototyping company Carbon uses Pulse surveys to evaluate its diversity programs. “We are using pulse surveys to keep in touch and use the feedback to fine-tune how we do business and the support we are offering our teams.”
Internal Focus Groups
The best way to get feedback from your employees is to ask them directly. Running an employee focus group can provide a forum for employees to share their insights, identify trends in your data, explain answers they gave on the survey, and brainstorm solutions together. Focus groups are often used in advertising and market research, but they’re also used more frequently by companies that wish to promote diversity within their workplace.
Focus groups are small groups of individuals who meet with a facilitator (a trained expert) to discuss a particular topic or issue. The facilitator guides the discussion using questions designed to provoke candid responses from participants on various aspects of their work experiences. Focus groups can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the nature of the discussion topic and how much information is needed from participants.
With focus groups, you can explore things like:
- Barriers to success for diverse groups of people in the workplace
- Problematic cultures, behaviors, and attitudes among employees, customers, or suppliers
- How best to communicate with different stakeholders about your company’s DE&I agenda
Employee Online Communities
Companies are increasingly turning to online communities to build an inclusive culture. While it may seem counterintuitive, online communities can help your company build a more diverse workforce.
Here are three ways that online communities can help promote diverse company cultures:
Online communities provide a safe space for people to share their experiences. When employees and customers feel like they belong in your company, they will be more likely to share their ideas and opinions with you. This is especially important for companies that rely on customer feedback and suggestions because it allows them to improve their products and services based on what people want – not just what they think they want.
Online communities allow people to connect with others with similar interests or experiences. Individuals who feel like they don’t belong in their office environment may find comfort in connecting with others online with similar interests or backgrounds. Once these individuals start interacting, it’s easier for them to form relationships outside of the office as well.
Online communities encourage collaboration among different departments within your organization. When everyone from salespeople to marketing professionals comes together on an online platform, it promotes collaboration between teams so they can work together towards common goals.
The Fuel Cycle Way
Are you passionate about making the world a better place? At Fuel Cycle, we are, too! We stand in solidarity with each of our coworkers as we strive to make Earth a safe place for all people. Throughout the year, our team participates in volunteer projects, such as teaching Black Girls Code sessions. Black Girls Code is an organization that creates “pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology”. BGC focuses on web design, virtual reality, game design, mobile and app design, circuitry, and robotics. Girls can learn hands-on technology skills through workshops, summer camps, one-day classes, and other events.
Our teammates are grateful to share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of computer scientists. David Fischkes, Director of Mobile Development at Fuel Cycle, says, “I think BGC and similar groups are just wonderful. They enable historically disadvantaged communities to blossom into their full potential and do amazing things – which lifts us all up as a society.” To learn more about how Fuel Cycle supports Black Girls Code, see our interview with Brandee Sanders, BGC’s marketing and communications specialist.
Market research can help your company’s DE&I program in several ways and can help identify areas for improvement. Even the most robust and effective DE&I program will benefit from periodic evaluations and enhancements. To be most successful, you must specify the right focus areas relating to company culture, employee satisfaction, and customer needs.
We hope this blog has given you a better idea of using market research to improve your company’s DE&I program. We’d love to talk if you’re looking for help with your own diversity studies.
Check out Fuel Cycle Ignition for Brand Perceptions, Customer Journey Tracking, Usability Benchmarking, Key Segment Discovery applications, or Fuel Cycle Exchange for FCX Affectiva, FCX Consensus Point, and FCX Geolocation to support your DE&I programs today. For further details about fostering Diversity, Equity, and inclusion through market research, download our eBook Incorporating DE&I Into Market Research.