Newsletter: July 22, 2022

Tidbits: Why are diversity, equity, and inclusion important in your organization?

“Companies with more than 30 percent women executives were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 to 30, and in turn these companies were more likely to outperform those with even fewer women executives, or none at all.” 

–McKinsey & Company: Diversity wins: How inclusion matters (May 19, 2020)  

At DecisionWise, we teach that respect is required of everyone, but disagreement does not equal disrespect. We can disagree with someone while simultaneously seeking to listen and understand why they feel the way they do.  

We too often dismiss another’s viewpoint without sincerely listening to them. In our view, the truest form of respect does not lie in total agreement; instead, it lies in supporting their right to openly share their thoughts and opinions without negative consequences. It also means having the courtesy to fully consider what they are saying, and if they share something that is true and sincere, acknowledge their contribution to the truth.  

Brilliant in the Basics: The Key to Great One-on-One Meetings: Empathetic Learning

A while back I read an article on that was truly insightful. I added it to my commonplace book and I refer to it often. This article, by Melanie Curtin, highlights the leadership efforts of CEO Kevin McMullin, who has a near-perfect employee retention rate at his company, CollegeWise.  

What is Mr. McMullin’s secret? He offers the key: 

We make it part of every manager’s responsibility to sit down and have one-to-ones with employees where the manager comes only with questions, and it’s the manager’s job to empathize and to learn. 

Mr. McMullin provides additional guidance by noting that the process is vital, too.  

The worst thing you can do is to just say “I have an open-door policy,” because that puts all the onus on the employees,” says McMullin. “If the manager goes first, most people will walk through that door and share their feedback. 

I encourage you to read Curtin’s full article. My takeaways are: 

  • Employees will share feedback but only when the managers go first; it’s not enough to say that you have an open-door policy. You need to invite them into your office and start asking questions. This will give them a chance to start talking.  
  • Make one-on-ones a mandatory activity. This will create a process or framework that supports effective feedback both up and down.  
  • Do not try and solve problems when you first solicit feedback. Seek to understand and listen with empathy.
  • Make it safe for your employees to share their thoughts, feelings, and sentiments. 

Pro Tip: Make one-on-ones mandatory at your organization and encourage your leaders to just listen. No problem solving during these sessions – just be empathetic!  

As noted in our last issue, we are focusing this month (July 2022) on ways to effectively measure DEI. We introduced our four-part DEI measurement model, which consists of the following elements: 

  • Voice 
  • Growth Opportunities 
  • Belonging 
  • Organizational Commitment 

This newsletter issue will focus on the last two elements: belonging and organizational commitment.  

When it comes to belonging, we recommend the following measures as effective statements to help understand the extent to which belonging is part of your employee experience.    

  1. I feel like I belong here. 
  2. The people I work with treat me with respect. 
  3. I feel comfortable in this organization’s culture. 
  4. My supervisor treats people with fairness and respect. 
  5. This organization cares about employees. 
  6. My supervisor cares about me as a person. 

Of the four parts in our model, our research suggests that a sense of “belongingness” is by far the most critical element. Over the past two decades, DecisionWise has collected over 50 million employee survey responses to understand the extent to which employees are engaged in their work. Belonging consistently ranks as the most important element we measure.  

Employees “belong” when they feel accepted, comfortable, and connected within the organization’s culture; they are excited and positive about their place in the organization – both currently and in the future. Interestingly, our research tells us that belonging is much more than a social connection to one’s team or teammates. This connection alone does not appear to be a crucial driver of employee engagement. Instead, an employee’s sense of belonging involves strong ties to the organization as a whole.  

The final element in our four-part model is organizational commitment. Here are the measures we recommend for this element: 

  1. [COMPANY NAME] attracts, develops, and retains people with diverse backgrounds 
  2. Employees here are treated equally regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. 
  3. Creating an inclusive environment is a top priority for this organization. 

One thing we have learned is that belonging cannot exist without a strong connection to the organization as a whole. Therefore, organizational commitment is vital in obtaining a comprehensive view of an organization’s DEI efforts. Belonging can be described as a sense of “membership.” An employee experiences belonging within and from their organization when they feel that sense of membership. Membership comes when each employee can clearly articulate their purpose, path, and place within their organization.  

Again, we are discussing DEI this month to empower our clients with the tools and resources they need to more effectively measure DEI within their organization. To this end, our last two newsletters have focused on our four-part model. Additionally, we are releasing articles, infographics, and webinars that can also help our clients improve the ways in which they measure DEI.  

What’s Happening at DecisionWise


If you missed this month’s webinar on “How to Measure DEI in Your Engagement Survey”, it is now available to watch on demand. 



Check out our latest article “4 Important DEI Measures for Your Employee Survey


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