DEI Survey Communciations Blueprint

25th Apr 2023

Running a DEI survey with Divrsity is super-simple: our expert-approved questions and lenses mean that it's easy to gain insight without causing offense.

However, the communication strategy can be the difference between 60% response rate and 92% response rate (the highest we have seen.

So here's how Divrsity recommends running the communications around your DEI survey:

1. T-minus one month: Engage your Employee Resource Group (ERG) Leaders

From Gartner: An employee resource group (ERG) is a voluntary, employee-led diversity and inclusion initiative that is formally supported by an organization. ERGs generally are organized on the basis of common identities, interests, or backgrounds with the goal of supporting employees by providing opportunities to network and create a more inclusive workplace.

ERG leaders tend to be experts on their own community. Consequently, inviting ERG leaders to join the Divrsity platform and collaborate on the questions is an important step in ensuring engagement, fostering inclusion, establishing transparency (following the steps below means ERG leaders can also view the results and understand D&I through their own lenses), and galavanising participation.

Note that the Divrsity platform is designed to enable multiple-users to collaborate on the same surveys/questions/lenses/results. To invite users to your organisation, click on the menu/logo at the top right and select "Invite Colleagues", then click "View" to see all associated users.

2. T-minus 2-3 weeks: Let the organisation know that it's coming

Ideally at a company all-hands, or similarly impactful event, have the CEO talk about:

  1. The importance of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, Bias and Belonging to the business. There are hundreds of articles about how more diverse organisations/teams are more creative and how a more diverse workforce leads to better business outcomes.
  2. The dates the survey will be launched and will complete
  3. The fact that Divrsity ensures that all survey data is completely anonymous. Feel free to pillage our blog article to help employees understand how we keep their personal data safe.
  4. Make firm commitments that resource/time will be allocated to address any issues that the survey highlights, and therefore the importance of answering honestly.
3a. T minus one week: IT to whitelist e-mails from

We see significantly higher participation rates when e-mails are sent from our domain versus from a member of the HR team. Employees are often relucant to share deeply personal data with the HR organisation whereas Divrsity can ensure that all survey data is "Obsessively Anonymous".

By sending individual e-mails, we're also able to track response rates (including by department, see Step 5), prevent survey poisoning (a few users submitting tens or even hundreds of responses to distort the results) and send reminders only to those individuals who haven't completed the survey.

3b. T-minus one week: Final Check on tone-of-voice

Do a final check to ensure that the invitation and reminder e-mails accurately reflect your organisation's tone-of-voice. Also, ensure that they capture any important insights from the CEOs presentation

4. T-minus two days: Let the organisation know that it's coming again

An e-mail from the HR Director/Chief People Officer to remind the organisation that the survey is coming, explain that e-mails will come from a e-mail address, and remind people about the importance of being honest so that we can effect real change.

5. T-plus 20 minutes: Check that invitations have been received

Within 15-20 minutes of the survey launching, your employees will have the invitation in their mailboxes. Check with some team members that your e-mail has arrived and that you can complete the survey. (We've never see a bug that causes surveys not to run but it never hurts to check).

6. T-plus 5 days: Automatic Reminders are go

2-3 days before the end of the survey, reminder e-mails will automatically be sent to participants who have not yet completed the survey. No need to do anything

7. T-plus 7 days (24-48 hours before the end of the survey): Friendly rivalry

For large organisations, Divrsity can provide a league table of responses by department. e.g. We have 157 responses from Tech&Product, but only 32 from marketing.

A little friendly competition and a nudge from the manager, can make a huge difference to the overall level of participation.

8. T-plus 10 days (24 hours after the end of the survey): Send a thank you.

Thank the organisation for their participation, let them know what percentage of the organisation responsed, and the average time to complete a survey (both of which are available from your dashboard). Most importantly let them know when you will communicate the results and actions.

9. T-plus 30 days: Present results, and make commitments

Dissecting the data, and presenting results in a way that is meaninful to your organisation could be the subject of a complete book. However, our strong recommendation is to present the results and make commitments to addressing 1-3 opportunities.

At Divrsity we're huge fans of "micro-interventions": small changes that make disproportionate impact on Inclusion, Equity, Bias and Belonging.

For example, multiple Divrsity surveys have uncovered organisations with interview panels are disproportionalely male, and disproportionately white. Making a commitment to providing the necessary training and administrative processes which ensure that our interview panels represent our internal or target diversity is a quick win that has immediate impact.

We're also believers that DEI involves constantly "chipping away" at issues: a commitment to delivering measurable progress on 1-3 opportunities is 100x more important than a vague admission that there's work to do.

A regular check-in on progress reminds the organisation that DEI is part of what we do every day, not just a check-box exercise every 6 months.

10. T-plus 6 months: It's survey time again!

Remind the organisation about the commitments we made, and the changes we have made. Follow-through will be the biggest contributor to participation rates this time 'round.

- Mark Holt

One of the reasons we built the Divrsity platform, was in-reaction to the one-dimensional way in which many employers look at Diversity: often focusing on Gender and/or Race, while ignoring important dimnsions such as Neurodiversity and/or Social Mobility. Read more about how Lenses help find opportunities to address Inclusion, Bias and Equity across all dimensions, or hit the button below to try it for yourself.

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