3 Ways Enterprises Can Use Market Research to Boost DE&I

  • January 6, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, (DE&I) is one of the top priorities for companies today.  DE&I initiatives focus on policies, practices, and cultures that promote equal opportunities for employees regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors. Many job seekers have begun inquiring about a company’s DE&I efforts as part of their job search process. A recent survey found that 76% of respondents reported that a genuinely diverse workforce is critical when evaluating companies and job offers. Research shows that companies with a diverse workforce are more productive and profitable. With the help of market research, your company can craft the right DE&I program. Here’s how. 

How Market Research Can Help Create a Diverse Workforce

When cultivated properly, diversity can become a company’s superpower. When a company has a team of 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 important role in supporting enterprises’ DE&I initiatives by identifying and prioritizing opportunities for improvement in the area of diversity and equality, the same way that market research can help companies gain insights into what their customers need and want. 

Why Company Surveys Are Important

Employee surveys are critical for any business looking to create a diverse and inclusive culture. Surveys help companies understand what their employees want from their jobs and how they feel about their company’s values. Establishing a practice of regular check-in surveys is a great way for companies to receive real-time feedback from employees. It also serves to show employees that they are being listened to and that their company is genuinely working towards a culture of diversity and inclusion. 

Diversity studies like employee engagement surveys can help companies better understand how their current DE&I initiatives are working. Employees can tell companies what barriers still exist and may be getting in the way of achieving their DE&I goal, and what benefits diversity and inclusion might have within specific departments, or in general. These surveys allow employees to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on topics that are important to them as it relates to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Companies can also use survey results to identify issues within their organization, allowing them to be addressed through training or some other program. This is especially important when dealing with microaggressions or unconscious bias on their teams. 

Get Insights Straight From Your Team With Internal Focus Groups

The best way to get feedback from your teams is to ask them directly. Establishing an employee focus group can provide an opportunity for employees to share their insights, explain their answers on a survey, identify trends in your data and help brainstorm solutions. Focus groups are more commonly used in advertising and market research, but they are increasingly becoming more common for companies looking to fortify their DE&I programs. 

Focus groups are small groups of individuals who meet with a facilitator 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, companies can explore issues like barriers to success for diverse groups of people in the workplace, any problematic behaviors or attitudes among team members, customers or suppliers, and how companies can best communicate their DE&I agenda to stakeholders. 

Build an Inclusive Company Culture With Employee Online Communities

Online communities can be a powerful tool for companies trying to build a strong diverse culture.  They can provide a safe place for employees to share their experiences, both in and outside of the workplace.  When employees genuinely feel as if they belong, they will feel comfortable expressing their feelings and ideas. 

Online communities also provide a space for team members with similar interests and backgrounds to find each other and connect in ways that might not be possible during the standard work day. Individuals who might still be in the process of finding their fitting at the workplace, may feel more comfortable connecting with someone who has similar interests in an online community. They could also feel more at ease developing a relationship outside of the workplace, as well. 

Another important result of establishing employee online communities is the opportunity for collaboration between team members and departments within an organization. If a company can have everyone from the sales team to the marketing professionals come together on an online platform, it will promote collaboration between teams, and allow everyone to work towards a common goal. 

Market research can help companies with their DE&I initiatives in several ways and be an effective tool in identifying areas for improvement. Even the most robust DE&I progam will benefit from periodic evaluations and enhancements. Market research will help companies specify the right focus areas relating to company culture, employee satisfaction and customer needs. 

Talent and ability are not the domain of a select group of people. We believe that everyone has the potential to do something great and that everyone should be given an opportunity to shine. We believe in having genuine diversity of thought and background at the table. Eyes4Research  has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from your enterprise employees to boost your DE&I program. Learn more about our specialty panels here.