You’ve seen the research revealing the benefits of a more inclusive culture. Your organization has emphasized the need to become more inclusive. You’ve been involved with (or perhaps even led) several initiatives to enhance your culture of inclusion. You’ve heard a few success stories and believe the strategy is working. But, you haven’t seen any hard data to back it up, and people are starting to ask questions. Unfortunately, as D&I and OD professionals, our situation is not unique.

InQ (inclusion quotient) is how you measure your leadership’s effectiveness at facilitating a culture of inclusion. Although many organizations emphasize inclusion, few actually measure or report on their InQ.

A recent Harvard Business Review study surveyed 168 companies and found that 78% of the respondents agreed that diversity and inclusion are strategically important, but only a small fraction (8%) indicated that HR routinely reports on them. Further, out of the ten most important human capital management activities, the gap between strategic importance and routine reporting for diversity and inclusion was, by far, the largest (see Figure 1 below)

Inclusion Bar Chart.jpg

How do you measure InQ? Let’s start with how you don’t. Some organizations use engagement as a proxy measure for InQ, but more often than not there are too many other factors affecting engagement to evaluate InQ accurately. Other organizations measure leaders by the same tool as non-leaders, which prohibits understanding how effective leaders are at increasing the level of inclusion within their teams. And some organizations don’t try to measure their InQ at all.

As Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” The good news is, there are two approaches to determining your InQ that will provide tangible data on how well your inclusion strategy is working.

The first is to separate inclusion from engagement, as engagement is an outcome of cultural inclusivity. Whatever method you may be using to measure engagement, it is more than likely you’ll need to supplement that with specific, valid measures of inclusive climate or culture.

The second approach is to use different tools for leaders and non-leaders. Leaders are the key to inclusion, and effectively evaluating their inclusive leadership skills requires tools that incorporate multiple perspectives. Traditional upward feedback and 360 evaluations are a good start, but they need to be supplemented with elements that are more forward-looking and predictive. 

Evaluating how leaders may respond in future situations or “defining moments” will provide key information on their ability to establish and reinforce a culture of inclusion.

Using both approaches in combination will yield the most cogent data on your InQ and how well your inclusion strategy is working. If you can only do one, we recommend the second approach as it will also provide actionable results for your leaders.

Inclusion is here to stay, and by all indications is only increasing in importance. Consequently, the importance of measuring (and reporting on) the impact of your organization’s InQ is not far behind.


If you're interested in reading more on this topic, download our complementary eBook on Inclusive Leadership.


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