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Measuring the Success of Inclusivity


For some organisations, the journey to becoming more inclusive involves a series of small steps. For larger firms with comprehensive EDI strategies, efforts will be made on a much larger scale. Either way, one very important aspect of your journey is measuring success.

Organisations of all sizes should always take the time to stop to ask themselves the right questions, to consider whether their efforts have been conducted effectively, and to assess they could have improved, what worked, what didn’t, and why. Without that reflection, you may never know if you are genuinely making meaningful changes.

Here are a few tips on how to take a step back and assess the progress of of your inclusive undertakings.

Monitor your workforce

When evaluating the success of inclusivity, you should take a number of aspects into consideration. Firstly, never simply look at the number of employees with disabilities that you employ and think that you’ve measured progress. You must also consider the overall opportunities these staff members have been offered,  considering their general growth, performance, the reasonable adjustments you have supported them with, and training opportunities provided. Also, consider where these workers are in the company hierarchy and what roles other employees with disabilities occupy. Are there fewer employees with disabilities at graduate or entry level, in senior positions or managerial roles? And if so, what can be done to improve that?

Consider also retention rates for employees with disabilities- if they are low, investigate why. Do you have an offboarding process or exit survey you could delve into to assess why the retention levels are low? If not, should you introduce one to ensure accessibility or issues around inclusivity aren’t the reason for staff departures?

Considering what cannot be seen

It’s always worth remembering that 80% of all disabilities cannot be seen- and 43% of those people with hidden disabilities choose to keep their disability a secret. So, if you are a big company, it’s highly likely you employ more people with disabilities than you are aware of.

Creating a more inclusive, understanding and empathetic workplace culture should improve the numbers of employees disclosing their disability, so observe any changes before and after your efforts to become more inclusive, as an increase in staff disclosure is a positive sign.

It is also important to make it very clear when you do a staff survey asking about any disabilities anybody on your workforce may have that you explain why. It should not be for statisticians in the back office but a genuine attempt by you to both understand the nature of your workforce and allow them the opportunity to seek any reasonable adjustment and allow them to bring their best selves to work.

Talk to employees

If there is anyone that can give you an insight into your weaknesses and strengths, it’s your people. The voice of existing employees with a disability will be most valuable of all, as they can give you first hand suggestions about what can be improved, existing barriers, issues and how to overcome them.

Obviously, if you have an inclusion council or disability steering group, then you should be a step ahead of the game as they will no doubt be identifying good and bad practice, and be raising awareness of environmental and cultural issues, whilst representing the views of staff with disabilities.  

If, however, you want to tap into the feedback of all employees to measure progress, then this can be done through anonymous surveys, feedback requests and open discussion sessions. Surveys and questionnaires can often receive a better, more honest response if facilitated by a third party, or outside organisation.

Use these surveys after things like disability awareness training, to monitor impact and changes in perception, to understand the impression and success of training programmes or inclusive developments. At Bascule, we offer surveys after training to assess progress and are now introducing more in-depth impact assessments over longer periods to monitor larger matters, such as the overall knowledge, perception, and empathy around disability after training. 

Other ways of monitoring include the encouragement of managers offering an ‘open door policy’ which is enhanced by supporting staff with a culture that encourages staff to openly discuss any issues, especially around disability. If managerial staff have received training in how to best manage staff members with disabilities, then communication should be a strong point, and will provide a channel that leads to sufficient support, as well as an understanding of requirements and a fulfilling of reasonable adjustments.

Finally, the quality and quantity of staff feedback will improve further, (and be taken much more seriously), if it is evidently acted upon. Making your team aware of what the assessment is for, and what the organisation’s aims are, will also make them more forthcoming in sharing their views and feedback.  


Another method of assessing inclusivity progress, is the general level of accessibility in your recruitment strategies. Begin by asking yourself, how open are the roles you offer? How many applications from people with a disability are you receiving, and how many of these people are making it into the interview room?

If numbers are low, assess the potential hurdles. Do the advertisements show that you are an inclusive employer? (are you Disability Confident – and if so, is that overtly apparent?). Do you offer an accessible pathway, (for example, are application methods accessible, does the website present challenges, is there accessible parking, if not do you offer alternatives?).

After identifying potential challenges, make some changes and check the numbers once again after your next recruitment drive.

Shout about progress

After monitoring how inclusive you have become, it’s important you share all of your progress and success. Make sure the efforts of the staff who help with progressing your journey are recognised.

Use these statistics and announcements internally and externally. This all contributes towards your inclusive journey, demonstrates your commitment and again, if anyone is choosing not to reveal their disability, they may become a little more open to revealing it, as they now see the understanding and support the company is offering.

If staff members with disabilities are 100% happy, you can also document their journey in a case study. This will demonstrate the company’s support, and how it is willing to make adjustments to allow staff to bring the best version of themselves to the workplace, which will in turn enhance your recruitment procedures.