13 Pulse check questions to measure the DEI for your organization

9 min read
13 Pulse check questions to measure the DEI for your organization

The sweet sound of unity, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) humming in perfect harmony within your organization. Picture it: a team where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to give their very best. It's like a symphony of talents playing their unique notes, creating a masterpiece that sets your business apart.

But hey, let's pause for a moment and ask ourselves this quirky question: "If DEI were a song, would it be a chart-topping bop or a sad tune that no one wants on their playlist?"

In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving work environment, measuring DEI is crucial. After all, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it! That's where pulse check questions swoop in like the cool DJ, ready to mix things up and help you gauge the rhythm of your organization's inclusivity.

You might be thinking, "Wait, what exactly are pulse check questions?" Think of them as your secret weapon for assessing your team's vibes. These questions are carefully crafted to give you insights into your employees' experiences, feelings, and perceptions and help improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

But don't worry! We won't leave you hanging without some examples. Here's a taste of what DEI pulse check questions can look like:

1) "On a scale of 1 to 10, how supported do you feel in expressing your true self at work?"

2) "Do you believe that opportunities for growth and advancement are equally accessible to all employees?"

3) "How comfortable are you in challenging biases or microaggressions within your team?"

By asking these questions regularly, you'll identify areas where your team might need extra love and attention. In this blog, we will dive deep into DEI and explore different questions that can help your organization measure it.

Table of contents:

What is DEI?

DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and it represents a commitment to creating a workplace where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered, regardless of their background, identity, sexual orientation, or experiences. Let's break it down:

1) Diversity

Imagine a vibrant tapestry of individuals, each bringing their unique perspectives, skills, and talents to the table. That's diversity! It goes beyond visible differences like race, ethnicity, gender, age, and physical abilities.

It also encompasses less visible aspects such as education, work experience, socioeconomic and cultural background, and even diversity of thought. Embracing diversity means actively seeking out and celebrating these differences, understanding that they enrich the overall fabric of your organization.

2) Equity

Equity is all about fairness and leveling the playing field. It recognizes that different individuals may have different needs, privileges, and barriers to success. Equity involves acknowledging and addressing systemic disadvantages that certain groups face, working to create opportunities that are accessible and inclusive for everyone.

It means actively removing barriers, providing support and resources where needed, and ensuring that no one is left behind.

3) Inclusion

Inclusion is the secret sauce that binds diversity and equity together. It's about creating a sense of belonging where every individual feels respected, valued, and heard.

Inclusive organizations foster an environment where people can bring their authentic selves to work, contribute their unique perspectives, and have their voices amplified. It actively promotes a culture of respect, open communication, and collaboration, where diverse viewpoints are not only welcomed but sought after.

When organizations embrace DEI, they reap a multitude of benefits. It fuels innovation, as diverse perspectives lead to fresh ideas and creative problem-solving. It also leads to enhanced employee engagement, as individuals feel a sense of purpose and belonging.

DEI also improves decision-making, as multiple viewpoints challenge biases and lead to more informed choices. And let's not forget the external impact—an inclusive organization attracts top talent, resonates with diverse customer bases, and contributes to a more equitable society as a whole.

Importance of measuring the pulse of employees using DEI survey questions

Measuring the pulse of employees using DEI survey questions is like putting your finger on the organizational heartbeat—it allows you to understand the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion within your workforce. Here's why it's crucial:

1) Assessing employee experience

DEI survey questions provide valuable insights into how employees experience the workplace. They help gauge how supported, included, and valued individuals feel within the organization. By measuring the pulse of a diverse workforce, you can identify areas where improvements are needed and take proactive steps to build an inclusive culture.

2) Identifying strengths and gaps

Pulse surveys enable you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your DEI initiatives. You can discover what aspects of diversity and inclusion work well and should be celebrated while uncovering areas where improvements or additional support are necessary. This data-driven approach helps you decide where to allocate resources and focus your efforts.

3) Monitoring progress

Measuring the pulse of employees over time allows you to track progress in your DEI journey. It helps you see if your initiatives are making a positive impact and if your organization is moving closer to its diversity and inclusion goals.

Monitoring progress ensures you can course-correct if needed, celebrate milestones, and strive for a more inclusive workplace culture.

4) Employee engagement and retention

DEI surveys strongly tell employees that their experiences and perspectives matter. When employees see that their voices are being heard and that the organization is committed to creating an inclusive environment, it boosts their engagement and loyalty.

Engaged employees are more likely to stay with the company, contribute their best work, and advocate for positive change.

5) Addressing blind spots

Sometimes, unconscious biases and blind spots can hinder the progress of DEI efforts. Pulse surveys provide an opportunity to uncover these blind spots by soliciting anonymous feedback and insights.

By actively seeking input from employees, you can uncover hidden challenges, biases, or areas where individuals feel excluded. This knowledge allows you to implement targeted interventions and foster a more inclusive company culture.

6) Demonstrating commitment

By measuring the pulse of employees through DEI surveys, you demonstrate your organization and executive team's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It shows that you value employee experiences, seek continuous improvement, and prioritize creating a fair and inclusive workplace.

This commitment can enhance your reputation as an employer of choice and attract top talent who value diversity and inclusion.

Remember, measuring the pulse is just the first step. The real value lies in taking action based on the survey results. Actively listening to employee feedback, implementing changes, and communicating progress will help create a culture of transparency and trust, reinforcing your commitment to DEI.

How to do a DEI pulse check for your employees?

Performing a DEI pulse check for your employees involves a thoughtful and serious evaluation process and a systematic approach to gathering meaningful insights. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a DEI pulse check:

1) Set clear objectives

Determine the specific goals and objectives you want to achieve through the pulse check and inclusion surveys. Are you looking to assess overall diversity and inclusion perceptions, identify specific challenges, or measure progress toward specific targets? Defining your objectives will guide the survey design and analysis.

2) Craft the right questions

Develop a set of survey questions that align with your objectives. Ensure that the questions are clear, concise, and relevant to the diversity, equity, and inclusion aspects you want the inclusion survey to measure. Consider including a mix of closed-ended (e.g., rating scales) and open-ended questions to capture both quantitative and qualitative data.

3) Ensure anonymity and confidentiality

Assure employees that their responses will be anonymous and confidential to encourage honest and candid feedback. Anonymity helps create a safe space for employees to express their thoughts and experiences without fear of retribution.

4) Choose the right survey platform

Select a user-friendly and secure survey platform to administer the pulse check. Various online survey tools, such as CultureMonkey, offer features such as anonymous responses, data analysis capabilities, and customizable survey question designs.

5) Determine the frequency

Decide on the frequency of conducting the DEI pulse check. Regular pulse checks allow you to track progress over time and identify trends. Consider conducting the survey annually, semi-annually, or quarterly, depending on your organization's needs.

6) Communicate and launch the survey

Introduce the DEI pulse check to your employees in a transparent and inclusive manner. Clearly communicate the purpose, importance, and benefits of the diversity survey itself. Emphasizing on participation is crucial for improving diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization.

7) Analyze and interpret the data

Once the survey is complete, analyze the data to derive meaningful insights. Look for patterns, trends, and areas where improvement is needed. Consider segmenting the data by demographics (e.g., age, gender, race) to identify any disparities or differences in experiences across various groups.

8) Act on the findings

Use the survey results to inform actionable steps and initiatives. Engage key stakeholders, such as leadership, HR, and employee resource groups, to develop strategies that address the identified gaps and challenges. Implement changes, policies, and programs to foster a more inclusive and equitable work environment.

9) Communicate the results and progress

Share the survey findings with employees to demonstrate transparency and accountability. Communicate the actions being taken based on the feedback received. Regularly update employees on the progress made and celebrate successes along the way.

10) Repeat and iterate

Conduct the DEI pulse check periodically to measure progress, refine strategies, and continuously improve. Each iteration builds upon the previous one, creating a learning, adaptation, and growth cycle.

Remember, a DEI pulse check is just one part of a larger commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It should be accompanied by ongoing efforts, initiatives, and a culture of inclusion to create lasting change within your organization.

What are the three pillars to look at DEI practices?

When evaluating DEI practices within an organization, it is helpful to consider three key pillars that provide a comprehensive perspective. With them, organizations can gain a holistic understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement. These three pillars are:

1) Policies and procedures

This pillar focuses on the formal guidelines, rules, and processes in place within the organization to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. It includes developing and implementing policies related to recruitment, hiring, promotions, pay equity, employee resource groups, accommodation, and addressing discrimination and harassment.

Assessing the effectiveness and inclusivity of these policies is crucial to ensure that they are fair, transparent, and aligned with the organization's DEI goals.

2) Organizational culture

The second pillar centers around the norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors that shape the organization's culture. It involves assessing how diversity and inclusion are embraced and integrated into the daily operations and interactions within the workplace.

Factors to consider include leadership commitment to DEI, communication practices, employee engagement, inclusivity of decision-making processes, fostering psychological safety, and the presence of an inclusive and respectful work environment.

3) Talent and employee development

This pillar focuses on the development, support, and advancement opportunities provided to employees. It includes evaluating whether there is equitable access to training and development programs, mentoring and sponsorship initiatives, networking opportunities, and career progression.

Assessing representation at different organizational levels, including leadership positions, is crucial to identifying potential barriers and promoting a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline.

13 Pulse check questions to measure the DEI of your employees

The following diversity, equity, and inclusion questions will help you get started with your DEI survey initiatives. However, remember to adapt these questions to suit the specific context and goals of your organization.

Additionally, consider including demographic and inclusion survey questions to analyze data across different groups and identify any disparities or trends in experiences related to DEI.

1) Are you aware of the organization's diversity and inclusion policies?

2) On a scale of 1 to 5, how comfortable do you feel expressing your opinions and ideas in team meetings?

3) Can you provide an example of a time when you felt included and valued within the organization?

4) Have you participated in any diversity and inclusion training or workshops the organization provides?

5) How well do you believe the organization fosters a sense of belonging for employees from diverse backgrounds?

6) What suggestions or recommendations do you have to improve the organization's diversity and inclusion efforts?

7) How well does the organization address and respond to incidents of discrimination or harassment?

8) Share a personal experience that made you feel valued and included in the workplace.

9) To what extent do you believe that all employees have equal opportunities for career advancement within the organization?

10) Describe any experiences or observations of bias or discrimination in the workplace, if applicable.

11) Are you aware of any organizational diversity or inclusion initiatives for employee resource groups?

12) How would you rate the level of awareness and understanding of different cultures, backgrounds, and identities among your colleagues and supervisors?

13) Do you believe that diversity and inclusion initiatives are effectively implemented within our organization? If not, what areas do you think need improvement?


Crafting effective DEI survey questions is crucial for gathering accurate and meaningful data. The questions mentioned above are there to nudge you in the right direction to where your diversity efforts must be focused.

Keep in mind the importance of customizing and testing your questions and structuring them in a logical order. With effective survey questions, you can uncover valuable information, make informed decisions, and drive positive change within your organization.

So, go forth and create surveys that truly engage and empower your respondents, leading to a deeper understanding of their needs and experiences. If you want to conduct DEI surveys at your workplace, CultureMonkey can help you listen to your employees better and create more growth opportunities with its employee engagement survey platform.

It offers multiple options besides employee pulse surveys, such as eNPS and employee life cycle surveys, to accurately measure your employees' engagement levels and address any problems they are facing.

Companies can also take anonymous feedback in real-time and ensure their employees are not facing any major roadblocks. It can also help find areas of focus the management needs to work on to improve the employee experience and engagement.