Diversity and Inclusion Organizational and Self-Assessments

The first step organizations can take to become more culturally competent and aware of their goals related to diversity and inclusion is to complete an organizational assessment. These tools allow for organizations to examine their current status and then set a plan to move forward. There are both free tools referenced here as well as paid options available if you are looking for a more in-depth analysis and guidance moving forward.

Assumptions: In order for organizational change related to diversity and inclusion to take place, there are certain considerations that must be present in working through the assessment. Successful organizations are aware that:

  • Change is a process
  • Progress occurs in stages
  • Change is not linear-often times organizations will move in a variety of directions while working through the process of change.
  • Organizations must assess its current inclusion stage and preparedness for change

Change Management: It may also benefit your organization to examine this process through a change management model such as the ADKAR model of change. This is a goal-oriented tool which makes it possible for organizations to focus on the activities related to the goals they want to reach.

The following are some of the things for which this model can be used:

  • To provide help and support to employees to go through the process of change or transitioning while the change management is taking place.
  • To diagnose and treat the resistance shown by employees towards change.
  • To come up with a successful and efficient plan for the professional as well as personal improvements of employees during the change.

The ADKAR model acronym stands for the following:

  • Awareness-of the need and requirement for change
  • Desire-to bring about change and be a participant in it
  • Knowledge-of how to bring about change
  • Ability to incorporate the change on a regular basis
  • Reinforcement-to keep it implemented and reinforced later on as well


Stages of Inclusion: Many organizations aspire to implement inclusion practices without taking the time to assess where their organization is currently at, making it challenging to identify gaps or make any real progress in the inclusion of others. Many assessments will have a categorization of where an organization is at after they complete their assessment. Having this organizational awareness AND accepting it allows the group to begin to plan for actual change and identify areas of growth.

The following is a sample of stages of inclusion a group could be in related to inclusion and intercultural competencies. Read prior to completing an organizational assessment and see if you have a feel for where your group could be at. Don’t be surprised if your initial reaction places your group further advanced in the stages than the assessment indicates, as it is often common to have a view of your organization as being further advanced than it actually is.

  1. Conventional(Stage 1): The primary view of an organization in this stage is that only those who fit into the traditional norms and values will succeed.
  2. Defensive(Stage 2): The leadership understands that the organization must work to make others feel included, but continue to resist changing the culture.
  3. Ambivalent(Stage 3): The Ambivalent stage is present when historically excluded group members represent 15% to 25% of the institution’s population and diversity best practices are being put into place to include them.
  4. Egalitarian(Stage 4): Cultural differences are embraced yet there is resistance against putting efforts into making further changes to create a level playing field.
  5. Integrative(Stage 5): The high performing organization actively includes and utilizes the wide range of skills and perspectives of its identity groups. There is fairness and equity in the organization that promotes diversity with little effort.

Assessing the organization’s current stage is best served when teams work to capture the following

  • A survey of as many employees as possible
  • Interviews with Key Informants (Leadership, management, and stakeholders) which can even sometimes include outside constituents who can give you an external perception of your organization or what it is like to work with you
  • Focus groups with members of various departments and units within the organization

Credit to DTUI.com

Here are several available offerings related to where you can begin to assess your organization:

  • National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 2013.
    • A self assessment tool that helps you identify goals, track milestones, and self-construct a plan to achieve goals. Organizations should already have some context related to goals and be able to be self-directed enough to create internal change. This tool is brief and not as comprehensive.
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2017
    • While this assessment focuses on how to create an inclusive workplace for employers with an emphasis on mental health, the organizational assessment found on page 14 is still a comprehensive tool. Organizations would need to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, current policies, and have a representative group of people to share input on status. The tool is lengthy but open ended.
  • Organizational Diversity and Inclusion Self-Assessment Tool Organizational D&I Assessment Tool.doc

For more options (paid) MSP three more places to look