Assess beliefs and experiences
It’s not only important to understand what decision was made, but also how that decision and surrounding interactions affect employees. The Google team is working to understand how unconscious bias affects people’s beliefs, experiences and attitudes at work, and promote a climate of inclusion and a sense of fairness.
Cultural assessments are very important, as they help measure whether employees feel valued, included and treated fairly, and whether they feel the organization as a whole is a place where they can thrive. These are important factors to assess. One cannot presume that a lack of gender or ethnicity differences in the outcomes described above (for example) are suitable proxies. To assess experiences and beliefs, one must ask the right questions. At Google, the primary vehicle for doing so is the annual employee opinion survey, Googlegeist. Survey questions may touch on the following:
Inclusion: Do female and male, under-represented minorities (URM) and non-URM, Googlers in each office location, feel equally included and valued? Comparing responses to questions like - “I feel comfortable being myself at work, even when I am different from others,” and, “Google is a place where all types of Googlers (e.g., all genders, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds) can succeed to their full abilities” - allow analysts to assess those feelings of inclusion. Google also focuses on the relationships employees have with their managers. Survey questions such as - “The actions of my manager show that he/she values the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from his/her own,” and “My work group has a climate in which diverse perspectives are valued” - help provide insight as well.
Fairness: Employees' perceptions of people-decisions are as important as the actual outcomes of those decisions. To assess those perceptions, Google asks employees to share feedback on whether or not they believe the promotion process is fair, whether people are properly recognized for their contributions, and whether or not compensation is fair.