Meeting in a Box: Employee Engagement

February 26, 2013 7:54 pm

Are your employees engaged?[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and subscribers.]

Are you paying attention to how engaged your employees are? Lack of organizational cultural competence often makes Blacks, Latinos, Asians, women and others from underrepresented groups feel disenfranchised. Increasingly, it also impacts the engagement of white men in a world where the “majority” is rapidly changing.

Several key D&I factors—especially resource groups, mentoring and CEO involvement—significantly affect engagement. This is especially important these days as more and more companies connect an engaged workforce to higher productivity, innovation and market share.

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and subscribers.]


Your D&I staff, managers and resource-group leaders should start by reviewing our recent web seminar on Employee Engagement. The presentation demonstrates what we’ve learned through studying data from the DiversityInc Top 50, which has been around for 14 years and will have more than 800 participants this year. It showcases the efforts of two companies that excel at driving employee engagement by creating inclusive workplaces: AT&T and Time Warner.

This was our first web seminar on Employee Engagement and the response from the hundreds of people who listened to it live (and those who have subsequently watched it on was very strong; they said the information was “invaluable” and that they were “very excited to share this with our employees.”

Our research presented in the web seminar shows that involved CEOs who communicate the value of D&I to the business engage employees across all demographics.  DiversityInc Top 50 companies do this increasingly, with more than twice as many CEOs meeting with resource groups regularly than did five years ago. Those resource groups themselves directly contribute to increased engagement, with the number of employee participants in Top 50 companies’ resource groups doubling in the last five years. Measurement-focused companies like Sodexo see double-digit increases in engagement for resource-group members when compared with nonmembers.

We also noted a strong correlation between formal, cross-cultural mentoring and engagement (again, across all demographics). The percentage of managers participating in mentoring in DiversityInc Top 50 companies has more than doubled in the past five years as well.

The presentations from AT&T and Time Warner were particularly effective because they demonstrated the importance of D&I to engagement and the business results.  Engagement driven by D&I contributed strongly to Time Warner’s having its highest stock price in six years, reducing attrition across all demographics, and producing the highest employee satisfaction rating to date. AT&T cited data showing business leaders who were effective at engaging teams had 6 percent higher revenue and profit than leaders who were ineffective. View the entire web seminar.

Discussion Questions for D&I Staff, HR Staff, Managers and Resource-Group Leaders

Do your engagement surveys factor in race/ethnicity, gender, orientation, disability, age and other diversity factors? If not, why not? If so, how well does your company engage workers from different groups and how do you address gaps?

Ask the staff to go back and review your survey to ensure it does measure engagement by diversity factors and stress the importance of these metrics to understand the gaps and the opportunities. To show an example of a company that does this well, go to

Are you able to connect your resource groups to increased engagement and, therefore, to business results?

Explain how other companies have used resource groups to specifically understand corporate-culture gaps and increase employee involvement. Highlight how important it is to track engagement, retention and promotion rates for resource-group members versus those who are not members. For case studies, go to

How involved are your senior leaders (CEO and direct reports, direct reports to those direct reports) involved in your efforts to increase engagement, especially to underrepresented groups?

The value of having senior leadership directly engaged in efforts to enhance engagement is crucial. But your staff doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Have them read these examples of ways other companies have gained senior executive buy-in. Go to


Click on images below to download the PDFs.

Ask DiversityInc: How Do Resource Groups, Mentoring & Accountability Drive Engagement? Do White Men Really Need Diversity Outreach?