DOI: 10.1177/00910260231187544 ISSN: 0091-0260

The Impact of Employee Perceptions of Inclusion in a Racially Diverse Agency: Lessons From a State Government Survey

Maren Trochmann, Kendra Stewart, Jordan Ragusa
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Administration

Public organizations have long sought to increase workforce diversity and employee inclusion, a goal that has only increased in recent years. The study examines a racially diverse state government agency to explore how employee perceptions of diversity and inclusion relate to workplace happiness, employee engagement, and job satisfaction. Using original survey data of over 1,800 workers, this study explores how employees perceive diversity and inclusion, how these perceptions relate to overall workplace happiness, and examines the factors that may lead to more positive perceptions of diversity and inclusion. The analysis employs principal component analysis and multilevel regression modeling. The findings underscore the connections between overall workplace happiness and positive perceptions of diversity and inclusion. The key takeaways for public organizations include the importance of senior leadership when it comes to cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment. Finally, a notable finding is the statistically significant increase in positive feelings around inclusion and diversity for historically underrepresented racial groups and that low pay for long-term employees decreases these feelings.

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