Marathon County Workplace Inclusivity Study

Marathon County has placed significant emphasis on supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace in recent years and their leadership team wanted to know how employees feel about their place of employment: Do they feel they belong? Do they feel valued and respected by their co-workers and managers, whatever their differences may be (e.g., ethnic background, gender, religion, etc.)? To answer these questions, WIPPS Research Partners developed an inventory of items related to employee perceptions of belonging and inclusion, surveyed employees of Marathon County, and conducted follow-up focus groups with select members of the organization. In November 2018, a total of 776 employees from Marathon County were invited to complete a broad inventory to assess feelings of belonging, shared values, support for diversity, communication, fairness, care, respect, and positivity at Marathon County. In January, we followed up with focus group sessions to take a deeper dive on the findings. A total of 390 employees completed the questionnaire (over 50 percent response rate) and 21 employees participated in the focus group sessions. Findings were presented to employees at the county’s in-service training in January and to a statewide audience at the Toward One Wisconsin Conference in Milwaukee (April 2019). The results are being used to provide follow-up training on leadership and inclusivity throughout the organization.