In 2013, Linkage and its clients faced a problem: Even though research and studies showed the power and need for inclusive leaders in today’s workforce, no one had a good way to assess inclusion, let alone track a leader’s progress toward inclusiveness.

Understanding and providing guidance around the development of inclusive leadership became a driving focus at Linkage; the result of their work is the Inclusive Leadership Assessment™.

Based on their research of global organizations, the Linkage team isolated eleven hallmark competencies and behaviors that help organizations and leaders build an inclusive culture, increase employee engagement, and advance cultural imperatives.

By measuring the inclusiveness of all leaders, organizations can establish diversity and inclusion benchmarks; in the process, leaders will better internalize the behaviors, leading to faster, more meaningful change. Because the assessment is based on behaviors, and not personal epiphanies, when combined with skill building and effective coaching, it provides a scalable solution that can be broadly and quickly implemented with immediate observable impact.

“So much of the work that’s being done around inclusion these days has to do with biases and perceptions—it’s good, thoughtful work, but difficult to measure,” says Charley Morrow, Vice President of Assessments at Linkage. “The assessment is simple and immediately effectual because it describes and measures the behaviors that, when emulated, make your actions more inclusive.”

As organizations and leaders create development programs around this assessment, they will have baseline data from which to gage success and growth of their initiatives.

Within four weeks of launching the assessment, more than 1,500 people expressed interest in the tool and now have a measurable way to track their organizations’ and leaders’ progress toward becoming more inclusive.