Identifying DEI trends across employee feedback

Summary: Tracking and responding to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) trends is increasingly important to employers, but most DEI feedback is discussed in broader contexts or free-form surveys. Phase NLP analyzes such feedback and can help summarize trends even if the specific survey question was not asked. Learn more based on our analyzing employee feedback at a grocery retailer.

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Problem: An HR team at a national grocery retailer wanted to hear what their employees had to say about DEI in the workplace

A national grocery retailer was prioritizing and championing new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives at their company. In order to roll this out, their HR team needed to gather and report on the state of DEI, and they wanted to ensure that employee voices were included. Historically, the company had not conducted an explicit survey about DEI, nor did it seem timely or appropriate to do so now. They decided that the best route forward was to scour their pulse surveys for DEI focused employee insights. In a company with over 90,000 employees, they needed a way to efficiently and thoroughly analyze their data for DEI related comments.

Solution: Use Phase NLP to identify feedback that talks about DEI issues

The retailer provided Phase NLP with a sample of 5,000 comments from their most recent pulse surveys. We used our DEI Model to analyze all comments and identify those that were most likely to be discussing issues related to DEI. A higher score or percentage indicated a stronger match. Of the strongest DEI matches (above a score of 95%), we used our Sentiment Model to identify comments that were most positive and most negative.

Here are the top three positive and negative DEI comments from employees:

These comments and others were used to represent the employee voice in the company’s 2020 DEI report, and set the groundwork for employee dialogues on DEI.


  • Comments were scored in seconds: The Phase NLP platform scored comments across its DEI and sentiment models in seconds, identifying the most relevant feedback to include in executive reporting.
  • Make the most of existing data: Rather than invest time and money into a new survey and avoid risks related to surveying on a sensitive topic, the company was able to leverage survey data it had already collected.
  • Cross analysis possible in aggregate: ID stamps for each comment will enable the HR team to cross-analyze the top DEI comments in aggregate so that they can build customized initiatives by region, site, and department.


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