Step 2: Develop your Diversity Action Plan

Now you’ve prepared, the second step is all about developing your diversity plan. Creating a Diversity Action Plan is a demonstration of your intention to be inclusive.

It can be overwhelming to consider all the actions that you could take, so make a list and set some priorities. Having done the work above will help to set some key priority areas based on the people in your community, their needs and the services you deliver.

Your priorities will be influenced by considerations such as your budget, resourcing capacity and workforce constraints so remember to ensure your goals are achievable. Depending on your budget and resources, wholesale changes or large initiatives like Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) or Rainbow Tick Accreditation may not be feasible, but it does not mean you can do nothing. There are many smaller, ‘quick win’ actions that will all work toward larger objectives.

List your priority and then key actions you can deliver against a timeline. A 12-month plan may be easiest to start with. You may also have some longer-term objectives, such as commencing a RAP or Rainbow Tick Accreditation. Wherever you start, remember it is the first iteration of a plan, and you will continue to improve and change.

You may also list and reflect on what you are doing well and how you can transfer these successes.

Consider the sections below for more in-depth suggestions:

     What should our Diversity Plan look like?

There is no one way to set out your Diversity Plan. The key is that is it documented: that you have set objectives, what actions you will take towards those objectives, a timeframe to achieve them, and a way to note your progress.

Each objective you set should have Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely actions to help you move towards being more inclusive. This will help you be more successful, and also hold you accountable.  We recommend assigning actions or objectives “owners” – people who are responsible for these actions happening.

You should also consider – how will we know we have achieved our objectives? Is it a number or percentage of people, is it the publication of a document, staff/client satisfaction. Think about how you will demonstrate that we are working in a more inclusive way.  You can find more information about measuring diversity characteristics below. This will also help guide your evaluation of your Diversity Action Plan (see Step 3).

     Draft a statement of intent

It may be difficult and confusing to review every avenue of diversity and inclusion principles – to support your clients and resident; to support your workforce and to present your organisation as a service provider of choice in the sector and in the community. Writing high level, aspirational statements about your intended journey of diversity planning in consultation with all parts of your business can help to set a schedule of where to start.

The Centre for Cultural Diversity has a tipsheet that aims to support aged care organisations to develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Statement within their organisation.

Developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Commencing a reconciliation action plan (RAP) and Rainbow Tick Accreditation may be daunting, but they can be present in your statement of intent to work towards at a pace that suits your organisation. Small steps and initiatives are always worth it!

     Focus on Inclusive Language and Health Literacy 

Inclusive language always matters. The Australian Government has put together a style guide which is excellent resource and important tool to ensure inclusive language.

Inclusive language | Style Manual 

The Diversity Council of Australia’s Words at Work Guide highlights how the power of words can be used to build positive workplace cultures and productivity.

Words at Work Guide 

Supporting health literacy is also critical. This is both an individual’s health literacy, but also the health literacy environment. Understanding and being able to act on information about health and health care is key in creating an inclusive and diverse service.

Here are some resources to help you better understand and work to improve health literacy within your organisation and community.

Explains the interconnection of individual, health service provider and health system in health literacy.
An online learning tool to developed to help consumers understand what is happening in health appointments and engage with healthcare workers as partners in our care.
Range of resources for consumers, clinicians and health service organisations to support improvements in health literacy.
Health Literacy Framework, guidance and examples developed by the Clinical Excellence Commission, NSW.
This document highlights the importance of health literacy, collaboration across sectors, and possible actions to undertake by individuals and organisations.
 Teach back is an exemplary example of communication used to improve health literacy.

     Consult Shared Provider action plans

     Collect diversity data and demographics

Evaluating the impact of your diversity plan is covered more in Step 3, and knowing your population, in Step 1. But part of what you include when creating your Diversity Plan should be measuring cultural and linguistic diversity within your service. This includes your service users, but also your workforce.

The Centre for Cultural Diversity and Ageing Data and Demographics Practice Guide can give you some ideas to consider what you need to ask to measure diversity effectively. It is important to consider the impact of what and how you ask for information and then, what do you aim to do with that information? Any data you do collect should be governed by your organisation’s privacy and confidentiality policies. You must be clear on what you are going to collect, why you are collecting it, and that the data will be used – no collecting data “just in case”.

    Some resources to consider what data you need, how you collect it and how you ask it

     Develop Actions and Deliverables

There are myriad different actions or deliverables that you can include in your Diversity Action Plan, depending on your priorities, needs and resources.

If you are looking to meet standards, or receive accreditation from a specific framework, you can start your journey by consulting those frameworks

Rainbow Health Australia | Rainbow Tick & Rainbow Tick Standards Framework 

Start your RAP – Reconciliation Australia 

There are a number of good practice guides and examples of actions to integrate into your Action Plan you can also use as a jumping off point.

Guide for health services to improve LGBTI service provision, with guidance and good practice examples.
Information, strategies and tools for community groups to encourage the inclusion of older people with disability.
Victorian-based practice guidelines for the prevention of elder abuse. Suitable for health services and community agencies.
Framework developed to evaluate and enhance organisations’ delivery of mental health services to CALD communities.

     Hints and tips on some other actions you could include in your Action Plan

Is Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) on…

  • Your Board Agenda?
  • On all team meeting agendas
  • On all supervision schedules
  • On all job adverts
  • In all interview questions
  • On all PD descriptions
  • In all training – part of a career path as D&I mentor/ Champion

Do you have….

  • Diversity Policy and Procedure suite
  • Diversity Fact Sheet suite
  • Diversity and Inclusion in ALL policy and procedure
  • Open feedback culture linked to meaningful action
  • Does your website/ publications use inclusive and accessible language/ translations using health literacy guidelines?

Step 1

  Know your diversity context

Learn more

Step 2

   Developing your Diversity Action Plan

Learn more

Step 3

 Implement and Evaluate

Learn more