Step 3: Implement and evaluate your plan

The final step is all about putting your plan into action. You’ve put all the effort into preparing and developing an Action Plan, but even more important is taking the words off the paper, implementing and evaluating what you’ve done. You should view this as a continuous cycle of implementing, evaluating, reviewing and then setting new objectives and actions.

To do this, consider the sections below:

     Implement your Diversity Action Plan

Implementing diversity into practice requires the entire organisational team (from managers through to frontline workers) to work together for a common goal. Beyond you and your core team, encourage and support others throughout the organisation to take on leadership roles or champion certain initiatives. Also make sure you have appropriate governance and oversight processes in place – not only are they important in reviewing progress, but they can also advocate and help you to remove roadblocks that might be in the way.

Be aware that not every action may work immediately, or the first time you try. The aged care context we operate in is always changing and there can be lots of competing priorities. Things like organisational stability, reform and staff levels can all impact the success of your actions. While it’s important to make sure you address these in the development of your plan, don’t forget to keep monitoring them throughout your implementation, document and review to see what you can change.

     Communicate your Diversity Action Plan

When you implement your actions or make changes, the communication around it is key for a successful roll-out. Tell people about it, step by step. Engagement from senior leadership, executives and management to cascade messages down can provide authority. However, it’s important that everyone feels a part of creating a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Think about how communication can be targeted to key stakeholders “why”, and how certain actions can benefit themselves and their clients. It’s about telling the story.

Utilise your organisation’s existing communication channels, or create new ones – perhaps a newsletter, e-bulletin or podcast could get the word out. With appropriate permission, case studies can be a great way to humanise your efforts.

     Evaluate, Collect Evidence and Feedback

Continuous evaluation allows us to make sure we are doing what we said we would, and achieving the results we require. It is a key part of the cycle in Diversity Planning. At the core, it’s about understanding – did we do what we said we would do in the time allocated? If yes, what is a next step? If not, what more can we do to achieve?

As we mentioned in previous steps, it’s best to design your plan with evaluation in mind – collecting data from the very start to give you a baseline, and then using this to continually improve what you are delivering.

Pay attention to what is working and what isn’t. We recommend collecting both quantitative (e.g. numbers) as well as qualitative (e.g. interviews, written feedback) data to give you the most comprehensive understanding of your impact. The Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) methodology is simple and effective for this work.

This continuous evaluation also gives you evidence to demonstrate the impact of your plan and actions. In ongoing monitoring and documentation using quality improvement mechanisms link these to your actions. For example, provide evidence of training with an evaluation of the training.  

Culture of receiving feedback; and what you do with feedback to improve outcomes for clients and your staff is imperative to success. Engage with your own staff and seek feedback on what’s working, and what isn’t. Think about focus groups, surveys, presence on relevant committees and working groups. It’s just as important to seek feedback from clients, making sure this is done in a culturally safe way.

Your evaluation should naturally feed into further iterations of your Diversity Action Plan, and so the cycle continues!

Step 1

  Know your diversity context

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Step 2

   Developing your Diversity Action Plan

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Step 3

 Implement and Evaluate

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